Intelligence Some Researchers Such As Charles Spearman Term Paper

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Some researchers such as Charles Spearman have proposed that intelligence is a single quantity or concept, but others such as Robert Sternberg assert that intelligence really consists of a set of relatively independent abilities. While there is much debate over the validity of the two theories, the exploration of academic and everyday intelligence indicates that intelligence has many dimensions.

According to Spearman's theory of intelligence, the performance of any intellectual act requires some combination of "g," a general intellectual ability which is available to the same individual to the same degree for all intellectual acts, and of "specific factors" or "s" which are specific to that act and which varies in strength from one act to another (Charles Spearman, Human Intelligence). Spearman concludes that the most important information to determine a person's intellectual ability is an estimate of their "g" because it pervades all tasks.

In sharp contrast to Spearman's theory of intelligence, Sternberg defines intelligence as "the cognitive ability to learn from experience, to reason well, to remember important information, and to cope with the demands of daily living." (Sternberg, 1988). He believes intelligence is comprised of not one, but three distinct abilities, analytical, creative, and practical.…

Sources Used in Document:


Charles Spearman. Human Intelligence. Retrieved January 24, 2005 from Indiana University Web site:

Sternberg, R. (1988). The triarchic mind: A new theory of human intelligence. New York: Viking.

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