What is intelligence? If we go by definition alone it is ‘the capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding and similar forms of mental activity’. Most often we now associate intelligence with a high IQ.

But looking at the definition and current perception of ‘intelligence’ as we know it, we can see how they contradict each other.

What would you think, for example, if you saw someone walking down the street not particularly smartly dressed, looking down; unable to make eye contact, avoiding other people and generally looking out of their element.

I know I would presume that they are not particularly intelligent, especially compared to someone walking confidently down the street, smiling at others.

But perhaps this person has a learning disorder, such as Autism which makes them inept in social situations, but they have a brilliant mind.

People don’t go around shouting out their IQ, so we are highly likely to make a split-second decision based on social skills; the ability to engage a conversation and so on.

This would mean that someone loud and self-assured would appear smarter than someone introverted and nervous.

There is no obvious solution to this; no way to tell people to randomly spring quiz questions on a stranger to work out how intelligent someone truly is.

It’s all very well us living in a supposedly unprejudiced world, but surely there will always be barriers that prevent us from truly being able to make a judgement on someone.

So perhaps the only thing we can do now is remember that all might not be what it seems.