Intelligence has been a controversial topic in the history of psychology and there still continues to be disagreement in the components that are responsible for the make-up of it (Cherry, 2018).  The

Intelligence has been a controversial topic in the history of psychology and there still continues to be disagreement in the components that are responsible for the make-up of it (Cherry, 2018).  There are several theories of intelligence.  Major theories include the following:

General Intelligence (Charles Spearman) used factor analysis to examine mental aptitude.

Primary Mental Abilities (Louis Thurstone) focused on seven mental abilities.

  • Verbal comprehension     
  • Reasoning
  • Perceptual speed
  • Numerical ability
  • Associative memory
  • Spatial visualization

Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner) instead of IQ test scores, (8) types of intelligences based on skills and abilities.

  • Visual-spatial intelligence
  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Musical intelligence
  • Intrapersonal intelligence
  • Naturalistic intelligence

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (Robert Sternberg) Referred to “successful intelligence,” which involves three different factors.

  • Analytical/Componential intelligence: Your problem-solving abilities.
  • Creative/Experiential intelligence: Your capacity to deal with new situations using past experiences and current skills.
  • Practical/Contextual intelligence: Your ability to adapt to a changing environment.

Cherry, K.  (2018).  Theories of intelligence in psychology.  Retrieved from:

Question: There are major questions about intelligence and IQ testing still.  Chose a question below and support your answer.  * You may earn participation points for answering a question on intelligence.

  • Is intelligence a single ability, or does it involve an assortment of multiple skills and abilities?
  • Is intelligence inherited, or does the environment play a larger role?
  • Are intelligence tests biased?
  • What do intelligence scores predict, if anything?

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