Theory on the development of intelligence


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There are various theories proposed by different scholars thathighlight the meaning and development of intelligence. These theorieshave been developed through extensive research on human intelligence.One such theories is the Triarchic theory of intelligence. Thistheory was developed by the renowned scholar Robert Sternberg. It isnoteworthy that the theory was unique since it was the firstintelligence theory to rely or incorporate the cognitive component.According to the theory, intelligence is largely viewed as theability by an individual to attain success within a socioculturalcontext (Sternberg et al., 2009). Intelligence is measured by aperson’s ability to use his or her strengths to solve every dayproblems and to adapt to the environment. The theory does not supportsome of the traditional intelligence tests such as IQ tests. Thetheory states that these traditional tests fail to test the actualabilities that some people possess which are useful in academic andprofessional, as well as personal development.

The Triarchic theory has divided intelligence into three majoraspects. They are the analytical, creative, and practical aspects.The analytical aspect of intelligence is mainly used by theintelligence component that deals with analysis, evaluation,comparison, contrast or judgment. This aspect is mainly involved withabstract problem solving roles (Sternberg et al., 2009). The theoryasserts that children will develop the ability to process informationwith age. However, the encoding component does not follow this upwardtrajectory. It starts with a decrease before taking an upwardtrajectory later in life. This aspect is also largely known as thecomponential aspect. Sternberg states that individuals who possessthis aspect alone do not depict excellent ability to create their ownideas.

The next human intelligence facet is the creative intelligence orthe experimental intelligence. This is a form of intelligence thatallows individuals to use their prior knowledge to solve currentproblems. Creative thinking is a part of the creative intelligence.Research in this area has indicated that individuals who possess thisintelligence have the ability to connect their internal worldtogether with their external realities of the world. According toSternberg, people may be creative in a particular domain such as art,but may fail to be creative in other domains (Flanagan &ampHarrison, 2012). Robert Sternberg and Todd Lubart administeredvarious tasks to make products on art, writing, advertising andscience to 60 people in order to find out their creativity indifferent domains.

The last facet of intelligence according to Sternberg is thepractical intelligence. This form of intelligence is also called thecontextual intelligence. This is a form of intelligence thatcomprises the application of a person’s abilities to solve everydaylife problems. They may include the problems encountered at work oreven at home (Sternberg et al., 2009). Practical intelligence is usedby individuals to show how they relate with the environment. Itenables an individual to succeed in an environment that he has notbeen exposed before. According the Sternberg, practical intelligenceincrease with experience.

The theorist and scholar Sternberg has argued that an individualmight possess any of the above facets of human intelligence. However,an individual can possess more than one or all the facets of humanintelligence. It is clearly evident that the different facets ofhuman knowledge comprises of different abilities that they equipindividuals with.


Sternberg, R. J., Kaufman, J. C., &amp Grigorenko, E. L. (2009).&nbspTheessential Sternberg: Essays on intelligence,psychology, and education. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

Flanagan, D. P., &amp Harrison, P. L. (2012).&nbspContemporaryintellectual assessment: Theories, tests, and issues.New York: Guilford Press.