Intelligence vs Intellect: Difference and Comparison

Human anatomy is complex, and the most complex structure of the human body is the brain. The human brain is one of the body’s most complex organs; it acts as the 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 are related to the brain and the thinking process, but their meanings differ.

Key Takeaways

  1. Intelligence refers to the ability to learn and understand concepts quickly, while intellect relates to one’s ability to reason and think logically.
  2. Intelligence is primarily measured through standardized tests, while intellect is assessed through critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  3. While intelligence is primarily inherited, intellect can be developed through education, experience, and exposure to diverse perspectives.

Intelligence vs Intellect

Intelligence is the ability of the mind to learn new skills and gain knowledge, and it can be improved with effort. It is not an inborn ability. Intellect is the capacity of the mind to do logical reasoning on topics. It is inborn and relates to the power of deep analysis of facts and figures.

Intelligence vs Intellect

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIntelligenceIntellect 
DefinitionIntelligence is a wider term which includes the ability to learn any new skill, learn from experiences, or gaining knowledge, etc. Intellect is the power of the mind to understand and reason 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 learning any new skill, adapting to a new situation, gaining knowledge, learning process, Critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.

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

A person is considered intelligent if his surroundings are disorganised; he is into deep talks, sometimes a loner talks less, is Open-minded, and always curious 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 always been a great topic for debate in psychology; there are several theories related to intelligence, like, Theory of General Intelligence by Charles Spearman, the Theory of primary mental abilities by Louis L. Thurstone, the 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 a person’s intelligence; it was first described by a German psychologist, William Stern, in the early 20th century. It is a test or subtest used as a parameter of Intelligence. 

The IQ test faced criticism as sometimes it created anxiety in people for getting a lower score on 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 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 intellectuals have great intellectual potential, just like an athlete has great athletic capacity.

Everyone possesses the intellect to some extent; its use varies from individual to individual.

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

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

An intellectual is a person acquiring superior powers of intellect. An intellectual 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. Exploring new ideas and understandings is advisable to become a more mindful and ethical thinker.

Having a 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 activities like reading for fun, debating an issue with a friend, Physical activity, Being imaginative, Consistently learning, 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 the Power of objectively understanding 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 does not need Judgement or exploration.
Difference Between Intelligence and Intellect
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