Intelligence, for the purpose of the present discussion, will be defined as the ability to solve complex problems. In addition, the attribute “intelligent” is taken to indicate something about the speed and sophistication of problem solving. Thus, intelligence is most evident in dealing with problems that are new in the sense that they have not been encountered before in precisely the same form, so the solution requires more than simply repeating a previous set of actions. Brute force methods relying on exhaustive searches of all possible solutions, on the one hand, and applications of a simple rule, on the other hand, are not apt to be considered intelligent, although both may be highly successful in dealing with new problems. Of course, what is new and what rules are considered to be simple depend very much on the standpoint of the observer: intelligence may often mean recognizing that a new problem is simply a variant of previously solved problems. An experienced mathematician may immediately see promising routes to solutions for problems where a novice must resort to trial and error. Important correlates of intelligence are avoiding repetition of unsuccessful actions and, at a higher level, incorporating experience in order to modify and improve competence.


Stick Insect Swing Movement Brute Force Method Wave Gait Tripod Gait 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Dean
    • 1
  1. 1.Cleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA

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