Gardner's Theory Of Human Intelligence

Human intelligence is one of the most widely discussed topics within the discipline of psychology, nevertheless, psychologists have not come to an agreement on the definition of intelligence. While many agree that intelligence refers to one’s ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think logically and abstractly, the question of whether there is one general intelligence or many ‘intelligences’ still persists (Gottfredson, 1997). As Deary (2001) has noted, sometimes we refer to someone’s general mental ability by calling an individual ‘bright’, while other times we recognise some special mental capacities by saying that someone is ‘good with figures’ but ‘bad at remembering’. This essay will consider the concept of human intelligence from …show more content…
For example, Gardner (1993, 2011) suggested that there are nine distinct intelligences that form his multiple intelligence theory. Gardner argued that his nine intelligences are many forms of mental ability that are completely independent from each other. Besides ‘common’ intelligences like verbal, mathematical and spatial abilities, Gardner also introduced such intelligences as musical, bodily kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences, which related to understanding oneself and others; as well as naturalist and existentialist intelligences that referred to the ability to interact and understand surroundings respectively. Another important figure in the movement toward multifactorial intelligence theories is Sternberg (1984), who proposed a triarchic model of intelligence that is composed of three types of intelligence in terms of subtheories. Sternberg distinguished between contextual subtheory, which relates intelligence to the external world of the individual, and componential subtheory, which relates intelligence to the individual’s internal world. His third subtheory, experiential subtheory, examines the interaction between experience and the individual’s internal and external world and the formation of intelligent behaviours. Sternberg (1999) argued that intelligence is not identical to what test measures and, therefore, ‘g’ factor is rather a subjective measure and …show more content…
For instance, Gardner’s (2011) multiple intelligence theory claims that the nine intelligences are separate and unrelated, however, many of his intelligences, such as verbal, mathematical and musical intelligences are found to be positively correlated and linked to the ‘g’ factor (Visser, Ashton & Vernon, 2006). Moreover, as Deary (2001) has noted, many of Gardner’s ‘invented’ intelligences are not normally regarded as mental abilities. For example, bodily kinaesthetic intelligence is more of a set of motor skills and interpersonal intelligence is related to personality characteristics, rather than to cognitive capacities. Sternberg’s (1984) triarchic model of intelligence was also strongly criticised for its lack of empirical evidence. Gottfredson (2003) argued that his theory is based on the selective data analysis and presentation of only favourable results. She also emphasised ‘g’ real-world correlates, particularly in work settings, and its predictive power of work performance, which, according to Gottfredson, the triarchic model of intelligence failed to do. Furthermore, Brody (2003) re-analysed data collected from the intelligence tests that are based on Sternberg’s triarchic model and found a strong support for the presence of ‘g’, which was not indicated by Sternberg. Furthermore, similarly as with Gardner’s theory, Sternberg’s supposedly independent intelligences were

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