Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Theories Of Intelligence



No single agreed-upon definition exists for intelligence, although most accept that it is a quality of the ability to acquire and use knowledge.

1. Scientific Versus Lay Definitions
The meaning of intelligence is understood differently by psychologists and lay persons. Recent research shows that most laypersons think of intelligence as comprised of verbal ability, practical problem-solving ability, and social competence (eg. being fair with others, having a social conscience).

In contrast, experts define intelligence as including verbal ability, problem-solving ability, and practical intelligence(eg. being able to size up situations well) - but not the social competence that most laypersons apparently value.

2. Spearman's General factor
At the begtinning of the 20th century British psychologist Charles Spearman theorized that there is a general factor of intelligence, g, which functions as a source of energy for varied cognitive skills and performances. Many people also excel in particular areas of skill or talent, designated s. While s may be observed independently of a high level of g, g provides a richer foundation for s in people who have both kinds of ability.

3. Thurstone's Primary Mental Abilities
The American psychologist L.L. Thurstone (1887 -1955) relied on the finding so fearly intelligence testing to develop his idea of primary mental abilities. According to Thurstone, there are seven such abilities necessary for high-level test performance: spatial ability; perceptual speed; numerical ability; verbal meaning; memory; word fluency; and reasoning.

4. Guilford's Three-Dimensional Model
In 1967, J.P Guilford presented a three-dimensional model of intellect. Guilford depicted hissystem as a cube-shaped structure, divisible into many smaller cubes. The three dimensions of this cube-shaped model represented three categories of intelligence test items: the content of an item (eg. figures, meaning); the kind of operation the item required performing (eg. evaluating, remembering); and the product resulting from applying a particular operation to that content (eg. systems, transformations).

According to Guildford, there were four kinds of content, five possible operations, and six categories of products, yielding 120 identifiable intellectual abilities.

5. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory
In contrast with early models of Thurstone and Guilford, recent work by Yale psychologist Robert Sternberg concludes that intelligence tests are not an appropriate source of information about the nature of intelligence. Sternberg's work has emphasized the importance of real-world problem-solving and reasoning, and encompasses a broader variety of skills than these earlier theories.

Sternberg's triarchic theory of intelligence describes three kinds of intelligence: 
  • componential - Componential intelligence involves the ability to learn, acquire new knowledge, and use it effectively.
  • experiential - Experiential intelligence is illustrated by adjusting well to new tasks, using new information, and responding effectively in new situations.
  • contextual - Contextual intelligent people enhance their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, and they work to achieve a good match between their skills and their settings.
In contrast with Spearman's original concept of one kind of intelligence, Sternberg argues that an individual exhibits several intelligences, which interact and are expressed in a variety of skills and abilities.

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