Several psychologists have attempted to define
intelligence in a scientific manner. Apparently, the prevalent theories are of
Howard’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, Spearman’s Theory of General
Intelligence as well as Robert Sternberg’s T riarchic
Theory of Intelligence. These theories pertain to intelligence as a multiple
ability. On the other hand, Wechsler has combined the theories of intelligence
as a single ability along with intelligence as a multiple ability.
Charles Spearman approached intelligence as two
abilities that vary which are the g-factor standing for general intelligence
and the s-factor standing for specific intelligence. For example: Ability at
French, required the g and a French factor. However, Spearman’s approach caused
controversy on the article that he published in the American Journal of
Psychology in 1904 examining what he termed as general intelligence. Spearman’s
theory did not take group factors much into account. His theory is used by psychometricians
who have adapted an improved version which is used widely in research areas
Howard Gardner has opposed the general intelligence
theory and has proposed the Theory of Multiple Intelligence. He defined the
concept of intelligence more appropriately and investigated its measures. He
believes that every person has varying levels of intelligences which constitute
of a cognitive profile. Seven kinds of intelligences were proposed by him and
later the eighth and ninth intelligences were proposed by him. Critics point
out that without an accurate measure of the nine types of intelligences it
would be difficult for his theory to be verified. Also, that the nine different
abilities are different from the typical meaning of intelligence.
A very recent competitor is the theory put forth by Sternberg
who has proposed the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. The triarchic model
consists of three facets of intelligence which are the componential, contextual
and the experiential also known as the creative, analytical and practical
intelligences. Critics of this theory state that these are not distinct in
nature and share an underlying general intelligence, they also state that
Sternberg’s ideas pertaining to this theory lack empirical support.
The most accurate form of intelligence is put forth by
David Wechsler. He has combined intelligence as a single and multiple ability
and has distinguished two main fields which are verbal and non-verbal. A lot of
neuroscientific research is still being done on this, if general intelligence
is proven it would change the outlook of the way we perceive intelligence.
Taking all these theories into consideration, which
are very interesting none of these theories are proven or having an exact definition.
I find that Wechsler’s theory of both combined is more contemporary and
comprehensive of our perception of intelligence, it neither denies the single
ability of intelligence nor does it claim to be a multiple ability as we have
no precise number of intelligences.