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Sternberg, Spearman, and Gardner Models of Intelligence

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1. Explain the major points of the Sternberg, Spearman, and Gardner models of intelligence.

2. Discuss specific similarities and differences from one model to another.

3. Discuss which model appears to be the most comprehensive model of intellectual functioning and why. Defend your answer with data from the text and other sources, not personal opinion.

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Let's take a closer look at some information for each theory, which you can consider for your final 2-page report. I attached a diagram and additional information on Spearman's theory that might be helpful and a sample paper in APA format to refer to for your final copy.


The debate on what constitutes intelligence is ongoing today, but many theories have been proposed including three models: Spearman, Gardner and Sternberg's theories of intelligence.

1. Charles Spearman (1863-1945) - General Intelligence: two-factor theory of intelligence

According to British psychologist Charles Spearman (1863-1945), intelligence could be referred to as a general intelligence, or the g factor. He used factor analysis to investigate the scores on several mental aptitude tests, and concluded that scores on these tests were quite similar. He concluded that this meant a person who performed well on one cognitive test tended to perform well on other tests, while those who scored badly on one test tended to score badly on other. From this, he proposed his theory of intelligences as a general cognitive ability that could be measured and numerically expressed (Spearman, 1904, as cited in http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/p/intelligence.htm).

Based on his inquiry, according to Spearman's two-factor theory of intelligence, the performance of any intellectual act requires some combination of "g" (general intelligence), which is available to the same individual to the same degree for all intellectual acts, and of or "s" (special factors) which are specific to that act and which varies in strength ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution discusses aspects of three theories of intelligence: Sternberg, Spearman, and Gardner models of intelligence. Four APA references are provided. Supplemented with information on Sternberg's theory.