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Intelligence is a quality that is associated with social success and prominence. Intelligence is believed to allow people to solve problems, develop skills, accumulate wealth, and prosper. But intelligence is only one component that affects human behavior. Another strong modulator is habit. Habits make people behave in ways that usually reflect a good degree of intelligence. By contrast, some habits have poor or no association with intelligent choices.

Habits can be considered from the social and personal perspectives. Social habits manifest themselves in the form of customs, norms, and culture. Personal habits reflect preferences for food, activities, friends, approaches to life, and personal idiosyncrasies. All these habits modulate intelligence. Momentary lapses of intelligent thought typically result in behaviors that are controlled by habits. For example, when a person tries to solve a very difficult problem and the solution cannot be worked out through intelligence because of insufficient input, habits are activated to control behavior. This situation often arises when a person resettles to a new location. The task is too complex to solve all its aspects by reasoning. To process all issues by the neural circuits of intelligence, the subject would have to evaluate every issue consciously and under full attention. Nobody can think of every detail when moving to another place. There are too many things to worry about, and emotion interferes with cold reason. Topics that are left out of explicit conscious consideration are handled by habits. Habits may largely decide where a new house will be built and how the person's life will be arranged. Habits may cause that a man builds his house near a river, not realizing that there will be a flooding next spring. When the house is flooded, the man wonders why he did not think about the possibility when choosing the site.

The failure of the homeowner is caused by temporary dissociation. Reasoning faculties of the brain are not engaged, and habits drive behavior. The lapse of reasoning is the culprit. The person may have the ability to understand that spring waters cause the river to rise and may produce flooding. But the conscious thought is not engaged at the right moment. Even more serious problem exists in people who are able to think about the possibility of flooding at the right time, but they conclude, after a long analysis, that home flooding will not happen to them. This is why Galveston was rebuilt after a devastating hurricane in the early 1900's; San Francisco was rebuilt at the same spot after a devastating earthquake in 1905; many California homes were rebuilt in places that are periodically affected by devastating wildfires, and houses were rebuilt in traditionally flooded areas on the Mississippi.
The examples indicate that a temporary or permanent loss of intelligence can produce undesirable behaviors that are silly, stupid, or psychopathic. Engagement of intelligence can prevent most such mistakes, but not always. The reason is that intelligence consists of two components: scholastic intelligence (measured as intelligence quotient IQ) and emotional intelligence (measured as emotional quotient EQ). These two parts of intelligence have different purpose and characteristics. A high IQ is not enough to produce proper and sensible behaviors. A person with a high IQ also needs to have a high EQ to thrive. However, the current nomenclature of intelligence is incorrect.
The term "scholastic intelligence" needs to become semantic intelligence (measured as SQ), and
"emotional intelligence" needs to be changed to affective intelligence (measured as AQ) to make the terminology compatible with the physiology of the brain.


Semantic intelligence can be measured by standardized tests. The foundation of the tests is that 50% of all people can do the tests with below-average performance, and 50% of people can do the tests with above-average performance. The average performance gets 100 points. Above-average performance gets more than 100 points, and below-average performance gets between 0 and 100 points. Zero points means total failure, when none of the problems of the test is solved. The test can include multiple choices, but is always time-limited. This is a significant aspect because some very intelligent people take extra time to solve problems, and so they get poorer SQ scores. Second-guessing and deep evaluation of solutions to problems are reflective of superior intelligence. But this quality cannot be manifested in tests that demand quick finding of obvious solutions.

The standardized timed tests of semantic intelligence may not work well in some people (usually women) who tend to solve semantic problems indirectly. A typical woman usually engages her affective intelligence and reactivates her previous experiences with the topic before she tries to solve the given problem. The affective processing reduces the time available for semantic processing and may reduce the SQ score.

Semantic intelligence depends on insight, which is the ability to detect, establish, forecast, and modulate relationships between things and phenomena. Put simply,  intelligence shows as the ability
to recognize the relationship between cause and effect, and to solve problems. A test is given to a student with a high SQ, and he solves all problems correctly. A technical problem is attacked by an engineer with a high SQ, and he finds solutions to the problem. A production problem is faced by a farmer with a high SQ, and he finds effective ways to plant, grow, and harvest crops.

Semantic intelligence is very important in all aspects of life. Without  intelligence, most problems would be solved by means of habits. Such a cognitive mode would be detrimental in the majority of human activities, but might be more beneficial in the long run. A person relying on good habits knows what works and what does not. Painful lessons of the past have usually shaped habits and guided our behaviors in most situations of our daily lives. By contrast, unexpected and new challenges call for the engagement of semantic intelligence to solve the problem at hand. The thinker activates his problem-solving abilities, and the outcome is usually good, but not always. Unlike habits, which are typically shaped by both the semantic and affective components of intelligence over a long time, the success of semantic intelligence in solving new problems depends on contemporary involvement of affective intelligence.


Affective intelligence is an elusive property. It only got appropriate attention after the publication of Daniel Goleman's book "Emotional intelligence." The year was 1995. During previous human history, affective intelligence was virtually unknown to the Western world. Interestingly, native Americans have manifested deep wisdom (affective intelligence) for millennia. The famous statement by Chief Seattle "All things are connected" manifests the expression of highly developed affective intelligence in habits. Most non-native Americans have never been able to acquire this mode of thinking. They treat the environment with disregard or contempt.

Although things are connected, this philosophy is often misapplied by people with low affective intelligence. They typically lose contact with reality and employ supernatural phenomena, which have no factual substance. This mental deficit can lead to the belief that people live on earth and, when their bodies die, their souls will continue living an eternal life in heaven. Or the people believe that they can become reincarnated and can live many lives on earth as different people. Life is believed to move in repetitive cycles, and a person's soul (whatever that may be) never ceases to exist. The delusion is not caused by a lack of education, scientific knowledge, or semantic insight, but by misinterpretation of facts and by the inability to introduce higher affective intelligence into the reasoning process. Thus, reduced affective intelligence is always associated with compromised checking of reality. In extreme cases, the outcome is schizophrenia. In less profound instances, psychopathology and belief-based reasoning emerge and control a person's life. 

What is affective intelligence? Affective intelligence is what more than 99% of the world population are lacking. Clearly, the label "emotional intelligence" is a misnomer, and emotion itself is a grossly misunderstood concept. Most scientists incorrectly consider that emotion is an effect that is observable in other people or animals. The scientists do not view emotion as a conscious experience of the mind. Emotion does not produce intelligence, but only modulates "affective intelligence." One book about emotional intelligence, probably the one by Goleman, considered that emotion is consciousness. This is not so. In the strictest interpretation, emotion is not necessary to exercise good "affective intelligence," but is usually associated with strong influence on decision-making process. Emotion itself does not enter reasoning and cannot be reasoned with. Nevertheless, emotion can influence reasoning indirectly and change the current emotional state. If an emotion persists for a long time, this is an indicator that the rational faculties of the mind are unable to change the emotional state, or that they are not functional. In most situations, emotion only signals how we respond to internal or external environmental stimuli, and how the human organism experiences the world. Production of emotion is strongly associated with the amygdala, while the Self of the mind experiences the emotional meaning. Emotion typically affects the somatic and biological aspects of the organism, but also has purely mental components that are only noticed and experienced by the emotional subject. Strong emotion, whether positive or negative, has the ability to interfere with attention, judgment, goals, priorities, and performance on tasks.

Because the idea that emotion is involved in creation of intelligence is totally wrong, it is best to leave emotion aside and deal only with logical aspects of intelligence. With this recognition in mind, it can be stated that both affective and semantic components of intelligence are rational and factual. The difference between affective and semantic intelligence mainly shows in the ways how these functions process the available cognitive information. The different approaches reflect the purpose of each type of intelligence.

Affective intelligence is heavily affected by the pains of life. Unpleasant, threatening, or unbearable experiences result in dissociation from faculties of advanced affective intelligence. A person may temporarily or permanently dissociate from such faculties and may have impaired affective intelligence. The person may make poor choices, engage in reckless behaviors, sabotage one's effort, or harm self or others. Semantic intelligence proposes ideas and solutions to problems, but affective intelligence evaluates the semantic approaches from the perspective of harm or benefit to self or others.
Low semantic intelligence only affects the quality of thoughts and their implementation, but bad judgment, decision, or behavior is produced by poor affective intelligence. Good affective intelligence takes into account contextually rich and long-term perspectives, while semantic intelligence is only interested in finding a solution to the problem at hand. Also the ways of information processing differ. Semantic intelligence only seeks logical associations, but affective intelligence is particularly focused on identifying logical inconsistencies between the considered topic and the overall wealth of knowledge and experience. The potential imperfections of one's reasoning are never considered by semantic intelligence. A purely semantic thinker believes that he is always right.

The given characteristics expose the relationship between semantic and affective intelligence. 
While semantic intelligence allows a person to solve semantic problems, affective intelligence controls human behavior. Affective intelligence has a poor ability to solve technical or emotionally neutral issues (problem solving and execution of tasks), but is exquisitely capable of evaluating the proposed solutions from a global perspective. The core theme of affective intelligence is maximum benefit for the human organism.
Affective intelligence gives a person deep understanding of the world, approves sensible ideas and behaviors, and bans inappropriate ones. In addition, affective intelligence is the only form of intelligence that is able to understand and solve social and personal problems. A person with well-developed affective intelligence does not knowingly behave in ways that are bad. Only a person with reduced affective intelligence is capable of engaging in behaviors that are silly, unnecessary, or harmful to self or others. Thus, semantic intelligence reflects human abilities in general problem solving, but affective intelligence decides how wisely these abilities are engaged, directed, and applied.

The above description may lead to the idea that specific bad behaviors are caused by poor affective intelligence. This is not so. Low affective intelligence typically leads to general problems with reasoning and behavioral control, and is not limited to some specific negative traits. By contrast, some people with poor affective intelligence, but with good habits, can behave in socially responsible ways at times. The good behaviors are hyperspecific and only occur within a given context. A man may be a good neighbor while visiting the church. He may contribute generous amounts of money to a good cause. But outside the church, he may be a loan shark and may strictly demand the payment of exorbitant interest by borrowers.

Another reason for this type of psychopathy is that the semantic and the affective intelligence have strictly divided functional roles. If one type of intelligence is low, its sphere of influence is afflicted by poor reasoning. Thus, a person with poor affective intelligence may not care about his significant others and may harm them in countless ways. But he may be nice to total strangers and may eagerly sacrifice himself for their benefit. He may give all his wealth to some organization, but does not leave a penny to his closest relatives. This is so because the boundary between personal and impersonal concepts cannot be crossed by the semantic intelligence. It remains devoutly impersonal.

When negotiating the challenges of life, good semantic reasoning may do its job by suggesting factual solutions to problems, but poor affective intelligence may accept harmful approaches, solutions at any cost, or only superficially sound fixes that are introduced by semantic intelligence. The usual deficits of poor affective reasoning in combination with intact semantic intelligence show in limited contextual scope of the implemented solutions. The fixes only relate to the immediate issues. This is why people are capable of solving their personal problems by killing another human being. Existence of the other man is seen as the source of the problem, and so he must die to solve the problem. Highly developed semantic intelligence can devise smart ways of implementing the murder, but may not be able to recognize that murder is socially unacceptable and that there will be consequences for the crime. In many cases, the killer does not even care what happens after the crime. Some murderers, despite their relatively low affective intelligence, can recognize that there will be consequences if the crime is associated with the killer. Such people do employ their semantic intelligence to cover up their involvement. But semantic intelligence is narrow-minded and does not care about peripheral issues. This is why even masterfully thought-out murder may leave behind secondary indicators that lead to the murderer.

Affective intelligence is not an ON/OFF mechanism, when you either have intelligence or don't. Loss of affective intelligence is never absolute. Even the most stupid person on earth has some residual affective intelligence. Total loss of affective intelligence would probably mean that the associated neural structures are not functioning. If that happened, the person would die because neural systems of semantic intelligence are not enough to sustain life.

The expression "loss of affective intelligence" characterizes the mental abilities of a subject at some point in time. The label does not mean that the person had affective intelligence and then lost it. Affective intelligence begins developing from birth until neuropsychological maturity is achieved. If something interferes with normal acquisition of intelligence, the development stops, and no future experiences can improve affective intelligence. The adult subject often has the AQ of a child under the age of 10 years, and cannot achieve the performance of a healthy mature person.

In addition to sound judgment, affective intelligence allows a person to differentiate between the external world and one's body, and offers interpretations of physical and social forces that act upon the living human organism. Incidentally, affective intelligence is critically important for proper personal and social responses. Semantic intelligence has no direct involvement in such matters and is of no benefit when solving issues that involve the human organism, its well-being, or its interaction with the social environment.

Affective intelligence can have very fine gradation, down to the neuronal level. Practically all people have some reduction in affective intelligence at different times in their lives, and the loss may not be noticeable by the affected person or others. The intellectual deficit can be general and easily recognizable, or can be noticed only in a specific topic. Furthermore, emotional valence of the topic can profoundly affect the use of the neural circuits of affective intelligence. Very negative topics can make otherwise intelligent people unbelievably stupid. This deficit mainly affects women and is caused by the functional organization of the female brain. Incidentally, the female brain shows higher striatal activity during reasoning that involves negative emotion. Males handle emotion differently and exhibit reduced interference between emotion and reason. But men also become stupid during dissociation. They ignore emotion and affective intelligence, and heavily rely on semantic intelligence. However, the frequent lack of affective intelligence in men causes that they usually function in personal relationships by relying on their habits and the responses of the striatum. The striatum seeks momentary pleasures and somatic rewards. When couples fight, the man spontaneously defaults to his striatal mentation, and the woman does so, too; she experiences negative emotions. The synchronization of like mental faculties and the associated prevalence of somatic drives in both genders cause that fighting couples readily engage in sexual intercourse after having a stormy argument. The same mechanism also causes that people who have low affective intelligence all the time are unable to express their mutual liking through emotional or mental means, but default to physical and sexual contact, that is expressed somatization. A related manifestation of poor affective intelligence is sex with strangers or superficially known people. The mental and emotional aspects of affinity are lacking, and the somatic needs dominate a person's behavior.

Affective intelligence controls practically all behaviors, but even a person with fully developed affective intelligence is capable of engaging in behaviors that might be considered psychopathic under normal circumstances. The man may harm or kill others if his well-being or survival is threatened. Such a man does not put the interests of the law, society, or others before his own. He is faithful to himself. People who do sacrifice their lives for others or refuse to kill because they do not believe in violence do not engage their affective intelligence completely.

Affective intelligence is critically important for personal well-being, but too much intelligence is harmful and undesirable. The more developed affective intelligence is, the finer detail and perceptual nuances can a person discern. This is obvious during traumatic experiences. To lessen the acute perception, the person dissociates from circuits of affective intelligence and loses the detailed, palpable, and true understanding of the situation. If traumas are repetitive and frequent, loss of affective intelligence can become permanent and irreversible. Such people are prone to make disadvantageous choices in life and to feel comfortable with the choices.

Affective intelligence allows us to understand the quality of things, people, and relationships. The high sensitivity to the palpable interpretation of messages leads to critical evaluation of one's behavior and can become detrimental to one's emotional state. The subject does a lot of introspection and learning about oneself. Acknowledgment of one's errors and imperfections hurts, but the problems are addressed, resolved, and the person can move on with one's life. Another common problem of people with high affective intelligence is that they are striving to achieve perfection, but are not "perfectionists" who demand that every detail be absolutely perfect. Their need for quality is apparent when they seek the opposite sex. The partner has to be both physically and mentally of high quality to be considered for marriage. Finding such people is not easy, but when a match occurs, the relationship lasts a lifetime. However, it is not true that lifelong relationships are reflective of high affective intelligence of the partners.

By contrast to a person with a high AQ, a man with low affective intelligence has poor concepts of beauty and quality. He eagerly marries a woman simply because she has a pretty face, or has big breasts, or is wealthy, or is famous. He fails to combine diverse qualities of the person and judge them as a whole package. Instead, he succumbs to one trait that he likes, and ignores every other aspect. These types of deficits are equally prominent in both men and women.


Psychopathology is a direct consequence of low affective intelligence. This irreversible neuropsychological condition is typically produced by the ultimate force in the human universe. Psychopathology makes people concurrently stupid, crooked, and divorced from reality. Some people become idiotic crooks, while others become crooked idiots. And some become delusional fanatics who do not accept anything that differs from their understanding of the world. The chosen labels are strong and give the impression that psychopathology causes a profound loss of reasoning abilities and leads to total moral corruption and psychosis. In reality, psychopathology comes in many degrees, from barely noticeable by experts during a special examination to serious mental defects that are identifiable by most people. The highest degree of psychopathology is equivalent to schizophrenia, when the subject has virtually no ability to make logical associations. Interestingly, even some thoughts of schizophrenics are logical. Their pathology may not show in every act, but is usually manifested within minutes. By contrast, severely affected psychopaths manifest their deficits on the order of hours. Medium level of psychopathology can be manifested in a single event once a week, and the mildest psychopathology may only show once over the course of months.

It is generally accepted that a psychopath has no remorse or conscience. This trait is often associated with artificial intelligence and machines. A robot makes logical conclusions about a required action and implements the corresponding solution with no regard for human wellbeing. Achieving the goal is what matters, but the consequences of the acts are of no concern. The semantic mind of humans behaves exactly like a robot. Without the involvement of the affective mind, the reasoning is psychopathic and involves much more than the lack of remorse.

The level and frequency of detectable pathology is attributable not only to the psychopathic subject, but directly depends on the mental qualities of the observer. When two schizophrenics get together, they do not mutually recognize themselves as crazy. Similarly, when psychopaths get together, they find common unifying themes and believe that their thoughts and actions are logical and moral.
In fact, the more pronounced psychopathology is, the more reassured a psychopath is that his reasoning is correct. No doctor is able to prove to a schizophrenic that he (the patient) has a mental illness. Similarly, no one is able to prove to a believer in the supernatural that his reasoning is faulty and out of touch with reality. Just as amazing trait of pathology is its social character. In Germany, the most fanatical supporters of Hitler grew the same silly mustaches as he had. Also the whole military leadership of the Apartheid consisted of males who had identically-looking mustaches. Likewise, neurosurgeons love to grow beards of the Sigmund Freud style. These examples indicate that psychopathy is not just a matter of personal nature, but can become a unifying social force. Another amazing property of psychopathology is its global character. A psychopath does not show his stupidity, crooked nature, or loss of reality checking only in one instance, but in many aspects of his life. Each of the three components of pathology is active concurrently, but one of them may be dominant. An affectively stupid person may become crooked when he recognizes that his reasoning was faulty. Instead of acknowledging that he is stupid, he may persecute his subordinates for letting him act out his stupidity. Similarly, he may be unable to recognize that it was his loss of touch with reality and his crooked nature that prevented others from warning him about his stupidity. On top of that, one expression of psychopathology tends to feed another when a psychopath tries to fix a problem caused by his poor reasoning.

In summary, a person with good affective intelligence blocks bad ideas and behaviors, and avoids unpleasant or harmful situations. Psychopaths are the opposite. They insist on getting their way at any cost. They are willing to do anything technical or political, but refuse to change their attitudes and behaviors. In most cases, psychopaths do not have the needed level of affective intelligence to comprehend what is good for them and the society. This is why they persist in their harmful behaviors.
An example is a fat person. He is overeating and causing himself problems. Unable to walk to his favorite food store
from the regular parking space, he obtains a handicapped parking permit. Unable to buy food by walking in the isles, he gets a motorized chair provided by the store. Unable to stop his weight gain, he goes for a gastric bypass surgery. He will do anything technical, but will not stop his excessive intake of food, unless he is forced to do so by the circumstances.


Semantic intelligence is gained through intellectual stimulation, problem solving, and acquisition of knowledge. The training can happen by reading a book, studying in school, or finding solutions to everyday problems through on-the-job experience. The propensity to possess intellectual insight develops during a person's formative years. Particularly beneficial for the development of insight are unsatisfied needs in childhood. The brain works hard and develops the ability to solve problems masterfully. Semantic insight accounts for perhaps three-quarters of the overall problem-solving ability, which is directly reflected in the SQ score. Future increases in intelligence are mainly achieved by acquiring further knowledge and experience. A person with well developed semantic insight is able to learn new information quickly and put it to use. This ability is seen among doctors, who often have technical skills and extensive knowledge. In general, people who retain their intellectual insight, their drive to solve problems, and their desire to learn new information throughout life usually become professors, engineers, scientists, or researchers.

Hence, SQ depends on specific knowledge, insight, and conceptual knowledge, which stands for experience. Paradoxically, all TV contests that deal with "smart" and "intelligent" people focus on specific knowledge of facts or simple skills. If you know who starred in the movie Casablanca, know how to add 34 + 119, or know the name of the capital of Kenya, you get points and earn money. And everyone says, "He is so smart. I wish I could be like him." What the envious person does not realize is that a personal drive to gather excessive factual knowledge is not necessarily reflective of semantic insight, but is always indicative of defective affective intelligence.

Perhaps the most striking examples of deficient intelligence (both semantic and affective) are seen on the TV program "The price is right." A contestant is supposed to open one out of five boxes. Only one box contains cash, and the other four boxes hold nothing but air. And the contestant starts looking toward the audience for clues. Everyone shouts which box to open. The contestant approaches box #3, touches the lid, and the guests start shouting even louder in disagreement. No level of intelligence can solve this problem correctly. All depends on coincidence (luck) in getting the correct box. The odds are 1 in 5, and no level of intelligence or advice from the audience can make the odds any better or worse. Is that understood? Yes, but I still want to know what others think. This is where we are entering the sphere of belief-based reasoning and magical thinking.

The lack of affective intelligence in the contestants is expressed by their desire to compete, to rely on luck, and to spend many hours going to the contest and being there so that they could win a prize they do not really need. Even worse, most contestants do not understand that they cannot afford to win, because they have no money to pay taxes for the income the winning represents.

Next to intellectual abilities, some psychologists consider that even skills are intelligence. For example, an Olympic athlete is believed to have "physical intelligence"; a soldier who gets the Medal of Honor is believed to have "fighting intelligence"; a gambler who wins the jackpot is believed to have "gambling intelligence," and a popular singer is believed to have "singing intelligence." This classification of intelligence is naive at best. No form of intelligence can be narrowed down to a skill, talent, ability, or behavioral trend. The pathology of such classification is apparent in the statements that a man who fathers a dozen children has "penile intelligence" and a woman who produces the children has "vaginal intelligence."

Because of their narrow specialization, skills and abilities do not represent intelligence, even though these faculties are supported by exceptionally capable neural systems. When the word "intelligence" is used in the general meaning, intelligence always involves sensible behavior that has both semantic and affective components of intelligence. Paradoxically, most people associate intelligence with unique and narrowly focused abilities (dominance, sports, performing arts, or entertainment). These abilities are socially recognized and richly rewarded despite their insignificant contribution to social prosperity. The fleeting emotional rewards the abilities bring to the wide masses is what counts. Naturally, this value system manifests a lack of affective intelligence in the general population. The consequence of such twisted values is that common people ask celebrities for help with personal problems. The trouble is that celebrities, the super-rich, and the super-influential are the least able to deal with the topics of affective intelligence.

Unlike semantic intelligence, affective intelligence can only be acquired through personal life experiences. This happens spontaneously and unknowingly. The learning process often engages emotion, the ability to consciously experience the emotion, and the ability to emotionally put oneself in the mind of another living thing.

The reasons for the different modes of acquisition of semantic versus affective intelligence are given by the different roles of these faculties. First of all, semantic intelligence is under the control of affective intelligence. Attention, conscious awareness, and setting of priorities by affective intelligence determine whether or not semantic intelligence is employed in cognitive processes. Similarly, the solutions proposed by semantic intelligence are accepted or rejected by affective intelligence. When a person wants to learn something, the conscious desire of affective intelligence enables learning of the topic by semantic intelligence. By contrast, affective intelligence is acquired through unconscious learning. The desire to learn something is initiated by unconscious processes that determine if learning something benefits the human organism. A positive outcome activates the cognitive abilities of the mind. Conscious awareness of the topic may sharpen or modulate reasoning, but consciousness cannot produce the appropriate logical conclusions; they are determined by the circuits of affective intelligence.

To recognize the difference between consciousness and affective intelligence, consider this case: The behavior of a thief hints that stealing is the right thing to do. He may have never consciously considered the morality of stealing; it has always seemed the natural choice to him. When he is questioned by a psychologist, the thief is forced to consciously explore the morality of his behavior. Even after the conscious exploration, the thief continues stealing because his reduced affective intelligence considers it a logical thing to do. His semantic intelligence may agree that stealing is bad in general, and stealing from him is very bad. But when he steals, it seems right. So, despite being consciously aware of his behavior and the fact that the behavior is wrong and socially unacceptable, he cannot modulate and alter his behavior.

Acquisition of semantic and affective intelligence can often happen concurrently. A school lecture enriches semantic knowledge and shapes semantic intelligence. But the lecturer's behavior toward the students affects their affective knowledge and intelligence. If the teacher smacks an inattentive boy, the pupil's affective intelligence strongly reacts to the punishment. The pupil quickly pays attention to the semantic topic, unaware that the affective aspect of the encounter has profound and lasting effect on his psyche.

Contrary to common belief, affective intelligence cannot be taught in an educational course despite the existence of many such courses. What the purposeful training does is behavioral simulation of appropriate acts and mental processes by means of semantic intelligence. A person who does not have good affective intelligence is only capable of learning the appropriate responses as skills, but is incapable of applying these taught abilities appropriately or by truly and spontaneously engaging affective intelligence. The person does not have the ability to understand affective aspects of intelligence, and does not know why the corresponding responses of healthy people are considered human and normal.

The differences between semantic and affective intelligence are apparent in schizophrenics and in people with autistic spectrum disorders. The subjects can learn that they are supposed to greet other people during a meeting, to embrace them to express affection, or say bye-bye when parting. Even a robot could be programmed to exhibit these mechanical behaviors. But the subjects do not feel anything and do not show such behaviors spontaneously. Even worse, while greeting another person or interacting with the person, the subjects may be looking away as if the person were of no consequence. The subjects lack the most basic traits that make us human, emotional, and social. By contrast, healthy animals can exhibit appropriate social and personal behaviors under the control of affective intelligence. The affective intelligence of the animals is incomparably higher than that of the autistic or schizophrenic humans. But animal behavior is often misinterpreted. For example, one dog contest was trying to find the most intelligent dog. Dogs were supposed to jump down from a very high place at the owner's command. If not for a safety harness that slowly lowered the animals that jumped, the dogs would have suffered serious injuries or deaths. Some dogs did not jump and were considered less intelligent than dogs that did jump. In reality, dogs that refused to jump were affectively more intelligent and also their total intelligence was higher. But this was not the conclusion of the human judges. Problems like these are common in brain research. The researchers make false assumptions, and the outcome is considered a success when the bad assumptions are confirmed.

Deficit of affective intelligence is frequently apparent in people from the high society who have been raised with proper social norms. The people are polite and gentle when interacting with the public. But their private behaviors are very different; the people may have never developed higher affective intelligence. As a result, kings steal, cheat, rape, and murder just to have fun. In other areas of human behavior, people who were taught affective intelligence only in school fail to understand and solve social problems. The learned habits may be good in some instances of social interactions, but can not produce consistent behaviors that are based on reason and affective intelligence. When such a subject feels personally affected, emotion can suppress habits and may lead to behaviors that are contrary to the taught principles. This would not happen if the person had naturally acquired higher affective intelligence. The defective behavior is often manifested in aggressive males who work in the service sector. They are superficially polite, but can show absolutely outrageous behaviors when they are frustrated or feel wronged. These behaviors are so much more shocking when they are displayed by public figures. For example, a king who has been taught to be good to people may reduce taxes in good economic times, but may brutally enforce higher taxes and their collection when the king feels that his income is reduced. Lack of affective intelligence tolerates his evil behaviors.

In general, good semantic intelligence can be acquired by any person. Experience shows that most people have surprisingly high ability to acquire skills, to employ knowledge, and to solve everyday problems. A low SQ is usually caused by
neural damage or lack of cognitive stimulation during formative years. Decline of affective intelligence, on the other hand, is the reason behind poor judgment and behavior; that is practical performance in life.

Clinical findings reveal that affective intelligence is universally low in a person who was severely abused in childhood. Psychotherapy can resolve the victim's traumatic memories and allow the person to live a good life. However, clinical work indicates that unresolved traumatic experiences block their integration into cognitive schemes. The notion has emerged that until the original traumas are resolved, the person is unable to learn from her traumatic experiences and correctly solve contextually similar problems. It was unclear for a long time whether or not these abilities truly emerge after a successful therapy. Therapists usually do not comment on this issue or they believe that the patients are better off than they really are. The hope is that the subjects are doing fine after a successful treatment. However, the Author's impression has been that r
eligious beliefs persist, and religion often plays more important role in the lives of the subjects than ever before.
Indeed, this hunch has been confirmed in the work of Patricia Ryan [5]. The outcome indicates that affective intelligence is not restored by resolving childhood traumas, and the most advanced neural circuits of affective intelligence are not functional.

Another important aspect of intelligence is nurture versus nature. Children are born with a predisposition to develop good semantic and affective intelligence if the environment supports normal neuropsychological development. Neglect, abuse, poverty, lack of intellectual stimulation, and other negative influences may disrupt normal acquisition of intelligence. The affected subjects may suffer from global reduction in intelligence or may acquire intelligence asymmetrically, when semantic and affective intelligence have very different performance levels.

Finally, it is time to redefine the labels used for intelligence. Since intelligence is a complex property, saying that someone is intelligent may not be very descriptive. The word "smart" might be a way to describe a person with a high SQ, and the expression "wise" would be reflective of a sound judgment and a high AQ. The label "intelligent" could then indicate that both SQ and AQ are high and equally well developed.


Signs of high affective intelligence are just as elusive as affective intelligence is. It would be difficult to single out a few characteristics that are indicative of high AQ. The difficulty is given by the fact that even people with reduced affective intelligence have some traits that are found in subjects with high intelligence. Overall, a person with a high AQ is average and is not socially prominent. You will not find him at the top of the society or at the top of
the highest mountain. A high AQ prevents a person from spending all energy on one activity, such as sports, singing, math, or pursuit of various goals simply because the person longs to achieve the goals. A person with a high AQ is a generalist and leads a balanced life. There is time for work, duties, entertainment, and relaxation. The person's physical and mental well-being is of utmost importance. His behaviors are driven by real needs, and not by some arbitrarily set goals. A person with a high AQ may (similarly as thrill seekers with low AQ) go to various places and do various activities, but there is a qualitative difference. A person with a low AQ must reach the figurative peak, but a person with a high AQ is fully content upon reaching the foothills and enjoying the peak from a safe distance. Being the fastest or the bravest or the most skilled or the most admired is not important to a person with a high AQ. Doing one's job well is important, but there are always other aspects to consider. One activity does not control the life of a person with a high AQ. Routines are generally avoided, as is compliance with non-critical schedules. Going to a social gathering is canceled if the person does not feel well. Going on vacation to an exotic land is canceled if it disrupts everything else. The same philosophy translates into purchases. There is no need to buy a $40,000 car when a $10,000 vehicle is totally adequate. Likewise, a person with a high AQ only gets sufficient education to do one's job, but does not pursue exotic titles for the sole purpose of achieving social prestige or having more money while spending too much effort and time on the goal. The life of a person with a high AQ is balanced in every way. A person with a high AQ is a realist and correctly assesses one's strengths and weaknesses. He uses his knowledge to prevent confrontation between one's weaknesses and demands of the environment. Certain activities are purposefully avoided because the outcome would not be good. By contrast, low affective intelligence often leads to exaggerated optimism, curiosity, motivation, and unqualified self-confidence.

Reduced affective intelligence can be difficult to recognize. The reason for the difficulty is that many behaviors that reveal psychopathology and low affective intelligence can also occur for justifiable reasons. Another problem is that low affective intelligence is widespread and its symptoms are taken for normal behaviors. In fact, a man who who does not have a low AQ is considered different and abnormal. Everyone talks about the upcoming football match and considers it the most important happening of the year, but a person with a high AQ often has no interest in the event. Not surprisingly, a person who grows up in a psychopathic family may find nothing abnormal in certain behaviors. The family gathers every Christmas, and no one questions the logic behind the custom. Men in the family wear useless strips of cloth (ties) attached to their necks, and it is considered normal. The family requires that everyone pray before a meal, and even this futile behavior is considered normal. Hence, social norms that manifest low affective intelligence to a knowledgeable psychologist are not viewed as such by the society. The traditional definition that a psychopath acts against social norms does not apply. When everyone is a psychopath and behaves in ways that manifest reduced affective intelligence, the behavior is considered normal. Objective symptoms of low affective intelligence are these:
  • Belief in the supernatural
  • Hunting, killing, or fishing for personal pleasure
  • Causing harm to others for personal pleasure
  • Disregard for personal safety and health
  • Disregard for future consequences of one's bad behavior
  • Impulsive behaviors and reckless fun
  • Use of drugs and substances to alter the states of the mind
  • Narcissism, inflated sense of mental superiority, and feeling of self-importance
  • Distorted mental perception of one's body
  • Detachment from one's body, treating it as an object (decorations, tattoos, piercings)
  • Being fat or anorexic
  • Sleeping less than 6 hours a night, taking no work breaks, and eating just 1 meal a day
  • Strict following of daily routines from dawn to bedtime
  • Narrow focus and a very limited mental world
  • Idolatry and following in the footsteps of role models
  • Fearlessness and lack of emotion
  • Exaggerated interest in one activity
  • Subconscious feeling of inadequacy
  • Preoccupation with one's level of intelligence
  • Strong desire to receive praise, reward, and recognition, even if unjustified
  • Pursuit of unnecessary goals (become a Ph.D., President, Olympic medalist)
  • Association with entities that are considered prestigious
  • Magical thinking (belief that reality can be altered through wishful thinking or prayer)
  • Superstition and belief in destiny
  • Belief that events happen because of a supernatural reason or purpose
  • Belief that bad things happen because someone expresses them in words
  • Rationalization (false and unsound interpretation of an obvious phenomenon)
  • Easy acceptance of unjustified claims of others (healing power of magnets)
  • High degree of suggestibility
Low affective intelligence leads not only to unrealistic perception of the world, which typically results in supernatural beliefs, but also causes unrealistic perception of oneself. Some people have very poor self-esteem and easily become hurt by any type of negative feedback. Even a constructive critique that appreciates the overall merit of the person may hurt because of a few mentioned imperfections. The person then strives hard to overcome the immaterial imperfections and excels at a high cost to self. Interestingly, a low AQ just as often produces unrealistically inflated self-esteem and a belief that one is perfect in every way. Critique of such a person does not lead to diminished self-esteem and desire to do better the next time, but triggers an offensive reaction coupled with antagonistic views and explosive responses. The ability to become offended by either the truth or a lie is an unmistakable indicator of a low AQ. A person with a high AQ and a high self-esteem understands one's strengths and weaknesses, and is in touch with reality, no matter how unpleasant. Such a person never becomes offended. An untrue statement is perceived as nonsense, and a true statement is accepted as a fact. It takes low AQ and psychopathy to become offended. Similarly, lack of AQ also results in envy and jealousy. These traits manifest low self-esteem coupled with a determination to rob someone of something the deficient person lacks.

Next to appropriate mental responses, affective intelligence determines how we look, how we
care about our hygiene
, and how healthy we are. A common manifestation of defective affective intelligence is becoming fat. A mentally healthy person is unconsciously kept in line with appropriate eating habits. Overeating or overindulgence in specific types of food indicates that affective intelligence has suffered severe damage. Once damaged, affective intelligence cannot be restored. The only way to lose weight and become slim is to employ semantic intelligence. This is where various dieting methods, regimens and procedures enter the lives of fat people. In a healthy person, affective intelligence spontaneously keeps a physiological balance and stops eating when the needs of the body are met. In a brain-damaged person, there are no checks and balances, only a drive to get food and drink. Semantic intelligence does not sense how the body feels and what its needs are. Control over eating has to be exercised indirectly: by eating at given times, by weighing food portions, by counting calories, or by checking one's weight and waist circumference. Similarly, the need to become slim is not driven by affective intelligence. The person does not mentally recognize: I have been overeating; I must get better diet, and I need to lose weight to feel well. Instead, the reasons for getting slim come from semantic intelligence. A common reason for getting slim is Narcissism, when the person falls in love with one's appearance. Another reason can be a belief that is based on movies: The slim guy gets the pretty girls. Another reason can be the desire to build lean muscles and look sporty, like the favorite role models on the TV screen do. The fat person may become slim one day, but for the wrong reasons. The mind is damaged permanently, and the seemingly proper behavioral control is hyperspecific. The person is slim now, but may have no interest in personal hygiene, or stopping smoking, or giving up exercise that is now taking all the free time.

Being fat is suggestive of detachment from reality; the person is unable to assess one's physical condition. More prominent detachment from reality is manifested by people with anorexia. The subjects are looking at their emaciated bodies in the mirror and perceive themselves as unbelievably fat. They are unable to realistically assess what is normal and what is not, and falsely believe one thing, even though their senses indicate otherwise. This example shows that sensory experiences only acquire meaning after interpretation by the brain. When reality is skewed by the arbitrary mental processes of semantic intelligence, the subject's consciousness perceives the world in a distorted way, but believes that it is reality, the only reality.

Similar mental problems exist in believers in the supernatural. The reality-checking function of higher affective intelligence is unavailable. The low affective intelligence has needs and questions, and forces the semantic intelligence to find the solutions and answers. But, similarly as in fat people, semantic intelligence does not truly understand reality and appropriate behavior.
The responses have errors, inconsistencies, omissions, fabricated material, and limited scope. Nevertheless, the best concepts and conclusions of semantic intelligence gathered over time provide guidance when affective intelligence lacks. This is why there are the Ten Commandments. The need for them is high because semantic thinkers constantly struggle with the selfish attitudes of low affective intelligence. The external control is only successful in mundane issues, but when the low affective intelligence wants something badly, the Ten Commandments become irrelevant, and the subject gets what he wants. Most people would say that he sinned. In reality, his low affective intelligence was unable to act in a socially responsible way and succumbed to his immediate egocentric needs.

Affective intelligence is largely formed after birth. The impact of a hostile social environment forces us to numb our affective intelligence. We dissociate from the palpable interpretation and conform to the unpleasant social demands on us to avoid even greater harm. In many cases, we have no ability to conform. Things are done to us without our understanding or approval, and we can do nothing but suffer. In some cultures, newborn children are submerged in ice water. In other cultures, the ears of baby girls are pierced with rings, and the penises of boys are circumcised within days of birth. And in the most advanced cultures, numerous injections are made into the child's body to test her blood or to immunize her within hours of birth. The child hurts and dissociates from her affective intelligence. After several such incidents, her affective intelligence stops developing appropriately, and she is destined to have reduced affective intelligence for the rest of her life.

Low affective intelligence is often associated with compensatory techniques. One of them is acquisition of vast semantic knowledge. For this reason, a genius is a man with very limited affective intelligence. Also the spectrum of his interests can be limited to one or a few areas. Some exceptional geniuses have diverse interests and seem to understand everything, but lack the most basic judgment in affective topics and human matters. Not surprisingly, a person with a low AQ tends to seek social positions of power as a leader or manager. In general, high performance, high creativity, and dominance over people, things, and the whole environment are expressions of low affective intelligence. Just as frequent is self-centered attitude in the form: If I can do it, then anyone can do it. Also common is belief in one's limitless abilities, which is expressed as: Nothing is impossible. This mentality prods an individual to solve problems at any cost, but gives him no incentive to prevent problems from happening. The subject lacks objectivity and empathy, and judges the world from a viewpoint of boundless optimism or by relying on his personal experience. Interestingly, most cases of such attitudes reveal that the person is self-destructive or incompetent.

A reduced AQ typically shows as a difficulty with compromising, sensible negotiations, weighing pros and cons, and accepting other people's ideas. Belief in one's superior abilities or in outright perfection in everything the person does is an inseparable quality of low affective intelligence. For example, Adolf Hitler claimed that had he stayed in the art school, he would have been as famous as Picasso. Similar mentality was exhibited by Napoleon. He believed that he was a genius who was naturally destined to control everything in his environment, from garbage collection to religious beliefs. Both men were driven by their pathology and cared neither about their personal well-being nor about their countries. In one way or another, both men were detached from reality. And this detachment from the real world and from things that are important for life is one of the most telling indicators of reduced affective intelligence. Interestingly, one of these murderous psychopaths is considered a national hero, while glorification of the other is likely to land an admirer in prison.

An interesting aspect of undeveloped affective intelligence shows in sports and games. Already toddlers grab all kinds of small objects and place them in holes. This mental drive is transformed in later years into delivering a ball to a designated area. As adults, the subjects may spend countless hours trying to perfect this feat or watching others do so. Furthermore, this unproductive activity is perceived as the most important thing in the world.

Another prominent indicator of low affective intelligence is difficulty with quality. Depending on the degree of neuropsychological damage, a person may not be able to do quality work or recognize quality in products, artistic expressions, or services. The inability to do quality work is commonly accompanied by impatience and impulsive behaviors. In extreme cases, the subject may purposefully seek low-quality products, services, or relationships, and revel in them. Some individuals even modify a high quality product and essentially degrade it to make it compatible with their perception of beauty and quality. The poor results are often justified as being fun, exciting, challenging, interesting, or simply better.

Poor affective intelligence is commonly manifested as intolerance and domineering attitude. Psychopaths tend to be incapable of tolerating different and opposing views, and at the same time try to force their beliefs onto others or persecute nonbelievers. Religions of all types have provided countless examples of this expression of pathology. People have been burned alive, stoned to death, imprisoned, sent to exile, expelled from high social positions, or fined by courts for not accepting socially mandated form of pathology. The Catholic church, for example, claimed until 1975 that the earth was the center of the universe. Any differing opinions were persecuted, and the hapless objectors often paid with their lives for not being delusional like everyone else.

Subjects with low AQ tend to find each other and often form large teams of experts, workers, activists, or professionals. These people tend to share the mentality for impatience and sloppy work. Working fast and getting results quickly (regardless of quality, safety, reliability, or long-term prosperity) is the unifying theme. This deficit is particularly prominent in the restaurant business, where owners, cooks, and waiters with a poor AQ go under, but those with a higher AQ prosper. In general, people with a low AQ look for shortcuts, simplifications, bending of rules, and other devices to avoid quality work. Doing something properly and responsibly seems to trigger an aversive reaction in such individuals, and they usually cannot cope with the ensuing mental struggle. Some subjects with this mentality have a strong belief that they need not do quality work if certain conditions apply. How these mental approaches work is truly striking:

For example, there is a car accident. Two motorists stop to help. One is a man with a low AQ, and the other man has a normal AQ. The normal man gets his first aid kit and cleanses the wounds of the person injured in the accident. The affectively dumb man sees the process and objects: "You do not have to disinfect the wounds. It is a waste of time." The other man says, "Disinfecting a wound is standard medical care. It should be done always." And the dumb subject replies, "You are no doctor. If you want to talk about proper treatment of a patient, you should first get a medical license."

A related mentality is exhibited by criminals who are robbing a bank. They believe that they do not have to follow social rules, because they are already operating outside the law. As a consequence of this belief system, they leave the bank speeding, not signaling lane changes, not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, running through red lights, driving in the wrong direction, etc. Naturally, they attract the attention of the police at the most inconvenient time. Instead of blending with the crowd, the robbers advertise their presence and identity.

The gist of the above examples can occur in various environments, but the key issue is that the affectively dumb man feels free not to do a quality job if he is not a professional, or when he perceives his work as illegal, or when he believes that he is just an employee, or when he approaches the activity with the idea that he will only exert the minimum required effort. With the same attitude, the dumb man also reacts to quality and responsibility in his personal life. He may believe that he does not need to put on the seat belt if he only drives within the city limits. Or he may believe that he does not have to stop at a red traffic light if he is familiar with the intersection. Similarly, the feeling of familiarity gives him a moral right to drive at 50 mph in a residential area. Familiarity and previous experience reassure the man that his factually dangerous or reckless behavior is normal, acceptable, and proper. It always worked for him in the past, and the man sees no reason to change his behavior now.

Another common trait of a man with a low AQ is his attitude toward minimizing and economizing. He only tends to meet minimum requirements and ignores safety margins or long-term reliability. He buys a prominently advertised One-Tonne Rope and believes that he can load it with one tonne. He refuses to acknowledge the fact that the actual rated load is only 950 kg and that he should not use any load higher than 750 kg to ensure sufficient safety margin.

Similarly, a subject with low affective intelligence will disregard personal safety if he recognizes that the minimum requirement is being satisfied. He sees that a big truck with a banner "Oversize Load" is moving through a narrow alley, and he also notices that there are 2 feet of free space between the truck and the building. Any sensible person with good affective intelligence would stop and let the truck get out of the way completely. But a psychopath will squeeze himself into the narrow space, unable to wait another second. Neither his personal safety nor his interference with the traffic is able to modify his impulsive nature.

A frequent behavior of people with low affective intelligence shows as an inability to handle very negative information. A woman is told that she has a life-threatening illness, and she rejects the doctor's findings. Instead of starting her treatment, she is searching for a "second opinion" that will give her good news. With this mindset, she is an easy prey for unscrupulous practitioners who treat her serious condition, such as AIDS or cancer, with aspirin, diet, or hypnosis. They skillfully tell her what she wants to hear, and she is happy. And even if the treatment fails, she is incapable of accepting the harsh truth about her health. She still believes that by complying with inconsequential treatment regimens she can solve her serious problem. An even higher degree of pathology is exhibited by a person who is incapable of acknowledging her illness despite having countless problems in her daily life. The denial can involve both mental and physical problems, such as memory lapses, temporary loss of consciousness, hearing of voices, being grossly overweight, suffering from excessive hair loss, or having severe difficulty breathing because of heavy smoking. In essence, the subject suffers from anosognosia, which is the inability to recognize and acknowledge one's illness. The specific symptoms are usually rationalized as mild problems or are considered normal, but the person claims to feel fine overall. In addition, the problems tend to be attributed to other than the true causes. A heavy smoker may claim that her breathing problems are not caused by cigarettes, but by the dry air in the region. A heavy drinker may say that her blackouts are not caused by alcohol, but by working too hard.

Similar distancing from real problems is also done when solving technical issues. A man is told that his house has developed serious structural cracks and will require major repairs. The man does not want to hear and face the news. He paints over the cracks, plants flowers around the house, and covers the driveway with a concrete slab. His improvements have no effect on the structural integrity of the house, but this is how far he is able to go. He cannot attack the main problem head on. The only possibility that he will ever get rid of the problem is by removing the problem from his life. He may sell the house or he may have it torn down and a new house built from scratch.

By contrast to these extreme cases of psychopathology, simple lack of understanding of or dedication to quality is not easy to recognize in highly functional people with reduced affective intelligence, such as some doctors, engineers, or scientists. These individuals tend to pursue quality only in those aspects that are specifically required by their occupations. The professionals meet just the minimum requirements and are prone to do a sloppy job otherwise. Surprisingly, the experts are proud of their overall performance. For example, a surgeon whose patient dies may feel very pleased with his performance during the operation. He is unable to see that his great expertise has killed the patient. His interest is only in the procedure. Survival of the patient is not his problem. As far as he is concerned, he did his job, and being dead is the patient's flaw. Just as striking manifestation of pathology is shown by a surgeon who cannot "understand" the anger of a patient who discovers a forgotten scalpel inside his body. The doctor thinks: If the naive patient truly understood how difficult the operation was and how much expertise was required, the patient would have to excuse such a minor imperfection.

Deficits in affective intelligence also show in the way we use language. For several decades now, sexism and political correctness have shaped how we speak and write. The resulting constructs may produce logical incongruities of animation, meddling, telepathy, or other forms. A few examples follow:
  • A viewer looks at ten inkblots, one at a time, and describes what they see. (Science Daily, Aug. 1, 2009). Never underestimate inkblots. They have 20/20 vision.
  • If, however, that person learns from their mistakes, changes their behavior, and begins making good decisions, they should be respected both for their judgment and adaptability. http://www.krisandsusanna.com/Writing/Intelligence.htm. And they should also be respected for their logically and grammatically correct sentences.
  • Did transplant doctor hasten a patient’s death in order to procure their organs? http://elfninosmom.wordpress.com /2008/03/05/. Maybe. The nice part of it is that the doctor leads by personal example.
  • They continually treat the patient until they die of something else. interhealth.org.au/index.php?option =com_content. There you go. As a doctor, you never know what kills you.
  • Some doctors may not like that and will do unethical things like over sedate a patient until they die. http://kaiserpapersblog.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_archive.html. Yes, some doctors do evil until their deaths.
  • Doctors are required to stay by the patient until they die. www.mult-sclerosis.org/news/.../EuthanasiaNetherlands.html. No wonder only 2% of US medical school graduates become clinicians and treat patients.
The deficit of thinking within a larger context is apparent in the question Are you a good person? A man or woman with low affective intelligence does not even pause to digest the question and immediately blurts out, "I am a terrific person!" The answer manifests egocentric belief-based reasoning and inability to see the issue objectively. Any person with a high AQ would probably think what the question means and realize that the question and answer are very complex. The issues are:
  • Am I good? From whose viewpoint?
  • Am I good? In comparison with whom?
  • Am I good? What are the criteria for being good?

The failure of people with reduced affective intelligence to acknowledge the whole picture involves not just narrow focus on one aspect and ignorance of everything else, but also shows as an inability to process events by considering the past, the present, and the future. Most subjects only focus on the present and are unable to see the whole scope of events. For example, a person with low affective intelligence learns that June was the rainiest month on record and, based on this information, dismisses the official claim that the year has been the driest since weather monitoring started. The person may think: How can this be the driest year? My basement is still wet. And how can this be the driest year when no month has been the driest? This kind of mentation hints that the subject is incapable of correctly drawing general conclusions from details and specific information.

Reduced semantic intelligence is usually not an issue, and a man can get along just fine when his SQ is a little lower than the SQ of his peers is. By contrast, a low AQ leads to very different effects. AQ tends to be not just a little lower, but dramatically lower in some people. They may have high SQ, which allows them to get good jobs, but they totally fail in personal lives and relationships. The subjects tend to be dominated and misused. This is especially a problem for women, but men with low affective intelligence like to dominate others. The physiological differences of gender-based intelligence are explained in the Author's work.

A fascinating property of reduced affective intelligence (
psychopathy or psychopathology) is that it can be both inclusive and exclusive. A woman may believe that her husband is cheating when he is faithful, or she may believe that he is faithful when he cheats. Similarly, a person may believe in nonexistent and baseless "facts," such as God, WMDs in Iraq, or guilt of an innocent murder suspect, but rejects tangible facts associated with global warming, looming economic crisis, or the inevitability of a military defeat in a losing war. Those who hold contrary opinions are often accused of being uninformed, unqualified, or pseudoscientific. The reason for the discourse is defective affective reasoning of the thinker. In his understanding, he is right, and those who oppose him must be wrong and dumb. If the thinker had deficits in semantic intelligence, his circuits of affective intelligence would be able to acknowledge the problem. But when his affective intelligence is poor, he fails to recognize the flaws in his reasoning and believes that he is right.

Some people with low affective intelligence become machines. They live for the pursuit of a goal and for the satisfaction of their intellectual curiosity, but ignore their somatic and emotional needs. An example is a servant who believes that his purpose in life is to satisfy the needs of his king. Another example is a theoretical physicist who believes that the only thing that matters in life is the discovery of the secrets of the universe. The social impacts of low affective intelligence can be profound:

  • Low AQ degrades social mentality. Harmful customs, such as circumcision, are embraced by people with a low AQ. These people also readily submit to the abusive powers of the state and society. If the state decides to increase the taxes, people with a low AQ are likely to accept the ruling without objection.
  • Low AQ has major impact on science and technology. NASA engineers did not believe that a piece of foam flying near the speed of sound could puncture the wing of the space shuttle. The possibility was rationalized with personal beliefs and assumptions. In reality, the engineers manifested belief-based reasoning, which normally results from dissociation and a low AQ. Another manifestation of a low AQ is the whole concept, the enormous complexity, poor reliability, and vulnerability of the space shuttle. As usual, human considerations were excluded from the design, and the vehicle had no crew escape mechanism. Russian space ships are much simpler, allow cosmonauts to escape from the vehicles, are cheaper, and actually work.
  • Low AQ prevents a person to behave in socially responsible ways. Theft, murder, rape, torture, war, and other criminal activities are considered morally acceptable if they benefit the perpetrator. These beliefs are widespread. The Geneva Convention has even set standards for killing one another. The inherent evil and pathology of wars has not been recognized by the signatories. They believe that their ways are humane, moral, logical, and sensible.
  • Low AQ results in consumerism, excessive shopping, and living beyond one's means.
  • Low AQ makes people do inhumane activities that are considered patriotic, such as support of the state in persecution of minorities or support of the state in an unjustified aggressive war.
  • Low AQ causes that people are drawn to symbolism and symbolic activities that lack substance. For example, people may manifest their patriotism in words and public display of their beliefs, but have no interest in building or defending their countries in real terms. Symbolism can come in many forms. The national flag can be used to express patriotism; the cross can be used to manifest religious beliefs, and jewelry in the shape of the heart can express that one is in love. Also words, dates, numbers, and places have these symbolic powers in some people.
  • Low AQ shows in twisted values. A person with $50,000 in the bank may choose to spend the money on a flashy car, rather than on his college education.
  • Low AQ can easily allow a person to misdirect his anger against innocent parties if others label the parties as bad.
  • Low AQ usually results in excessive multiplication and no worry about the future. In addition, low AQ may allow a person to continue multiplying when the problem of overpopulation becomes apparent.
  • Low AQ produces behavioral inconsistency. Similar conditions can lead to different behavioral responses or mental attitudes at different times. There are also different attitudes toward identical acts done by oneself versus acts committed by others.

Some people might wonder which is better to have: high SQ or high AQ? The dilemma cannot be answered in an unbiased way because each type of intelligence affects a person's mentality and approach to life. A person with a high SQ and a low AQ will strongly favor high SQ. A successful doctor, professor, or engineer will not even consider AQ useful or will strongly believe that his AQ is intact. How else could he have become a success had he not had a high SQ as well as high AQ? Notice that his type of intelligence defines his concept of success. Similarly, psychologists who have a vested interest in AQ claim that a CEO who has a low AQ cannot be a successful manager. They want him to take their courses so that he can improve his AQ. In reality, a person with a high AQ would never want to be a CEO because the stressful controlling lifestyle is not something a person with a high AQ wants. An opposite is a man with a high SQ and meddlesome attitude, such as a farmer who uses man-made fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. The farmer's produce looks perfect and is selling like hot cakes. By contrast, a farmer who uses natural methods has produce that has blemishes, and he struggles to survive. Obviously, the chemical farmer must be much smarter. And not just the farmer is smart, but also the manufacturer of the chemicals, and the shoppers who want the good-looking chemical produce.

A man with a high AQ and a low SQ may seem like a loser in a society that is mentally skewed the other way. He does not get vaccinated every winter. He suffers through illnesses. He does not take a pill to relieve some symptom, but lives with the pain. He does not drive a car, but walks and strains his body. He is obviously a loser in every way. High SQ is so much superior than AQ is. Where would humanity be if we did not have high SQ? We would still be killing each other with bows and arrows. Thanks to high SQ, we can now kill other people just by pushing a few buttons. Long live high SQ!


Semantic intelligence gives a person insight and the ability to solve diverse problems. In addition, semantic intelligence focuses attention, promotes curiosity, and acts as a magnifier of the driving cognitive forces that are behind these abilities. Reduced SQ is particularly noticeable in math, statistics, accounting, scientific disciplines, software engineering, aerospace, medicine, chemistry, and genetic research. A person with a low SQ would probably have a problem becoming good in these disciplines, but not always. Some people are able to offset their reduced SQ with improved AQ and compensatory approaches. For example, a person with a low SQ may not be able to mathematically solve differential equations, but may employ a graphical method to get an approximate result. People with low SQ and high AQ are often capable of acquiring deep factual understanding of physical or social phenomena, while people with high SQ and low AQ may fail to comprehend the deeper practical meaning of the semantically obtained results.

A person who loses semantic intelligence in adulthood because of a traumatic brain injury may develop depression and may lose interest in solving problems. This depression is of a different type than the depression affecting adults severely abused in childhood. A man with lesions to neural systems of semantic intelligence is disappointed and frustrated that he cannot do what used to be automatic mental activity in the past. After many attempts that produce no results, the man may give up trying. He is not truly depressed. He can be happy, but is not excessively curious or driven to do mentally challenging things for fun. However, good motivation to do things and to solve problems can overcome the deficit in semantic intelligence. If an activity has a perceived purpose or is found emotionally rewarding, the man can solve problems very well and even superbly. But the preferred approaches to problem solving will likely be different from those taken by a man with a high SQ and a low AQ. By contrast to this form of depression, a victim of severe childhood abuse tends to develop deep depression that manifests no interest in living. She is neither content nor driven to change her mental disposition. The person becomes largely indifferent to the happenings in the outside world or in one's mind, and focuses on one's physical needs. This is the nature of somatization.


The above consequences of low affective intelligence show that affective intelligence is needed to prevent psychopathology when deciding newly encountered issues. When affective intelligence is lacking, affective habits control human behavior. Habits reflect cumulative life experiences and develop under the influence of the environment or are shaped by one's thoughts. When affective intelligence is engaged continuously, also habits shaped by one's own thoughts are good. But when affective intelligence is low or is activated rarely, habits produced by one's thinking reflect deficits. Thus, a person can have a blend of good and bad habits. A child who grows up in an environment with plenty of bad habits may easily overcome them if his affective intelligence is high and he is able to differentiate right from wrong. In theory, a child whose parents smoke may not become a smoker thanks to his good affective intelligence.

Thanks to environmental influences, even a person with poor affective intelligence may exhibit good handling of social and personal issues that are processed habitually. Surprisingly, some people with very high SQ and education, but usually with poor AQ, are able to solve very complex technical problems, but fail to understand simple concepts. The subjects have noticeable deficits in their habitual responses. Since simple problems are normally handled by habits, higher intelligence (either semantic or affective) is not activated when habits are supposed to be good enough to negotiate easy tasks. The practical impact is that some experts, doctors, scientists, engineers, researchers, economists, or politicians grossly misunderstand basic relationships in semantic areas. What the lack of good habits does to human behavior is best explained on examples.

  • A prominent rocket scientists can solve challenging problems of space travel, but makes a basic mistake when converting miles to kilometers. He may get a result that 1000 miles is equal to 100 kilometers and is unable to notice that the conversion makes no sense.
  • A math student can easily solve differential equations, but is unable to calculate in his head how much is 500/5 without using a calculator. His mind may produce the wrong answer and a belief that it is correct.
  • A good car maker can produce the best car in the world, but does not understand that he cannot make profit when he sells the car below the production cost.
  • A smart doctor knows everything about the human body, but treats a patient with a known poisonous substance, unable to figure out that such gross abuse of the human body must somehow affect the organism.
Deficits of intelligent habits are relatively uncommon and tend to show only in a few percent of people with exceptionally high SQ. Unfortunately, these few people are often leaders in their fields.


Belief-based reasoning is a cognitive deficit produced by several factors. An important aspect of belief-based reasoning is dramatic reduction in affective intelligence. A second factor is noticeably reduced SQ. This may be a selective and intermittent deficit, and may be found even in university professors. A third factor is loss of touch with reality. The affected subject often fails to notice a discrepancy between belief and reality. If such discrepancy is pointed out by others, the subject tends to ignore it, minimize it, reject it as unfounded, or refuse any discussion about it. In extreme cases, the subject finds criminal any statement that is contrary to his belief. This pathological intolerance forms the backbone of racism, perversion, sedition, and blasphemy laws. The underlying cause is pathology of the brain. As in the case of schizophrenia, facts, reason, and science are irrelevant. The brain-damaged person has an internal reference of reality in his mind, and any attempts to challenge his beliefs are likely to fail. The problem is not caused by poor education, but by the operating mode of the surviving mind.

A person with poor AQ and strong beliefs operates within the confines of his mental world. Anything that disagrees with his belief is rejected. Such a person easily becomes offended by statements that are contrary to his core values. He will be quick to say that a statement is false, fabricated, or an outright lie (because it it offensive). Similarly, he will be quick to reject scientific findings that disagree with his needs and desires. The scientific study must be bad science (because he did not get what he expected).

In general, belief-based reasoning is manifested in people's attitudes toward complex or controversial issues. A man with a low AQ who relies on his beliefs may say:

  • I believe his explanation because he is a Nobel laureate.
  • I believe it because the President said it.
  • I believe it because it was published in a professional journal.
  • It cannot be true, because it defies common sense (because I don't believe it).
  • I will wait what other's say, and then decide what to believe.
  • I believe it because 99% of all people do. So many people cannot be wrong.
  • I believe the earth is flat because it is a fact.
  • I believe there are angels in heaven because the Bible says so.
As the statements show, poor affective intelligence is abundant in believers in the supernatural. Because of this association, some people might think that atheists should have high AQ. In reality, most atheists have low AQ. The least religious countries of the world (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) offer ample examples of poor behaviors by individuals and whole societies. On the individual level, intrafamilial abuse of children in these countries is just as common as in other parts of the world. On the state level, the countries fail to protect themselves against harmful immigration just as miserably as the religious Italy, Spain, or USA do. Another common deficit shows in the fight against serious crime. A guy called Breivik murdered over 70 people in Norway, but he has not been executed. His maximum punishment is 21 years imprisonment. And while in prison, the nation pays for his college education. So, religiosity should be viewed only as a specific expression of mental pathology. Lack of religiosity does not preclude the existence of pathology in other forms.


Different problems require different approaches. The activated type of intelligence depends on the nature and difficulty of the existing challenge. If habits are good enough to solve a problem, they are applied unconsciously. The person is unaware that any thinking or effort has been made to negotiate a task. Habits are engaged to walk, to brush your teeth, to tie your shoe laces, or to drive your car. But before these tasks were learned as habits, it took a lot of conscious effort, frustration, and trial and error to fulfill the goals. This is so because intelligence is activated when the events of life are new or difficult to resolve by means of the existing habits. In problems where precision, many details, or boundless imagination matter, semantic intelligence is the obvious choice. And affective intelligence excels when a goal is to be achieved with incomplete knowledge. Affective intelligence relies on previous life experiences and makes plausible forecasts in a reasoning process that is commonly called heuristic approach. The solution is only approximate, but is a good strategy for handling a difficult and poorly understood problem. Global warming and climate change are outstanding examples that heavily employ affective intelligence in a healthy mind. There are too many unknowns in these phenomena, but heuristic approach can make them understandable to the mind.

Lack of affective intelligence results in compensatory engagement of semantic intelligence or habits. Habits tend to follow daily routines as usual. The typical responses are: The earth has always had warm and cold periods. The polar ice will never melt. Humans will always be able to grow enough food. The responses reflect habitual belief-based reasoning and inability to foresee new problems. The default conclusion is that things will be the same as always. A second important feature is minimization of the issues by focusing on just a few aspects of the possible consequences. The whole problem of rising temperatures is reduced to the believed ability of humans to grow food. All other likely consequences of global warming are disregarded.

Absence of affective intelligence in combination with busy habitual thinking and semantic processing of information leads to a reasoning process known as rationalization. Habitual thinking is insufficient to grasp the key aspects of a problem correctly, as is discussed above. Engagement of semantic intelligence casts this deficit in a pseudo-scientific format that appears superficially sound. Typical statements that reveal rationalization include the following: We have been collecting satellite data for only 30 years; this is nothing in comparison with the age of the earth. There is no proof that a few years of increased temperatures will not be followed by a cool down. We need to conduct more studies to find out exactly what is happening with the climate. So what if the arctic sea ice is only half its thickness. A few data mean nothing. We need to watch the development in the entire arctic for at least a hundred years. Besides, the Antarctic ice has been growing. Repeat the measurements, make them more accurate, and run a detailed scientific data analysis. It is unreasonable to spend trillions of dollars to counter global warming that may not exist. We need to dispel these alarmist calls; we need better science; we need more ... rationalization.


Some leading authorities on affective intelligence believe that the ability to read emotion in oneself and others is an inseparable component of affective intelligence. This notion is incorrect. True affective intelligence does not need emotions. A person with well-developed affective intelligence can determine in advance whether some act would make others feel unhappy or hurt. There is no need to evoke emotions first and only then associate the effect with cause.

When dealing with people, knowledge of the mental world of specific individuals is important, but the most influential aspect is being able to see things from the viewpoint of the affected person. It is often enough to consider how I would feel if I were treated in a certain way or if something happened to me. Being able to put oneself in the shoes of another is a mental process of advanced affective intelligence. If a person is capable of this mental projection, he or she is usually able to make sensible corrections that mitigate the impact on the affected subject. But it is not true that a person who happens to choose the appropriate action is automatically able to comprehend the affective effects or that he has good affective intelligence.

Another aspect of pathology in disguise is prominent in social affairs. Many psychologists believe that the ability to persuade, motivate, and lead people toward a goal is a manifestation of high affective intelligence. In reality, such ability often manifests severe pathology of the leader. For example, Alexander the Great was able to quell discontent and persuade his army that they should not return to Greece but should continue seizing additional lands. In the end, he killed himself and 80% of his soldiers. Nowadays, in times of severe economic deficits, the American president is trying to persuade the nation that we must continue and escalate our military engagement in the same part of the world where Alexander the Great and his army were defeated by their stupidity. These examples manifest that the ability to gain supporters is not a reflection of affective intelligence. The goal and the consequences of the action determine whether the driving force is psychopathology or advanced affective intelligence. Almost universally, a psychopath pays all his attention to a grandiose but unimportant goal while ignoring the real problems.

Most people believe that psychopaths are bad people. Surprisingly, psychopaths often do much social good and help others. This behavior is attributable to proper semantic intelligence. Concurrently, the person harms self or his significant others. This warped sense of righteousness is caused by poor affective intelligence. For example, a doctor works long shifts and saves the lives of many people, but then he comes home and rapes his daughter. A common citizen helps illegal immigrants to settle in his country, but he is not not bothered by the detail that he robs his children of their inheritance by giving the land to foreigners. Similarly, a compassionate woman marries a prisoner because she is sorry for his suffering, but ignores the detail that he is serving a life sentence for murdering his wife. Or a person joins the Peace Corps to help the poor of the Third World, but is raped in the foreign land or dies of malaria in the process.


Intelligence, similarly as consciousness, has been giving scientists headaches for some time. The overall intelligence has been very difficult to define. No definition to date seems to capture all behavioral aspects. Affective intelligence further complicates the problem. It is unclear to scholars which parts of the brain produce affective intelligence, and how this faculty interacts with emotion and reason. Any sensible solution to the conundrum will require thorough understanding of the function and cognitive architecture of the human mind. Until these issues become understood by scientists, many false claims are likely to be made about intelligence. For example, Ray Kurzweil, a leading American thinker, expects that machines implanted in people's brains will improve intelligence [4]. Maybe so. A man who voluntarily decides to have a machine implanted in his brain would almost certainly benefit because having some machine-made intelligence is better than having none of his own.

The key problem of the proposed approach to boosting intelligence with a smart machine is that the total intelligence quotient (TQ) is conceptually (not strictly mathematically) represented as

TQ = SQ x AQ.

Or, expressed in words, intelligent = smart x wise.

SQ has values from 0 to about 200 in the most capable people and reflects how smart a person is. By contrast, affective intelligence can acquire negative values and indicates how wise a person is. Hence, the formula for TQ reveals that total intelligence cannot be increased by increasing SQ with the help of artificial intelligence produced by machines. The reason is that psychopathology (willingness to have machines implanted in one's brain) inherently has negative values. Boosting the man's SQ will only make the recipient's total intelligence more negative and turn him into a better psychopath.

Some people might argue that increased SQ improves checks of reality and better interprets the world. Indeed, this idea is correct. High semantic intelligence is approaching the real-life performance of high affective intelligence. But this is only true in immediate issues of the day. When it comes to strategy, philosophical approach, and broad long-term vision in semantic matters, the subject has serious reasoning deficits. Anyhow, because of his exceptional SQ, he rises to positions of power and influence. In turn, he is perceived as an authority who knows what he is doing. The broad masses with low SQ cannot even dream about approaching his genius. So, he is acknowledged as an expert, and his acts are not questioned. That is where the danger lies. The looming disaster is only a question of time.


Intelligence depends on one's ability to associate cause with effect or to correctly comprehend naturally occurring relationships between interacting entities. If cause agrees with effect, we recognize the relationship as logical. Similarly, if something agrees with our real-life experiences, the phenomenon is considered logical. It is logical that streams flow downhill, that trees grow upward, that the sun rises and sets, and that seasons change. These logical associations are acquired after repeated exposures to the mentioned phenomena. By contrast, single or infrequent phenomena do not typically result in logical associations. The events are only classified by the mind when there are at least two occurrences of the same kind. In addition, there may be exceptions to the logical expectations. Most people quickly learn that a green apple is not ripe and tastes bad. But there are also types of apples that are green even when ripe. Thus, rather than rejecting a whole category of green objects, an intelligent mind is able to distinguish exceptions. An autistic child has defects in this ability and predominantly makes logical associations only by categories. And a schizophrenic during a psychotic episode draws logical conclusions very poorly, whether they involve exceptions or categories.

The logical can often be understood by semantic intelligence alone, but the level of affective intelligence determines how the human mind handles atypical, unique, or hypothetical experiences. High affective intelligence can accept that there could be exceptions to a certain general phenomenon, but low affective intelligence tends to reject such a notion. For example, the statement that some African aborigines have blue eyes may cause a person with a low AQ to become uncontrollably enraged by the stupid idea, but a person with a high AQ is likely to ask questions to learn more. The intelligent subject keeps his mind open and explores the topic in detail, rather than jumping to a foregone conclusion. Only when sufficient information is at hand, does the intelligent person make a decision. Surprisingly, a man with a low AQ not only vehemently rejects something he does not believe in, but he also readily accepts false statements that agree with his belief system and his mindset. For example, George Bush's administration jumped to the conclusion that they had discovered Saddam Hussein's mobile chemical weapons factories even before the two vehicles in question were inspected. It turned out that the vehicles were used to launch weather balloons, and nothing more. The administrators desperately wished for their totally unsubstantiated belief to be true. They wished for it so much that they accepted their wish as reality. And from this position they informed the world. The reason for the concocted reality was deficit in reality checking in the minds of the administrators. Since the issue was earthly and could have been easily verified as true or false, the self-deception only rose to the level of belief-based reasoning. Or, stated from the position of a believer: I believe; therefore, it must be true. Had the verification of the belief been physically impossible and the only way to decide whether true or false would have been by means of reasoning, the whole issue could have risen into the sphere of the supernatural.

The supernatural arises from belief-based reasoning and is supported by a whole set of cognitive categories. Consequently, the belief system is very resistant to changes. Dismantling the false ideas of the supernatural one-by-one cannot succeed, because the categories of the belief system and the modes of information processing remain intact. As a result, any discredited religious idea is immediately replaced with another illogical concoction produced by defective reasoning. For example, the traditional religious belief that the earth is flat has been shown to be false, but this fundamental change has done nothing for believers to help them comprehend the illogical nature of their beliefs. Likewise, the idea that heaven is in the sky has been discredited by modern science, but this detail does nothing to affect a believer's cognitive schemes. Similarly, the Christian idea that there is no evolution directly contradicts the idea that God created only two people, Adam and Eve, who were Jews. Today there are many racial and ethnic groups on earth, but this discrepancy between belief and reality does not bother the minds of believers. How such a belief system works is perhaps best manifested in people with schizophrenia, which is associated with a high degree of belief-based reasoning.

The above paragraph does not use the label illogical correctly. People who lack affective intelligence are not mentally ill. Their mental functions and brain structures work normally. You can ask any schizophrenic, and he will truthfully respond: I am not crazy! He may be scared and frantic as you tell him that there is something wrong with his mind. By contrast, a
man with synesthesia is likely to become angry and confrontational at the slightest suggestion that his mental faculties are compromised. A common man with deficient AQ is not as sensitive to his labeling. He may tolerate the labels lazy, crooked, and out of touch with reality, but becomes exquisitely upset by the label stupid. This is why the American legal system invented the libel per se law to compensate stupid people for their emotional upheaval when they are confronted with reality. However, an average
believer in the supernatural may be genuinely surprised by the thought that his logic could be incorrect. If he is well educated, he may be sure that his alleged mental deficit is, in fact, an extra ability that non-believers lack. If other believers are around, he boosts his self-confidence by relying on their support and reassurance that belief in the supernatural is no psychopathology. If anything, it is a gift from God.

So, where is the problem? We intuitively know that schizophrenics are not reasoning correctly, and yet their existing mental faculties are intact. The problem is that they have lost their ability to check reality. Without the reality-checking function performed by affective intelligence, semantic intelligence manipulates reality, produces unrestricted possibilities and scenarios, but fails to recognize that the "logical associations" are not applicable within the context of the current reality. In fact, reality of the true physical and social world becomes irrelevant and is not considered during semantic reasoning. This is typically the case of dreams. Any information encountered in the past can be utilized in dreams to generate stories, plots, and imagery in arbitrary associations because the dreaming mind is not bothered by the rules of the real world. Likewise, a meditating man spontaneously detaches himself from reality, loses perception of his body, abolishes his personal boundaries, and may experience that he (his mind) and the whole world are one.

It is clear nowadays that affective intelligence defines personal boundaries. The lowest level of personal boundaries allows major ingress into a person's body. Protection of one's persona is only activated when there is bodily harm. A higher level of affective intelligence is concerned with all needs of the subject's body. The next level deals with the peripersonal space, which lies within the reach of the limbs. And the most advanced level of affective intelligence projects personal boundaries to large distances, such as one's estate, realm, country, continent, or planet. Similar personal levels also exist in the temporal span. A low level of affective intelligence only perceives personal boundaries at the present. The next level considers short-term duration. And the highest level of affective intelligence takes into account long-term consideration that may extend beyond the life of the individual.

The problems with poorly established personal boundaries are best observable in women who were sexually abused in childhood and became prostitutes. They have almost nonexistent sense of bodily boundaries. Their sexual penetration by strangers seems normal to them. Similarly, being completely controlled by pimps in every possible way is perceived as normal. The women have very weak mental identities and boundaries. A higher affective intelligence would show as defense of one's immediate living space. The apartment, house, and especially bedroom, are personal territories that are protected against outsiders by people with better affective intelligence. Most prostitutes are lacking such boundaries. They invite strangers to their homes, feed them, sleep next to them, and have sex with them. Even higher level of affective intelligence would show as care about the public space outside one's property. Through life experiences, the surrounding territory is considered personal and own to one's psyche; the environment is inseparable from the mind. Furthermore, advanced affective intelligence correctly perceives the continuity between one's personal property and the surrounding public domain. A healthful and friendly environment is seen as essential to one's wellbeing.
A sensible person knows that a house, street, or city cannot sustain its existence without a large life-supporting space. By contrast, people with poor AQ only care about their property, but have no interest in the surroundings. Whatever happens outside the fence is of no concern to psychopaths. They see the world as it is now, and cannot visualize how it will change and affect them in the future.


Since ancient times, humans have been trying to find out whether nature or nurture determines intelligence. The answer lies somewhere in the middle. Humans are born with a predisposition for having normal human level of intelligence, and environmental stimuli determine which aspects of intelligence become developed, and which fail to materialize. The mechanism is similar to our physical abilities. All humans have some average level of speed and strength, and training after birth determines how this potential is fulfilled. But no person can run at 25 miles (40 km) per hour, and no person can lift 2000 pounds (1000 kg) of weight. Leading athletes are only seconds apart when running the marathon, and getting to the finish in 95% of the winner's time is humanly impossible. By contrast, most land mammals can run at least twice faster than humans can, and a bear has 10 times more strength per unit of weight than humans have. The numbers indicate that physical abilities of all healthy people are commensurable at birth ‒ and so is their intelligence.

Environment affects not just the development of the conscious mind, but also has major effect on skills and other unconscious faculties. It is known that very young children can produce about 200 sounds. But only those sounds that are encouraged by the environment survive and become part of the children's vocabulary. Sounds that are not fully mastered before the age of about 15 years usually cannot be learned well in adulthood when studying a second language. Another common problem is inability to learn the mother language if the learning starts late, after about the seventh year. In addition to these individual skills, intelligence can become reflective of a certain lifestyle. An Indian living in the Amazon may never be able to fully fit in the jungle of a modern city, and city people who relocate to the Amazon may never acquire the abilities, knowledge, and mentality of the aborigines. So, when we try to find out which of these two populations is more intelligent, we realize that tests cannot accomplish the goal, because there is no way to compare the different expressions of intelligence. This discourse indicates that intelligence is shaped by personal life experiences and is environment-specific.

As for the influence of heredity on intelligence, this topic is difficult to study. The problem is that even identical twins who are separated at birth are not immune to environmental influences during intrauterine development. Basic biological functions become prominent during the second trimester, and significant cognitive abilities exist during the third trimester. When twins are born, they have already spent several months in the same environment and have received identical environmental stimuli. Even if separation takes place at birth, the previous experiences are used by the mind to interpret any new experiences. This means that the initial encounters with the world are never erased and continue influencing intelligence and cognition throughout life.

Psychologists have recognized that stimulation of the brain is what determines intelligence. Although this effect is most noticeable during maturation of the brain, even adults who continue to stimulate their minds keep their intelligence at high levels. Semantic intelligence is particularly helped by increased demands on the brain. A person who grows up in Switzerland usually learns to speak German, French, Italian, and even English, because the environment provides the stimuli. A person who grows up in the arctic learns to differentiate dozens of types of snow because survival and culture provide the stimuli. Similarly, an art expert is capable of recognizing whether or not a painting is genuine or is a fake. An average person might be unable to make any classification of the painting, but the expert has paid attention to detail and is well familiar with the painter's techniques and brush strokes. Another example is juggling. An expert does it automatically, but a novice encounters countless problems with even the simplest movements. The same rules apply to cognitive abilities, such as math. Practice stimulates not only the buildup of skills, but also improves the overall intelligence in the field of interest. Even tasks that have never been tried may be solvable by means of the acquired faculties. This is so because the semantic mind not only solves the problem at hand, but also looks at other possible approaches and methods to master the topic. The broad exploration of the issue helps build faculties that are applicable even elsewhere. A mathematician usually plays chess well although he may be new to the game. Interestingly, most of these broader explorations are not specifically requested by the conscious mind; they are self-initiated by the problem-solving faculties of the brain.

As for affective intelligence, its development depends on environmental stimuli as human interactions force the mind to negotiate personal needs and social expectations. The pains and rewards of life together with self-reflection and conscience allow a man to promote his health, well-being, personal satisfaction with oneself, and acceptance by the society. By contrast, a person who learns that she is unworthy, that no one cares, and that she has to fight to meet her basic personal needs will dissociate and diminish her level of affective intelligence. An example is a woman who becomes a rock climber and disregards the significant dangers of her hobby. Even more telling is the appearance of her hands. She has broken nails and scraped skin, and yet she is ready to go out and conquer another rock. She has lost contact with her body, abuses it, and is incapable of recognizing the harm she does to herself. Another example is provided by a person who has a very demanding job. She is unable to handle the stress and dissociates from the most advanced faculties of her affective intelligence to reduce her pain. At some point, the neural breakup reaches an equilibrium and becomes proportional to the level of the stress. The surviving mind is forced to experience the harsh facts of life because no more neural splitting is possible. Even with her brain damaged and less sensitive to stress, the person does not feel happy and resorts to medications, smoking, alcohol, or drugs to reduce her suffering. The cumulative effects of the chemicals and the stress of the job lead to further, more gradual loss of neural circuits of affective intelligence. In turn, reduction of affective intelligence promotes reduced care about self, significant others, and the society in general. Acquisition of psychosomatic illnesses is guaranteed with such a lifestyle.


Intelligence is unique to complex living organisms. Only a sufficiently advanced life form that interacts with its environment can become intelligent. A physical body negotiating environmental influences is a fundamental prerequisite for development of intelligence, and especially affective intelligence. Only when the body correctly senses environmental effects, can sensible responses occur. Simple logical choices satisfy biological needs, such as feeding, safety, rest, or sleep. More advanced intelligent choices meet emotional needs. Here belongs attachment to the familiar, acceptance by others, personal happiness, self-expression, or other egocentric needs. The most advanced manifestations of intelligence still aim to benefit the human organism, but do not strictly affect an individual. They tend to be social, global, long-term, or abstract in character. The typical expressions of high intelligence are: sense of justice, empathy, and understanding of the natural world. Each of these levels of intelligence is associated with specific neural structures that operate as a system. Damage to the parts of the system results in predictable reasoning deficits. In case of a problem with semantic neural structures, the most common impact is reduced ability to solve problems. Deficits in affective circuitry typically produce psychopathology. An example is a man who only pursues his interests and does not care about anyone or anything else.


It is well known that humans are intelligent because they have large brains. Also other mammals with large brains tend to have high intelligence relative to smaller animals. The apes, dolphins, dogs, and crows are known to be fairly intelligent. But only few species are intelligent enough to recognize themselves in the mirror. A dog or a big cat can not do it. Self-recognition seems to reflect higher intelligence, but also could be indicative of higher functional organization of the brain. Some animals, such as dogs, have frontal lobes that resemble those of humans, but the canine frontal lobes may have not fully matured from the evolutionary perspective and may be missing higher degree of connectivity that only exists in man and great apes. Higher connectivity of frontal lobes is also missing in children. The human brain only becomes fully developed in adulthood. Hence, connectivity could be the main reason for the much more advanced mental abilities of the homo sapiens species relative to other animals. Nevertheless, there are other factors that shape intelligence.

Some animals with relatively small brains, such as raven or weasel have remarkable mental faculties. On the other hand, animals with huge brains, including elephant and whale, are not dramatically smarter. These examples suggest that organization of the brain, and not necessarily the total volume, is more important for intelligence. This idea is manifested even in humans. There are no statistically significant differences between the intelligence of men and women [2], even though the female brain is about 10% smaller than the male brain is [1]. The female brain seems to have the same amount of neurons as the male brain has, but the neurons are apparently packed more densely to fit into a smaller cranium [2]. How far this downscaling can be pushed is not clear. However, even hominids with small brains, such as the Homo floresiensis with mere 380 cm3 of cranial volume, were able to produce tools that are comparable to those of ancient humans. By contrast, the cranial volume of a modern man is 1350 cm3 [3]. The cranial volumetric ratio of these two species is 3.55. The sophistication of the tools made by the Homo floresiensis suggests high intelligence, but how good was it? Could it have been comparable to that of modern humans? Most scholars will be highly skeptical and will say, "No way." But the author's discoveries about the cognitive architecture, function, and performance of the human brain lead to a resounding yes! The Homo floresiensis could have been just as smart.

Human SQ is considered to be normal if it falls between 90% and 110% of the average intelligence. Psychological and neuroanatomical studies of the author indicate that even a small fraction of the human brain volume is capable of producing very high intelligence. Even if the volume of the human brain were 5 times smaller, the average intelligence could theoretically reach 90 percent in a standard SQ test. This claim is unbelievable and outrageous, but agrees with the physiology of the human brain. If the human brain were 3 to 4 times smaller, its intelligence could theoretically be just as good as the intelligence of the whole human brain is. Such a hypothetical brain would require to shed some neural structures and to change its internal connections to achieve the purported intelligence in a small volume. The reason for such a possibility is that there is redundancy in the human brain. Certain brain systems are not engaged at all times. The redundant structures do not significantly improve the overall intelligence, but allow the brain to function more effectively. Similarly, the redundant structures can be recruited to support mental operations after a brain injury. A function that would have otherwise been lost can in some cases be compensated for by the redundant neural systems. This property of the brain indicates that intelligence is not everything. Ability of the human brain to support the organism after major brain damage is just as important.


Intelligence is an important ability that allows a person to negotiate the challenges of life. But intelligence alone is insufficient to make the human organism fully functional. Somatic health and health of the peripheral nervous system are essential for optimum mental functioning. A man with frequent shooting pain in the body can have SQ and AQ of 200 each, and he will not be able to function normally. As a minimum, the illness will act as a distractor. A similar problem exists when a person has impaired basic cognitive drives, such as attention, curiosity, emotion, joy, or power of will. Traumatic brain injuries or dissociative disorders may affect any of these drives and may disrupt the ability to stay focused, to continuously perceive biographical events, to properly exercise divided attention, to enjoy an activity, to socialize, to overcome frustration and difficulties, to engage in activities spontaneously, or to project optimism, contentment, and enjoyment to the outside world.

Of particular importance to proper mental functioning is real-time attention, ability to remember priorities at the right moment, and the ability to retrieve the details of recent events. These functions closely interact with intelligence and must be intact to realize the full intelligence potential. Failure to remember what happened recently is a well-known characteristic of the absent-minded professor. He may decide to walk to school on a nice day, but on the way home may start looking for his car. Unable to retrieve the memories of the morning, he reports his car stolen, believing that he came to school as usual, in his car. When the whole misunderstanding clears up, he appears to be a fool despite having high intelligence and expert knowledge.

that require affective and intelligent thinking (that is deep understanding of things and events) include scientists, researchers, judges, or presidents. Jobs that need memory and attentional abilities along with high SQ include these professions: fighting general, pilot, emergency room doctor, air traffic controller, rocket flight manager, project manager, or an event manager. A person with an average education, SQ, and AQ, but with outstanding attentional and memory abilities, may excel in occupations requiring divided attention and quick mental responses. Jobs in this category include a cashier, customer service clerk, waiter, entertainer, bus driver, or policeman. People with low overall intelligence and poor attentional and memory abilities are best suited for jobs that do not require divided attention. Here belong various laborers, but also folk artists, artisans, story tellers, singers, writers, and similar professions that only require a specific talent or skill.


[1] Renato M.E. Sabbatini, Ph.D. Are There Differences between the Brains of Males and Females?
Retrieved November 16, 2008 from http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n11/mente/eisntein/cerebro-homens.html

[2] Diane F. Halpern. Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities. Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 2000.

[3] Ebu Gogo - Homo floresiensis. Retrieved November 16, 2008 from http://www.ecotao.comholism/hu-flor.html

[4] Helen Briggs (February 16, 2008). Machines 'to match man by 2029' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7248875.stm

[5] Patricia L. Ryan. Spirituality among adult survivors of violence: A Literature review. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 1998, Vol. 30, No. 1. Electronic version.

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Unpublished work 2008-2017 Martin Dak. All rights reserved.