Memory, Thinking, and Intelligence Essay Example

Major points of R.J. Sternberg’s “Traiarchic theory of human intelligence”

“The traiarchic theory of human intelligence provides a broader basis for understanding intelligence than do many, if not most theories of intelligence. The theory is called “traiarchic because it consists of three parts. The first part related intelligence to the internal world of the individual, specifying the mental mechanisms that lead to more or less intelligent behavior” (Sternberg, 1998). This part of the theory specifies three kinds of mental processes that are instrumental in learning how to do things, planning what things to do and how to do them, and in actually doing the things.

The second part of the theory specifies at what point in persons’ experience with tasks or situations intelligence is most critically involved in handling of those tasks or situation in particular, this part of the theory emphasizes the roles of dealing with novelty and of atomizing mental processing in intelligence.

“The third part of theory relates intelligence to the external world of the individual, specifying three kinds of macro processes – adaption, selection and shaping – that characterize intelligent behavior in the everyday world” (Sternberg, 1998). This part of the theory thus emphasizes the role of environmental context in determining what constitutes intelligent behavior in a given milieu.

Charles Spearman Theory

Spearman focused of course on a theory of the structure of intelligence. His objective was to provide support for his theory that performance on any given mental test is determined in part by an individual’s level of general ability, g, and the rest by whatever specific ability is required by that test. He sought to show that g alone was sufficient to account for correlations among various measures of mental ability, and he conducted analyses of observed correlation coefficients in pursuit of that objective.

Howard Gardner Theory

With his theory of Multiple Intelligence, Gardner sought to broaden the prevailing view of human potential beyond the confines of the IQ score. He contended that intelligence had more to do with one’s capacity for solving problems and creating products in a real-world setting than the IQ concept recognized. “Gardner provided a means to mapping the broad range of human abilities by grouping their capabilities into eight comprehensive categories or “intelligence” each considered equally important.

  • Visual/spatial intelligence
  • Logical/Mathematical Intelligence
  • Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence
  • Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence
  • Interpersonal/social intelligence
  • Intrapersonal/introspective intelligence
  • Naturalist intelligence
  • Existential intelligence” (Ronis, 2007).

Gardner contends that school systems tend to teach, test, reinforce, and reward verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical abilities over the others. Recognizing the efficiency of each of the intelligence is central to brain compatible instruction.

Spearman emphasizes on the general factor (g) in order to determine one’s intelligence, as it is based upon the individual differences in mental ability of individuals. Howard Gardner opines that intelligence among humans is basically of eight types and they interact with one another to help one to perform a particular task.
Though all the three models of intelligence seem to reflect on different view points and seem to be relevant in their own way, I strongly feel that Sternberg’s traiarchic model of intelligence is the most comprehensive as compared to the other models of intelligence. It is because it reflects upon the ability of an individual to encounter problematic situations in day-to-day life, as well as the ability to find solutions to the same. Thus, I feel that Sternberg’s model is very close to reality as it reflects upon what an individual does in order to come out of problematic situations in real life. However intelligent an individual might be, his/her intelligence must be evaluated in terms of the ability to solve real life problems over all others. Thus, it is the most comprehensive model of intellectual functioning.

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