CHAPTER IV:  The Operational Procedures of Intelligence

This special human ability of ours seems to work as follows:

(1)  It continuously receives from the environment a great volume of information, coded in neural impulses, from the excellent battery of sense channels which each human possesses. This vast computer-like ability of ours receives many kinds of visual information from our eyes, many kinds of audible information from our ears and skull bones; it receives taste information, smell information, temperature information, balance information, and kinesthetic information from our many other sense organs.

(2)  This vast volume of information coming into our intelligence is continuously and quickly compared with the information already on file in what we usually call our memory, information from past experiences which we have already understood. Similarities between the incoming information and the information on file are apparently noted, as well as the ways in which similar experiences in the past have been successfully met.

(3)  At the same time, this incoming information is contrasted with the information already on file; i.e., the differences are noted as well as the similarities. The incoming information is understood in relation to other information, in its similarities and differences to other data, not ever as a concept by itself.

(4) The information of how similar experiences were handled successfully in the past is used as a basis for constructing a suitable response to the present situation. The differences between the present situation and the similar past situations are, however, allowed for, and the actual response becomes tailored-to-fit the present exactly, as far as the available information allows.

(5)  The new information from the current situation, having now been evaluated in terms of both its similarities and differences to other information, now goes on file in the memory as useful material with which to evaluate later experiences. We are better able to meet later experiences because of what we learned from the previous one. (This effect, for instance, will be very noticeable in beginning a new job in a new field. What is learned in the first week makes the second week comparatively easy to handle.)

This evaluation process is conducted both on aware and unaware levels. Usually the great bulk of evaluation takes place without aware attention, which is reserved for the most interesting or critical information. The assumption made in many theories that awareness and unawareness mark the boundaries between rational and irrational processes turns out to be misleading and is expressly not included in this description.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00