“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.

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