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Models of Intelligence: Comparing Spearman and Gardner

Use the Library and other Internet resources to research Spearman's Model of Intelligence and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. Based on your findings, compare and contrast the two models. Provide several comparisons and several contrasts. Which of the two models do you feel is more in line with psychology today? Support your answer with appropriate external sources.

As with all assignments in which you are referring to someone else's writing, cite any sources used and format them according to the requirements of the APA style guide. This formatting includes, but is not limited to, the following guidelines:

Objective: Describe major perspectives of psychological science.
Apply critical thinking skills to the content of the course.
Distinguish differing schools of psychology.

Thank you.

Solution Preview

Please see response attached (also presented below), including one supporting APA resource for future reference. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE

Hi,

Interesting theories! The two opposing theories of intelligence are the one general intelligence school of thought (Spearman) and the multiple intelligences school of thought (Gardner). I have located some excellent articles to get you started on this paper (presented in the extra reading section following this response).

Let's look closer at some of the arguments below through a tentative outline, discussion and example, which will help you in choosing your position.

1. Use the Library and other Internet resources to research Spearman's Model of Intelligence and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. Based on your findings, Compare and contrast Spearman's Model of Intelligence and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences.

I am wondering where you are at with your research. I attached below some excellent articles on the two theories. Perhaps you would like to read them now.

To date, how exactly to define intelligence is still debated. There are, however, two major schools of thought on its nature and properties. The paper presented below as Example 1 examines and evaluates the two opposing theories on the nature of intelligence. The two opposing theories of intelligence are the one general intelligence school of thought (Spearman) and the multiple intelligences school of thought (Gardner). The general intelligence proponents believe that there is one factor from which all intelligence is derived (Spearman); the multiple intelligences proponents (Gardner) believe that there are different kinds of intelligence. Each theory has merit and evidence to support its claims (http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/paik.html).

Your tentative outline might look something to the effect...

I. Introduction (about ¼- 1/2 page introducing your topic and your purpose statement: The purpose of the paper is to compare and contrast two theories of intelligence, Spearman's Model of Intelligence and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences).

II. Spearman's Model of Intelligence
a. Basic Tenets and argument
b. Empirical evidence

III. Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
a. As you present Gardner's theory, begin making the comparisons with Spearman's theory that you have presented the basic tenets in the first section (i.e. Whereas Spearman argues that there is one general factor of intelligence, Gardner agues for multiple intelligences. For example, and so on...)
b. Provide empirical evidence (i.e., There is a growing body of evidence to support Gardner's theory. For example, and so on...)

IV. Conclusion (conclude with which one best fits with the psychology of today and why (i.e., It seems that Gardner's theory does a better job of explaining intelligence and has more empirical support than does Spearman/s theory. Perhaps, taken together... and so on...)

Now let's look at some information to help you fill in the above tentative outline....

Thus, Gardner argues for multiple intelligences, whereas Spearman argues for one general factor intelligence:

...that all intelligence comes from one general factor, known as g. In general, though, these are two distinct schools of thought on the nature of intelligence. The proponents of one general intelligence (Spearman) have a theory that explains the biological reasons for intelligence. Given that they see neural processing speed as the root for intelligence, their theory has an effective causal explanation. On the other hand, the theory of ...http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/paik.html

· One general intelligence does not encompass all peoples. In the example with the Brazilian street children (see example 1 below for more detail), they would most likely score poorly on an intelligence test, and be labeled with a low general intelligence. However, they are intelligent enough to be able to do all of the math that they need to know how to do. A drawback to the general intelligence school of thought is that it is heavily dependent on psychometric evaluations.

· Consequently, it cannot take into account the vast array of different talents that people have. As for multiples intelligences (Gardner), there are many theorists in that school of thought as well. Some of the theories presented by the proponents of multiple intelligences are excessive and have too many constructs to measure for example, Guilford's theory. But there are reasonable explanations of intelligence put forth by those from the school of multiple intelligences. Gardner's theory has a very clear causal explanation for intelligence, like the explanation one general intelligence. But, unfortunately, it is very difficult to pinpoint and confirm Gardner's hypotheses experimentally, because of the delicacy involved with the human brain. Sternberg's theory does not have a biological basis to it, and that detracts from its validity. But that may also be its strength. The theory does not focus on the brain and biological functions, but on different social situations. Therefore, the theory applies to different social situations and environments, as none of the other theories does. But, given that there still is a substantial debate about the nature of intelligence, and no one theory is accepted by all, there is still room for improvement on any given theory (http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/paik.html).

1. Spearman (1904) Model of Intelligence

Spearman (1904) gave persons tests of many different kinds of cognitive ability. When he examined the correlations of these tests with each other, he found that all the correlations were positive, and called this the "positive manifold." The positive manifold leads to a large first factor derived from factor analysis, dubbed general intelligence, or g. The positive manifold implies that, for example, scores on a vocabulary test will correlate positively with scores on a mathematics test. Therefore, it is unimportant which particular tests are used to assess general intelligence--they all intercorrelate highly anyway (this is called the principle of indifference of the indicator). "Positive manifold is not the same thing as the first factor or g. Positive manifold is the idea that all the variables are positively correlated. (If you think of them as all vectors in a space, they are all going out in the same quadrant.) That they are positively manifolded allows one to find a g factor on which they all have positive loadings. Not all first factors are general factors (if the data are not positively manifolded then some of the loadings on the first factor will be negative)" (W. Revelle, personal communication, December 20, 1998). http://www.personalityresearch.org/intelligence/spearman.html. Thus, he used this research as his rationale for his model of intelligence- one general ( "g" - factor) intelligence.

Does this sound reasonable?

2. Gardner's Multiple Intelligence

Unlike Spearman who is biologically based and argues for a one general factor of intelligence, Gardner continues in the tradition of Thurstone's proposal that there is no g (general intelligence) but rather multiple, distinct intelligences. Gardener proposes seven intelligences (although he does not limit the possible number)

1. Linguistic intelligence
2. Musical intelligence
3. Logical- mathematical intelligence
4. Spatial intelligence
5. Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligence
6. Interpersonal intelligence
7. Interpersonal intelligence

Additional 'candidate' intelligences are:

? Naturalistic intelligence (ability to discern patterns in nature - e.g. Darwin)
? Spiritual Intelligence - recognition of the spiritual
? Existential intelligence - concern with 'ultimate issues'

Gardener's approach to intelligence

Howard Gardner (1983, 1993, 1999) believes that we have multiple intelligences, rather than a general intelligence that underlies performance in all tasks (g). In arguing that there are distinct and separate components to intelligence Gardener offers nothing particularly new. However, what is new about Gardner's work is that he does not attempt to support his approach purely through statistical reanalysis of data (e.g. as Thurstone did), but instead he has looked at various "signs" to inform his theory of what constitutes intelligence. Gardener's multiple intelligence theory is supported by the current anti-g Zeitgeist. He also suggests that different cultures highlight certain intelligences & minimize others. This is in contrast to Spearman's idea of a one general "g factor of intelligence. http://www.aceviper.net/aceviper_net/ace_intelligence/aceviper_modern_theorists/aceviper_modern_theorists.html

Empirical Evidence: Gardener's Five Signs of an Intelligence

Gardener has examined a variety of sources in order to formulate his theory of intelligence: intelligence tests, cognition experiments, neuropsychological research, child prodigies and idiot savantes. As a result, Gardener has proposed five "signs" or criteria that he uses to identify whether an intelligence qualifies as being distinct and autonomous from other intelligences:

1. Neuropsychological evidence: isolation by brain damage:

One criterion was whether an intelligence could be isolated neuropsychologically. Gardner argues that people have multiple intelligences because they have multiple neural modules. Each module, he believes, has its own way of operating and its own memory systems. Brain damage may sometimes impair one intellectual skill whilst other skills remain at least partially intact after brain damage. For example, brain-injured musicians may have impaired speech, yet retain the ability to play music (aphasia without amusia (Hodges, 1996; Sergent, 1993).

2. The existence of individuals with exceptional talent:
Selective competence (such as idiot savants, prodigies), like selective deficits, suggests autonomy of that particular competence. In other words, the presence of extraordinary intelligence in one area suggests a distinct form of intelligence. If Mozart could write music before he could even read, then the neural systems involved in musical intelligence must be separate from those involved in language processing.

3. A distinct developmental history:
Another source of evidence for an intelligence is a characteristic developmental trajectory leading from basic and universal manifestations to one or more expert end-states. For example, spoken language develops quickly and to great competence in normal people. In contrast, while all normal individuals can count small quantities, few progress to an understanding of higher mathematics even with formal schooling (Torff & Gardner, 1999).

4. Experimental evidence:
e.g. individuals performing two different tasks at once indicate that some intelligences (or is it just abilities) operate autonomously.

5. Psychometric support:
e.g. factor analysis shows different factors in intelligence. FA generally supports the existence of two big group factors: verbal and spatial (Torff & Gardner, 1999). http://www.personalityresearch.org/intelligence/spearman.html.

See extra Reading Section below for outside sources to draw on for other comparisons.

2. Which of the two models do you feel is more in line with psychology today?

Clearly, both have their strengths and weaknesses, but with the diversity of our world today, it seems that Gardner's is more in line with the world and the psychology of today, which is rooted in explaining human behavior. However, it is somewhat controversial. So, you will have to take a position. What one makes more sense to you?

The following article make some excellent comparisons across theories for you to consider. Also see the attached file for APA format.

FINAL COMMENTS I HOPE THIS HELPS AND TAKE CARE.

EXTRA READING SECTION:

EXAMPLE 1: Article

One Intelligence or Many? Alternative Approaches to Cognitive Abilities
By Han S. Paik
Washington University

To this day, how exactly to define intelligence is still debated. There are, however, two major schools of thought on its nature and properties. This paper examines and evaluates the two opposing theories on the nature of intelligence. The two opposing theories of intelligence are the one general intelligence school of thought and the multiple intelligences school of thought. The general intelligence proponents believe that there is one factor from which all intelligence is derived; the multiple intelligences proponents believe that there are different kinds of intelligence. Each theory has merit and evidence to support its claims.

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, a French physician named Alfred Binet was ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides research and comparisons on two models of intelligence: Spearman's Model of Intelligence and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. It also explains which of the two models is more in line with psychology today. Supplemented with two exceptionally informative articles as well as an APA resource for proper referencing.

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