Explore BrainMass

Overview of several theories of intelligence.

Using the text, library, and other Internet resources, explain the major points of the Sternberg, Spearman, and Gardner models of intelligence. Discuss specific similarities and differences from one model to another. 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.

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.

Solution Preview

R. J. Sternberg's theory of intelligence is outlined in his book; Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence
1985 - Cambridge University Press.

The initial paper from which this book is developed is;
Sternberg, R. J. (1984). Toward a triarchic theory of human intelligence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Vol 7(2) 269-315.

The abstract from this paper reads;
Contends that the triarchic theory of human intelligence comprises 3 subtheories: Contextual theory relates intelligence to Subject's external world; componential theory relates intelligence to S's (Subject's) internal world; 2-facet theory relates intelligence to both the external and internal worlds. The normal course of intelligent functioning entails adaptation to the environment. When the environment does not fit S's values, aptitudes, or interests, an attempt at environmental fit may be made. When shaping fails, a new environment is selected to provide a better fit. Efficacious automatization of processing allows allocation of additional resources to the processing novelty in the environment. Metacomponents of intelligence control S's information processing and enable S to monitor and later evaluate it. It is suggested that triarchic theory is empirically testable.

What this means is; there are three factors of intelligence-the external factors, the internal factors and how the person combines internal and external. These factors are learned and adapted to the environment the person grows up in.

Spearman's theory of intelligence is outline in his book;
Spearman, C., Spearman, C. E. (1973).The Nature of" intelligence" and the Principles of Cognition. New York, Arno Press and in this very old book;
Spearman, C. (1932). The abilities of man. London, UK,
Spearman was one of the first psychologists to attempt to quantify intelligence on some scale. Basically, Spearman proposed that there was a general ability or "g" factor that could be measured and was existant in some form in every human. The central idea of his theory is that this "g" factor is a single ...

Solution Summary

Intelligence was once thought to be an elusive construct, difficult to measure in psychology. Psychologists such as Sternberg, Gardner and Spearman had competing theories on what intelligence was and how it could be measured. The solution describes their theories, provides references for the complete theories and suggests some additional theories on intelligence.