Difference Between Intelligence and Intellect

Human anatomy is complex, and the most complex structure of the human body is the brain. The human brain is one of the most complex organs of the body, it acts as manager of the body which regulates all other systems within a human.


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All internal and external actions and reactions are related to the brain of a human, every human has a different capacity to store things in mind. The brain and mind are two different things which are interlinked to each other. 

Likewise, there are two terms which are interlinked but they are completely different, those are, Intelligence and intellect. Both of them are related to the brain and thinking process but their actual meanings have differences.

Intelligence vs Intellect

The difference between Intelligence and intellect is that intelligence is the ability of the mind to learn any skill. On the other hand, intellect is the power of reasoning objectively.

In regular life, people use these words interchangeably but grammatically their meaning or different and so is their use.

Intelligence vs Intellect

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIntelligenceIntellect 
DefinitionIntelligence is a wider term which includes the ability to learn any new skill,  learning from experiences, or gaining knowledge, etc. Intellect is the power of the mind of understanding and reasoning objectively.
AcquisitionIt is knowledge-basedIt is inborn
DesignIt is subjectiveIt is objective
Related toFeelingsFacts
Core difference The ability of the mindThe capacity of the mind 

What is Intelligence?

Intelligence is a wider term which includes several activities like the ability to learn any new skill, adapting to the new situation, gaining knowledge, learning process, Critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.

According to Theory of Sternberg there are three types of intelligence that are practical, creative and analytical. 

A person is said to be intelligent if his surroundings are disorganised, he is into deep talks, sometimes a loner talks less, Open-minded, and always curious to know about different things. Although there is no specification about having all these qualities in one person, nobody can judge other people completely based on these qualities.

Intelligence has been always a great topic for debate in psychology, there are several theories related to intelligence, like, Theory of General Intelligence by Charles spearman, Theory of primary mental abilities by Louis L. Thurstone, Theory of multiple intelligence given by Howard Gardner and theory of triarchic intelligence by Robert Sternberg.

An intelligence quotient or IQ is one of the most common terms used when talking about the intelligence of a person, it was first described by a German psychologist, William Stern in the early 20th century . It is a test or subtest which is used as a parameter of Intelligence. 

The IQ test faced criticism as sometimes it created anxiety in people for getting a lower score in the test. And a burden of doubt was created on people of their abilities. 

There are commonly two types of Intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence can be understood as the potential to solve problems in different situations without using any prior knowledge.

Logic and abstract thinking are used to solve problems. Crystallized intelligence refers to the use of previously-gained knowledge.


What is Intellect?

Intellect is the power to understand and provide reasoning objectively (also in abstract matters). Unlike intelligence, intellect is related to facts. 

Intellect can be seen as athletic potential or any sense like fashion, so the intellectuals have great intellectual potential just like an athlete is someone who has great athletic capacity.

Intellect is possessed by everyone to some extent, its use varies from individual to individual .

An intellectual takes calculated risk, Looks for reasoning and looks for facts.

The intellect is confined to thinking or reasoning. But in academic sense the reasoning is barely considered to be an intellectual process. 

The intellectual is a person acquiring superior powers of intellect. An intellectual, then, is not just someone intelligent but a very intelligent person.

Intellectual skills that define abilities such as application, analysis and synthesis as building on knowledge, many types of intellectual skills and strategies are needed for effective learning.

Intellectual wellness encourages learning. It is advisable, to explore new ideas and understandings to become more mindful and ethical thinker.

Having an considerable level of intellectual wellness inspires exploration. Intellectual wellness also braces curiosity.

Unlike intelligence, intellect is inborn, but a person can improve their intellectual skills by doing several activities like, read for fun, debate an issue with a friend, Physical activity, Be imaginative, Consistently learn, etc. 


Main Differences Between Intelligence and Intellect

  1. Intelligence is an individual’s ability to acquire knowledge and skills on the other hand intellect is Power of objectively understanding the Abstract matter.
  2. Intelligence is related to feelings on the other hand intellect is related to facts.
  3. Intelligence is the mental potential to compute things while intellect is the mental capacity for materials.
  4. Intelligence is knowledge-based Whereas intellect is inborn. 
  5. Intelligence is subjective And based on a person bringing their mental, intellectual, And personal backlogs, on the other hand, intellect is objective and it does not need Judgement or exploration.
Difference Between Intelligence and Intellect


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160289693900103
  2. https://brill.com/view/journals/hima/15/3/article-p3_1.xml
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