Other Concepts of Intelligence

Spearman's two‐factor theory. Charles Spearman, using the statistical procedure called factor analysis, concluded in 1904 that intelligence is made up of two components: a g‐factor (general intelligence) and s‐factors (a collection of specific cognitive intellectual skills).

Thurstone's primary mental abilities. L. L. Thurstone proposed in 1938 that primary mental abilities fall into seven categories.

  • verbal comprehension (V)

  • number (N)

  • spatial relations (S)

  • perceptual speed (P)

  • word fluency (W)

  • memory (M)

  • inductive reasoning (I), or general reasoning (R)

According to Thurstone, each ability can be measured separately, and the sum of the unique abilities composes intelligence.

Guilford's three‐dimensional model. J. P. Guilford proposed three dimensions of mental ability:

  • operations: the act of thinking

  • contents: the terms used in thinking

  • products of thinking: ideas

Each of these dimensions is subdivided (operations, for example, into such categories as evaluation, cognition, and memory). Combinations of the dimensions and subdivisions can lead to over 100 separate factors, many of which have been demonstrated experimentally.

Fluid and crystallized intelligence. Raymond Cattell and John Horn suggested that the g‐factor should be divided into fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

  • Fluid intelligence consists of reasoning ability, memory capacity, and speed of information processing. It involves such skills as those requiring spatial and visual imagery and is generally believed to be much less affected by experience and education than is crystallized intelligence.

  • Crystallized intelligence concerns the application of knowledge to problem solving. It includes abilities such as reasoning and verbal and numerical skills and is generally believed to be affected by experience and formal education.

The concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence are still used by some psychologists, particularly in the area of aging.

Vernon's hierarchical model. Philip Vemon suggested that intelligence consists of factors and skills arranged hierarchically. The cognitive factor, at the top, is composed of two skills, verbal/academic and practical/mechanical, each of which is itself subdivided. (Verbal/academic, for example, includes such skills as vocabulary and verbal fluency.)

Sternberg's triarchic theory. Robert Sternberg was concerned with how intelligence is used, particularly in problem solving, as well the abilities it includes. The theory deals with

  • componential intelligence, which includes components essential to acquisition of knowledge, use of problem‐solving strategies and techniques, and use of metacognitive components for selecting a strategy and monitoring progress toward success

  • experiential intelligence, which is reflected both in creatively dealing with new situations and then combining different experiences in insightful ways to solve novel problems

  • contextual intelligence, which is reflected in the management of day‐to‐day affairs

Gardner's seven intelligences. Howard Gardner divided intelligence into seven abilities. Although the abilities are intrinsically equally important, their value in a particular culture may vary. For example, people who live off the land in a remote jungle are more likely to value bodily‐kinesthetic abilities more than logical‐mathematical abilities. Gardner's intelligences include

  • linguistic ability

  • logical‐mathematical ability

  • spatial ability: navigating spatially; forming, transforming, and using mental images

  • musical ability: perceiving and creating rhythm and pitch patterns

  • bodily‐kinesthetic ability: motor coordination and movement skills

  • interpersonal ability: understanding others

  • intrapersonal ability: having self‐understanding, a sense of identity