Speaker Notes for Slide 2:
Defining intelligence has been a complex area of study. In the era of psychometrics and behaviorism intelligence was considered to be a single trait which individuals inherited. It was believed that the human mind was like a blank slate and whatever taught to them would be learnt by them would be learnt. Under this assumption every human mind was treated as having the same capabilities and individual differences were ignored. On the other hand, a large number of researchers are of the belief that individuals hold some sort of capabilities which allow them to learn and adapt at varying rates. In a report published by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychology Association they defined intelligence as a concept in individuals that “differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person's intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of "intelligence" are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions, and none commands universal assent. Indeed, when two dozen prominent theorists were recently asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.” (Nessier et al 1997).
Researchers have argued over what actually constitutes intelligence. Some have suggested that intelligence is just a single measure of a person’s ability; whereas, others have suggested that it comprises of a combination of aptitudes, skills, and talents. Other definitions of intelligence include logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving.
Furthermore, there is a debate over whether intelligence is a part of nature or is an outcome of an individual’s environment. Supporters of the former viewpoint see no need for providing quality education to enhance intelligence to people who are intelligent by birth. Those who suggest intelligence to be learnt from the external environment stress upon the need of providing quality education to maximize the benefits an individual could get. Intelligence theories can be tested using the various tests which have been made available by researchers but the validity and reliability for every test is dependent upon for the theory which it is testing. These tests include aptitude tests and the IQ quotient test.
There are many theories of intelligence, including psychometrics, the g factor, Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory, multiple intelligences theory, the Triarchic theory, the PASS theory of intelligence, Piaget’s theory of intelligence, and latent inhibition.
Speaker Notes for Slide 3:
The Triarchic theory of intelligence has been formulated by Robert J. Sternberg. He was a prominent figure in the arena of intelligence and he was the first to develop a theory from the cognitive approach. The definition of intelligence which Sternberg believes in suggests that the intelligence of an individual is judged based over how that individual deals with his external environment and his capabilities to adjust to this environment. The Triarchic theory of intelligence is divided into three parts which are; componential, experiential and contextual.
1.) The componential dimension is further subdivided into three parts; meta-components, performance components and knowledge acquisition. The componential element of intelligence deals with an individual’s mental mechanisms the subdivisions into; meta-components, performance components, and knowledge acquisition components, help explain the mental mechanisms in-depth. Meta-components consists of processes including planning, monitoring and evaluating the performance of a task which further direct all other mental activities. This helps explain how an individual uses his mental capacity to plan, monitor, and evaluate a situation. The execution of these tasks is undertaken by the performance components and learning new things comes under the knowledge acquisition components. This is the part of the Triarchic theory of intelligent is more analytical based as the test is based off of how subjects take apart problems and come up with solutions that are most often not seen Sternberg labeled it “analytical giftedness”. These subjects are highly analytical but less creative.
2.) The experiential dimension explains how individuals deal with their external and internal environment and how they deal with new kinds of information which comes their way. People make sense of the world differently and every person’s perception varies. The experiential dimension helps explain just this by showing how people make sense of the environment they are in. Sternberg labeled people with high intelligence in the experiential dimension “synthetic giftedness” which is people who are highly creative and rely on intuition. They are people who create new and expansive ideas and use them to solve new problems that arise. These subjects will most likely not score high on an IQ test as an IQ test usually tests componential dimension of IT Theory.
3.) The contextual dimension involves examining the ability of individuals to adapt, select, and shape their external environment this allows them to adjust themselves according to the requirements of the environment around them. This element “deals with the mental activity involved in attaining fit to context” (Sternberg, 1985, p. 45). This is the type of theory that people would call “street smarts” versus “book smarts” which would be the componential component of the Triarchic theory of intelligence proposed by Sternberg. This is mostly how people deal with external factors, basically how the fit and interact with their daily environment.
If a bibliography is required, here is the source: Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Speaker Notes for Slide 4:
Sternberg’s Triarchic theory of intelligence has a Triarchich abilities test which allows for the specific components of the theory to be measured. Unlike other intelligence theories Sternberg’s approach overcomes this weakness by devising the STAT. This helps yield results which are directly applicable to the theory.
Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test can be conducted on children as young as in kindergarten up to adults which allows it to be used on a larger population and is not restricted to a particular age group. It has multiple different levels for different ages, and has different scores for each type of subset intelligence (componential, experential, and practical). Some individuals with have a high score in one and not the other and others may have high marks in all three. These scores are then crossed by scores for verbal, figurative, and quantitative intelligence, making it a subset of 12 scores for each subset of level. With more scores, you will be able to determine with more accuracy an individuals strengths and weaknesses.
Stanford Binet scale is specifically used to diagnose cognitive and developmental deficiencies amongst young children. It is said not to be a very good measure of adaptive cognitive ability. It is focused on IQ Quotient tests and analytical methods of intelligence which is mostly for placement in schools. The Stanford Binet Scale ignores the decision making and “street smarts” parts of intelligence that the Sternberg Triarchic Abilities test takes into account.
The STAT is different from the conventional tests because it measures each dimension of the theory separately and provides a score. This allows for an in-depth analysis of a person’s intelligence based on the three dimensions as outlined by Sternberg. Furthermore, the STAT focuses on an individuals ability to learn rather than judging them on the basis of what they already know, hence, the test is more contextual. The STAT judges an individual based on the three dimensions specifically mentioned in the theory. But the Stanford Binet scale is encompassed around knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, working memory, and fluid reasoning.
The STAT measures the skills of an individual to cope with novelty by presenting unusual pieces of information to the respondent and then evaluating their response unlike other tests which measure how the individual to inevitable situations.
The two tests for testing intelligence theories have advantages and drawbacks in specific areas. The STAT is the ideal measure to test the Triarchic ability theory as it is tailor-made for this intelligence theory. But the Stanford binet scales had been devised with a different purpose in view. Therefore, any intelligence test cannot out-perform the other because they all measure various areas from differing perceptions.