IDENTITY CHECK: Are you intelligent or average?

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde

Have you ever tried questioning yourself about who you really are? Have you ever doubted your capabilities? Have you ever said “I’m the best?” Whether the answer is yes or no, let’s dig deeper to explore every granule of your inner being.

We, individuals, have our own share of ups and downs. As a result, our confidence level tend to loosen up – either in a positive demeanor or the other way around. As a matter of fact, it affects our way of thinking and how we make decisions in life.

Last October 2, 2018, we conducted a social experiment in lieu with our topic on identity construction for our comm 10 class. The experiment was conducted along the corridors of PA3 room inside the UPV Iloilo City Campus. “Average” and “Intelligent” words were the two labels placed clearly along the corridor where people can pass through. Upon passing the labeled portion of the corridor, questions were asked by the observers, until they come up with a lot of observations coming from the responses of every individual:

(1) Why did you choose such?

Mostly, we’ve receive responses like, just because that’s how I define myself or some says, “I’ve been drag by my classmates and friends.” Others honestly said that they do not consider their selves as intelligent because they have more to go. They have many rooms for improvement. And others confidently believes what they’re capable of, that’s why they choose intelligent.

(2) What made you decide to choose such?

Certain factors are to be considered to make them believe they are “average” or “intelligent” and mostly the reasons are external or it doesn’t come from within themselves. What other people think of who they are reflected to what they view themselves. For example, their grades do really matter to rate their individual intellect as well as opinions and criticisms they hear about them. Being surrounded by intelligent people makes you believe also you are part of the whole like it’s contagious especially when you’re from a family of achievers according to some respondents.

(3) Who influenced you to choose such?

People believe in what they believe they are. Hence, personal perspective was their common response to this question. They know themselves… their capabilities and limits which made them choose “average” or “intelligent.” It’s how they perceive themselves. But others’ choices were subject of peer pressure which they should be “average” or “intelligent” in order not to be different and be left out.

(4) Is that how you actually define yourself?

All of them confidently agreed on the said question. They believe that whatever influences they may have, peers or family, they would remain on their own chosen side. ” ‘Cause at the end of the day, they would want to face tomorrow with the one whom they could count on, and that would be themselves. They believed that having concrete identity would enable them to be effective in their daily lives.

Generally, People who chose the “average” side said that if they chose to be on the average side of the spectrum there will be no huge expectations for them which is quite pressuring for them to take in and they are afraid that people around the area would judge them if they chose the “intelligent” one and the crowd will be over reacting.

For the people who chose the intelligent side, they are confident enough to define themselves as intelligent ones because they are nurtured by their experiences in UP which made them stronger and smarter. Also some didnt explain why its just because they are an Isko/Iska and that being said is already enough to define themselves as an intelligent one.

More than the technical aspect of this social experiment it was conducted because a lot of people are confused about their identity which is developed not internally but externally.

The choices that each person makes are crucial in identifying what he/she truly believes. The social experiment is a reflection on people depicts themselves. The experiment only shows a glimpse of their viewpoint on how they view intelligence, if either they are qualified to call themselves with such name or not. Intelligent or average, we are still knowledgeable in our own way.

Samantha Villacorta

Kyla Villanueva

Jessa Jen Garbino

Reyban Sabordo

Glannerry Kate Salarza

Mark Estil

Identity vs. Labels: A social Experiment on UPV Community

By: Erika Xim Paola Santos, Donovan Aguilos, Marvin John Saijo, Annjie Gancita, April Magbanua

Describe yourself in one word. Beautiful? Not so beautiful. Intelligent? Not so gifted. Or let’s say, to what extent you know your being? Are you sure about your self- concept? Is the way you see yourself the same as what others perceive you? Identity versus labels. Self-concept versus self-image.

A social experiment was conducted last October 2 regarding how the UPV community define themselves- Intelligent or Average. In the corridor along the PA rooms in the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas, Iloilo City Campus, two improvised portals were made. One portal was labelled “Intelligent” and the other was “Average.” The experiment enabled the students to fully observe which portal people from the campus passed which significantly tell how they evaluate themselves. After letting the members of UPV community chose their way, a series of short and simple questions were asked to fully assess their self-concept.

From the social experiment done by the class, all respondents interviewed chose AVERAGE. When asked why they made that choice, all of them also responded the same answer – which is, they simply define themselves as average in terms of level of intellect.

There have been a lot of varied factors as to what made the respondents made their choice. One respondent said that she believes that there is way a lot more people who can be more intelligent than her, citing various academic institutions like Ateneo and UP Diliman. Another one said that he chose average since he doesn’t want people to think that he is too confident about himself and that people would expect more from him as highly intellectual. The other responses mainly stem from self-esteem such as; that their mind is already fixed on that choice since they already knew it within themselves, they want to have room for improvement for themselves, and that they think intelligence shouldn’t be a basis for knowing one’s capabilities.

We then asked the respondents as to who influenced them in making their decision. The most number of answers we got from them is that it is really a personal choice for them – that they have already have it within themselves to think that they are average people. A few portion of the respondents answered that society influenced them, which include certain situations where they have been pressured by their peers to walk through the average choice during the social experiment.

Lastly, the respondents were asked whether they might change their mind as to how they actually think of themselves, disregarding the other influencers of their choices and the simulation feel of the social experiment. Most of them still answered that they are firm with their preliminary choice, which is, average. However, three of our respondents regarded themselves as above average as to how they really think of themselves.

In the interim, the experiment attempts to show how intelligence is not about people’s perception of you, but about your own state of mind and perception of the self. The real concept of this experiment is to send a heart-warming reminder for all to rethink that we are all intelligent in our ways and this is also an attempt to restore their confidence. It did create an impact for those students who continually question their capabilities, for the teachers who ask themselves if they are truly qualified to be called one and to others too. This social experiment, however, gave rise to the issues with regards to them having low self esteem and trust on themselves that they can do it. No matter, how much society dictates you or label you as Intelligent or Average, it will be always up to you. Choose not to be intelligent or average, choose to be you.

“Average” or “Intelligent”

Do you think you’re intelligent? Or just average?

A simple question that requires an in-depth evaluation of one’s self. A line that curves one’s perspective and a question that made even the “iskolars” stop right through their tracks to ponder and reassess themselves.

In the City of Iloilo, at the famed University of the Philippines Visayas – City Campus, a Critical Perspective on Communication class conducted a social experiment that challenges the population of the University to rate their mentality by leaving them with a choice of passing through the “Intelligent” or “Average” placards placed to gate the hallway.

Many hestitated before choosing as to which placard to pass through, and a signifant number of passersby were taken aback when they were confronted by the question that requires them to evaluate themselves and their intellect.

Out of the population that walked through the placards, 10 have been interviewed by the 3rd  group of the class. Each pathways had an equal number of passersby. The five (5) that chose the “Average” placard had very similar and anticipated or predictable reasons with each other as to why they chose it.  They had low-self esteem, but they didn’t used to. Four of them responded that their “realization” to their lunacy or simplicity started when they entered college, particularly the famed University of the Philippines. The density of their academics, the difficulty they feel towards their new subjects- difficulty that they never felt during their elementary and high school years-, and the pressure from their highly-intellectual peers that made them feel like they never had a brain, that was what made them feel simple. That was what made them pass through the “Average” placard.

Meanwhile, the other five (5) who chose the “INTELLIGENT” arch stood proud and were smiling from ear to ear. It was because they perceived to be intelligent. As one respondent would say, “ I know my strengths so I know that I AM INTELLIGENT.”

They were so affected that it made them think of themselves in a different way. What we thought were innocent words became their basis of self-worth.

In line with the results that we have found, we have come to the belief that an individual’s perception of his/her intelligence is based around his/her peers. Seeing that they are in UP, presumably surrounded by intellectual people, the basis for someone to say that they are intelligent is determined by their confidence level.

Which way are you? A social experiment.

The purpose of the experiment was to determine how people evaluate themselves; whether they view themselves as intelligent or average. The experiment was conducted along the PA corridors, near Lozano Hall (Old Iloilo City Hall), located inside the University of the Philippines Visayas city campus. It was done by placing two “portals” along a narrow pathway near the PA 3 classroom. On top of one of the portals was a sign which reads “Intelligent” and another sign which reads “Average” was placed on the other portal. The results were gathered by asking an individual who has gone through one of the portals a series of questions regarding his/her decision in choosing that particular portal.

After interviewing the participants of the social experiment, we have observed that a majority of UP students and staffs chose the intelligent path mainly because they are students of UP. And as Iskolars ng Bayan, we are the chosen few to study in this prestigious university, and thus are intelligent in nature.
Furthermore, the respondents’ answers were based on how they perceive themselves whether average or intelligent. Although the results may not be as accurate as should be considering the fact that some are in a hurry and the social experiment was not at their utmost convenience.
By reflecting on the gathered information from the participants, we have arrived at an understanding that they themselves had the freedom to choose between the two without being influenced by anyone. Although when further questioned, it was revealed that their answers were influenced by external factors but they are not just aware of how their environment affect their self-perception.

Establishing one’s identity amidst all the ‘labels’ that society has put up involves a lot of effort, time, and courage. In this experiment, we therefore conclude that our respondents’ decision, choosing between the average and intelligent, is influenced by their own perception of themselves. People will always have the free will to choose between the different identities that other external factors are putting up. Yes, there may be a lot of of identities for a single person, however, it is his/her right to choose which one would he/she live up. People will always have their free will to choose who they are, what they are, and whom they would like to be in the future.


Angelo Raphael C. Nobleza, Socorro Bay H. Sarabia, Rea Mae S. Solano, Joshua Steven C. Rose, Rexelle Bless L. Velasco