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Theories of Intelligence

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Team Fantastic

on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of Theories of Intelligence

Louis L. Thurstone
Primary Mental Abilities
Fantastic Four
Profile of Psychologist who designed the theory
Thurstone, born May 29, 1887 and died September 30, 1955, was an American psychologist who made an enormous contribution to the theory Primary Mental Abilities in the twentieth century, he was also the most notorious psychometrician in his era. He was originally interested in maths and engineering, but ended up leading the way in the science that measures mental abilities and testing its methods. There are numerous books and articles about Thurstone’s theories.

Monday, May 18, 2015
Vol 2, No. 1
Theories of Intelligence
The theory's design or components

Thurstone, discovered that primary mental abilities emerge from seven different abilities and not just the one. Thurstone preformed many tests on people with similar IQ scores and figured out that they had different types of primary mental abilities, which further proved his theory. (Thurstone 1938)

An example of the theory
The seven primary mental abilities Thurstones theory fixated on were; verbal comprehension, reasoning, perceptual speed, numerical ability, word fluency, associative memory and spatial visualization (Thurstone, 1938).

How the theory applies in respect to learning, culture, personality and socioeconomic factors
Thurstones theory indicated validness of factor analysis and mainly multiple factor analysis, which is currently used today. Thurstones theory also had a major impact on the theories of Guilford, Gardner and Sternberg, which all help benefit how different a person’s abilities of intelligence can be.
Howard Gardner
Multiple Intelligence
Profile of Psychologist who designed the theory
Howard Gardner is an American psychologist who is presently the Hobbs professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr Gardner has authored thirty books and several hundred articles, and is eminent in educational circles for his Theory of Multiple intelligence Gardner, 2012).

How the theory applies in respect to learning, culture, personality and socio-economic factors

Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence challenges the concept that each person has the same capabilities, and learns in the same way. He advocates pupils would be better assisted if each individual was taught in a way which acknowledges their individual intellect configuration and allows demonstration of learning in a variety of contexts. Although MI theory is not a specific educational practice, it has been embraced by the educational community with numerous schools incorporating the philosophy into their mission, curriculum and pedagogy (Multiple Intelligence Oasis, 2015).

The theory's design and/or components
Gardner suggests individuals possess eight independent intelligences that are applied to resolve problems and create products in their pertinent societies. In critique of conventional ideas of intelligence he suggests each individual owns an exclusive set of various intelligences, based on genetics and experience, making each individual unique (Gardner, 2015).

An example of the theory
The eight intelligences identified by Gardner currently include logical-mathematical, linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. (Gardner, 2015)

Robert Sternberg
Triarchic theory of intelligence
Profile of Psychologist who designed the theory
Robert Sternberg was born in 1949 in Newark, New Jersey to a Jewish family. Robert married three times.

Sternberg holds 13 honorary doctorates across the world and was nominated as one of the world’s top 100 psychologists for the 20th Century (Wikipedia, 2015).

The theory's design or components

Sternberg disagreed with the then application of intelligence tests to measure intelligence which focused on vocabulary, comprehension, memory and problem-solving. And in succession, he designed the Triarchic theory of intelligence which was open to a plethora of ways to measure ones intelligence (Sternberg, 1999).

Sternberg concentrates intelligence testing on three main categories. First of which, is creative or synthetic intelligence, which measures a person’s ability to adapt and cope in new and unusual situations by using Piagets learning theory: constructive learning. Secondly, is practical intelligence, measuring a person’s ability to adapt to everyday life by building on existing knowledge and skills (i.e. constructive learning). Finally, analytical intelligence, the ability to compete academically, problem-solve (and the ability to perform well in traditional intelligence tests) (Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, 1996).

An example of the theory
Sternberg applies support to constructive learning models such as Piagets constructive learning model as he explains experience as a major component to intelligence. Sternberg created the Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test which measures analytic, synthetic, automatization and practical abilities as well (Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, 1996).
How the theory applies in respect to learning, culture, personality and socioeconomic factors
Sternbergs Triarchic Abilities Test opened the door for intelligence testing in light of traditional testing only measuring that learnt in traditional schooling. Sternbergs intelligence testing could measure intelligence across different learners, cultures, personality and socio-economic backgrounds (Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, 1996: 90-96; Sternberg, R., 1999: 145-157; Sternberg, R., 2003: 400-401)
Charles Spearman
General Intelligence
Profile of Psychologist who designed the theory
Charles Spearman was born in London in 1863 (Alec, 2015). His most renowned piece of work was an article in the American Journal of Psychology in 1904 titled ‘General intelligence’ objectively determined and measured” (Jensen, n.d.) This article and Spearman’s many other workings are considered the fundamental building blocks for many intelligence theories.

The theory's design or components

Spearman introduced the idea that there was more than one aspect of intelligence and that the different aspects correlated with each other to a certain extent. He separated the factors into two groups and created the ‘two factors of intelligence’ theory.

An example of the theory
The two factors include the G Factor known as general intelligence which stays constant and the S factor known as specific intelligence which varies such as verbal communication. He stated that these factors were to be measured separately and shown in correlation with each other, creating the first real basis for IT testing (Alec, 2015).

How the theory applies in respect to learning, culture, personality and socioeconomic factors
The theory allows us to more accurately test intelligence and gain a better understanding of the different types and how they relate to each other. This can be used to individualise and assess learning and academic performance and create a better understanding of how different levels of general intelligence influence the specific abilities of a person (Jensen, n.d.).

General Intelligence

Alic, M. (2015). Charles Edward Spearman - Measures intelligence, Publishes laws of psychology, Writes a history of psychology. [online] Psychology.jrank.org. Available at: http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/599/Charles-Edward-Spearman.html [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Jenson, A. (2015). Charles Spearman: Founder of the London School. [online] Galtoninstitute.org.uk. Available at: http://www.galtoninstitute.org.uk/Newsletters/GINL0003/charles_spearman.htm [Accessed 6 May 2015].


Charles Spearman. (2015). [image] Available at: http://www.galtoninstitute.org.uk/Newsletters/GINL0003/charles_spearman.htm [Accessed 6 May 2015].

General Intelligence Theory diagram. (2015). [image] Available at: http://graduate-monkey-aptutorials.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/what-is-abstract-akalogical-or.html [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Alexander Luria
PASS Theory of Intelligence
Profile of Psychologist who designed the theory
Born in Kazan, Moscow in 1902 Alexander Luria was a founder of Cultural Historical Psychology and is known for his work with Vygotsky. Luria designed the combined motor method; a diagnosis for individual thought patterns and the first lie detector. Luria’s PASS theory was implemented as the foundation for cognitive assessment processes (Wikipedia, 2015).

The theory's design or components

Luria proposed that there are 3 separate but interrelated brain units and four processes that are responsible for cognitive intelligence.
Unit 1: The planning process is a frontal lobe function and responsible for organising and controlling information and impulse.
Unit 2: Attention Process is a brain stem function and assists in the focus of relevant stimuli, arousal and alertness.
Unit 3: Simultaneous and Successive Processes decodes information received and organises logical sequence patterns and retention of information. Occurs in occipital, parietal and temporal lobes (Educational Support, 2015).

How the theory applied in respect to learning, culture, personality and socioeconomic factors

While all units contribute to the functioning process the participation percentage of that unit will depend on the task being completed.
Individual cultural and personal experiences need to be considered. If the individual is asked to do a task they have no knowledge of, there is a possible gap in information not a deficit in the cognitive process (Educational Support, 2015).

IQ Components / Dimensions
Profile of Psychologist who designed the theory
David Perkins is an educational professor with an interesting approach to the IQ components and dimensions. He obtained his Doctorate in 1970 from MIT and is now a senior professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. (Information Age of Education , n.d.)

The theory's design or components

Perkins has analysed a number of different educational theories and approaches to education. He suggests that education can be dramatically improved by the use of three major IQ components. These include;

Neural Intelligence is the efficiency of the neurological system and relies heavily on the assumption that a child’s neural development is affected by the mother’s use of harmful substances during pregnancy and how that neurological education is nurtured. (OTEC, n.d.)

Experiential Intelligence is one’s ability to accumulate knowledge through expertise. It is based on quantity of knowledge gained through years of experience. People who live in strong learning environments have greater advantage over people who weren’t as fortunate. (OTEC, n.d.)

Reflective Intelligence refers to the ways to which one would attack problems and approach challenging tasks. This is essentially a self-controlled way to effectively use neural and experiential intelligence. (OTEC, n.d.)

An example of the theory

How the theory applies in respect to learning, culture, personality and socioeconomic factors
This theory allows us to accurately understand the components that make up one’s process of gaining and obtaining information. This allows for a more accurate adaptation of correct procedures to assist with one’s learning. With a deeper understanding of how the mind works, we can change the way that one learns. (Perkins, 1992).

David Perkins
Over time Intelligence has been defined in multiple ways, and regardless of the long documented history of study and debate, there is still no definitive definition. The following are some of the principal theories which endeavour to illustrate and define the qualitative human abilities associated with intelligence (Legg & Hutter, 2007).
The information in this presentation has been acquired from a range of online sources that were confirmed credible by the authors of this site. Each website used was assessed using Metzger’s (2007) five criteria for online data evaluation. Accuracy of information from sources such as The Galton Institute (Jensen, n.d.) was verified by checking with additional online and offline sources. Authority was confirmed by site and author credentials and affiliations with other sources. Site objectivity was represented by assessing the
purpose of websites utilized, which were found to contain accurate and impartial information relevant to topic. The sources used have high currency with the majority dated between 2011 and 2015. All information accessed was regarded by the authors to be extremely accurate with in-depth, factual information on the topic indorsing coverage. Meola’s (2004) rule of credibility was also applied by researching via information intermediaries, for instance American Psychologist (1996), and Frames of Mind (Gardner, 2011) which were sourced via Swinburne’s Blackboard Library.
Primary Mental Abilities

Tariq. R. (2011). Lecture on Intelligence-Education, Technology, Health & Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/muddsar/intelligence-9892522 [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Thurstone. L. L. (1968). International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences-Contributions to psychology. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3045001260.html, [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Thurstone. L. L. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/594477/L-L-Thurstone [Accessed 6 May 2015].

L. L. Thurstone. (2015). [image] Available at: http://voteview.com/images/thurstone.jpg [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Primary Mental Abilities diagram. (2015). [image] Available at: http://powerofthebrain.weebly.com/uploads/2/6/0/8/26089535/6043748.jpg?357 [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Vladgrin, Shutterstock, (2015). Two Minds - Intelligent. [image] Available at: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/food/main%20VLADGRIN%20shutterstock_87113380%20copy.jpg [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Legg, S., & Hutter, M. (2007). A collection of definitions of intelligence. Frontiers In Artificial Intelligence And Applications, 157, 817-24.

Multiple Intelligence
Gardner, H. (2015). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. [online] Eblib.com. Available at: http://www.eblib.com [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Howard Gardner of The Multiple Intelligence Theory. (2015). [video] Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2015].

Multiple Intelligences Oasis, (2015). Multiple Intelligences Oasis - Howard Gardner's Official MI Site. [online] Available at: http://multipleintelligencesoasis.org/ [Accessed 7 May 2015].

Multiple Intelligences Oasis, (2015). The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. [online] Available at: http://multipleintelligencesoasis.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/443-davis-christodoulou-seider-mi-article.pdf [Accessed 6 May 2015].


Gardner, H. (2015). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. [image] Available at: http://www.eblib.com [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Howard Gardner. (2015). [image] Available at: http://howardgardner.com/biography/ [Accessed 6 May 2015].

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns. (1996). American Psychologist, [online] 31(2), pp.75-101. Available at: http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/journals/amp/51/2/77 [Accessed 30 Apr. 2015].

Sternberg, R. (1999). A Triarchic Approach to the Understanding and Assessment of Intelligence in Multicultural Populations. Journal of School Psychology, 37(2), pp.145-159.

Sternberg, R. (2003). Our research program validating the triarchic theory of successful intelligence: reply to Gottfredson. Intelligence, 31(4), pp.399-413.

Wikipedia, (2015). Robert Sternberg. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sternberg [Accessed 1 May 2015].


Indiana.edu, (2015). Human Intelligence: Robert J. Sternberg. [image] Available at: http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/sternberg.shtml [Accessed 8 May 2015].

Matthes, A. (2008). Example Rotated Triangle. [image] Available at: http://www.texample.net/tikz/examples/rotated-triangle/ [Accessed 8 May 2015].

PASS Theory of Intelligences

Educational Support, (2015). The PASS Theory. [online] Available at: http://www.educationalsupport.com.au/Documents/The%20PASS%20Theory?url=%252fSite_Data%252fDocuments%252fPASS%2BTHEORY.pdf [Accessed 12 Apr. 2015].

Wikipedia, (2015). Robert Sternberg. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sternberg [Accessed 16 April 2015].


Alexander Luria. (2015). [image] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Luria [Accessed 7 May 2015].

Luria, A. (2015). PASS Theory diagram. [image] Available at: http://www.riverbendds.org/das.jpg [Accessed 7 May 2015].

IQ Components / Dimensions

Iae-pedia.org, (2015). David Perkins - Information Age of Education-Pedia. [online] Available at: http://iae-pedia.org/David_Perkins [Accessed 9 May 2015].

Otec.uoregon.edu, (2015). Theories of Intelligence. [online] Available at: http://otec.uoregon.edu/intelligence.htm [Accessed 7 May 2015].

Perkins, D. (1992). Smart Schools. New York: The Free Press.


David Perkins. (2015). [image] Available at: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/david-perkins [Accessed 12 May 2015].

Problem Solving IQ components. (2015). [image] Available at: http://iae-pedia.org/David_Perkins [Accessed 12 May 2015].


Metzger, M. (2007). Making sense of credibility on the Web: Models for evaluating online information and recommendations for future research. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58 (13), pp.2078-2091.
In summary
Overall, Each of these psychologists have made a significant contribution to the understanding of human intelligence. The different theories they created have become the building blocks for fundamental learning of intelligence and intelligence testing throughout modern day psychology.
Robert Sternberg
(Matthes, 2008)
Authors and Contributors
We'd like to extend our many thanks for viewing our presentation on theories of intelligence.

From the Fantastic Four team:


Atkinson, Lisa
Bruton, Ashleigh
Clearey, Stacey
Frohloff, Chloe
Hampton, Stacey
Pilkington, Gemma
Two factor theory
The seven primary mental abilities
Eight independent intelligences
Triarchic abilities
Example of the PASS theory
Charles Spearman
Louis L. Thurstone
Howard Gardner
Alexander Luria
David Perkins
Full transcript