In today's world, an individual's IQ (intelligence quotient) is a common measure of their cognitive ability. This cognitive ability can make them successful in education and in the workplace. In the United States, individuals in prestigious positions have a generally higher IQ (Sternberg, 1996). The aspects of intelligence are hard to define and many factors appear to be inherent in the achievement of high intelligence. Notably, intelligence is multidimensional, not merely based on one's IQ (Sternberg, 1996). In Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Charlie, the protagonist, receives a surgery that takes him from being mentally retarded (IQ around 65) to being a genius (IQ around 150). The initial results are unbelievable, but he returns to his mentally retarded state in the conclusion of the book when the procedure ultimately fails. Overall, the results are mixed in improving Charlie's quality of life. The reality of the world proves to be cruel to Charlie when he can truly understand what is happening. Intelligence can lead to certain kinds of successes, but it is not a measure of human value (Sternberg, 1996). All human beings have worth and make contributions to society through a variety of abilities, independent of their IQ. However, researchers fail to see this in Flowers for Algernon.
[...] In Flowers for Algernon, Charlie receives a dramatic increase in intelligence through a surgical procedure. This is starkly different then improving your intelligence through training. Charlie experiences a massive increase in intelligence, from mentally retarded to genius. This mental ability matures over a couple of months and his intellect grows exponentially as time passes. As a result, he becomes a genius. His Gf is immense, he is able to relate many academic fields together and problem solve to each situation. [...]
[...] Charlie lacks in emotional intelligence, and his developing intimate relationship with Alice demonstrates this. He lacked the ample development as a child and adolescent to deal with these situations. With his new knowledge, come painful memories of his mother beating him for becoming sexually aroused. When intimate moments arise with Alice, he feels panic and fright like when he was a child. He does not have the emotional intelligence or aptitude to deal with these situations. Charlie is an academic genius, but cannot deal with social situations because he was mentally retarded. [...]
[...] This can lead to more success in their careers and higher earning potentials. Many individual go on to higher degrees, such as masters and PhDs, but these prove their passion and intelligence from a specific subject. Simply, it does not improve their overall intelligence. One of the aspects of multidimensional intelligence is fluid intelligence. Positively, cognitive training can improve a person fluid intelligence (Jaeggi, 2008). It is thought that this training conditions a certain neural circuit to transfer information (Jaeggi, 2008). [...]
[...] As shown, people with low IQs are immensely valuable (Sternberg, 1996) and have steep learning curves for specific tasks and overall learning (Jaeggi, 2008). In conclusion, intelligence is multidimensional and can become complicated. There are many aspects of intelligence that have to be developed to achieve greater cognitive abilities. Positively, intelligence can be modified and improved (Sternberg, 1996). Through training, fluid intelligence can improve and lead to greater overall intelligence (Jaeggi, 2008). This is helpful because learning and task performance is supported by fluid intelligence (Jaeggi, 2008). [...]
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