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Talking of intelligence this involves thinking capability, problem solving skills, situations analysis, and understanding the social values, norms and customs of individuals. There are two major forms of intelligence that are involved in intelligence assessments namely verbal and non verbal intelligence (Willingham, 2004). Whereas Intelligence testing refers to the estimation of an individual’s functioning through quality performance of the various tasks that are designed in order to assess various types of reasoning. It involves usage of standardized tests so as to produce numerical values of an individual’s abilities. In intelligence testing there are two commonly used standardized intelligence tests which are; Wechsler and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale but they exists other tests that quantify areas like personality, creativity and ability to conduct specific tasks.
Intelligence testing is important as it’s a requirement by the federal special education which is used to rule out presence of any type of mental disability and establishment of intelligence quotient (IQ) for the purposes of diagnosing learning disability especially among students. It also analyses and provides information on problem solving though interpretations thus enabling educators to develop specially designed instructions and educational strategies for Individual Education Programs development (Willingham, 2004). There are several Intelligence testing types namely; Linguistic and verbal intelligence which involves the understanding of ideas in word form to develop verbal comprehension and fluency. Other types are logical intelligence which is the general understanding of math’s and logic, spatial intelligence which is the ability to perceive size and spatial relationships. Additionally there is the body intelligence, Interpersonal intelligence, Musical intelligence and Naturalist intelligence. These types of intelligences are also referred to as primary mental abilities. Intelligence testing acknowledges the concept of a general intelligence, while being founded on multiple aspects of intelligence, by stressing the interdependence of the various components of the human mind
Theories of intelligence
Several theories have been developed on intelligences; Howard Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences. He came up with eight major components of intelligence that are distinct from each other (Gardner 1993). These components are used to explain that human intelligence is normally multifaceted rather than singular. The eight intelligences which are identified by multiple intelligences theory include linguistic, spatial, logical mathematical, musical, kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligencies. Among each of the intelligence there is the memory system with cerebral structures that are dedicated to processing their specific contents (Gardner, 1993).
Linguistic intelligence calls upon effective use of words in writing, reading and speaking. This skill provides explanation, expressiveness and descriptions, for instance Gardner describes poet as epitome of linguistic ability. Logical mathematical intelligence comprises of calculation skills, logical reason and problem solving skills. This is applicable in diverse smart career fields such as philosophers, mathematicians, and logicians as logical mathematical intelligence is largely required for the multi-step, mental math and complex problem solving. Musical intelligence involves the sensitivity to pitch, timbre, rhythm, and emotional aspects of sound. On the other hand, variety of musical careers such as vocalist and instrumentalist require more circumscribed abilities that emphasize on technical skills. Ability to use body movements is brought out by the kinesthetic intelligence in this theory. Kinesthetic intelligence is therefore applicable in dancing, acting; athletics thus depends on a well developed kinesthetic ability to ensure innovative movements are achieved for such fields as choreography, plays and acting.
Spatial intelligence involves ability to perceive visual world accurately and performing modifications and transformations upon oneself own initial perceptions through mental imagery. The functional aspect of this intelligence includes artistic design, working with objects, map reading among others. Naturalistintelligence usually displays recognition, empathy, and understanding on the living and natural things. Multiple intelligence has also developed personal intelligences which are Intrapersonal and Interpersonal intelligences. Intrapersonal intelligence performs several functions such as goal setting, self-appraisal, emotional self management and self monitoring and greatly contributes in promoting self confidence and effective stress management. Additionally Intrapersonal intelligence is critically important towards an individual satisfaction and success. Major career dependent on Intrapersonal self management are such as police, pilots, writers, and teachers. On an individuals well being Interpersonal intelligence plays an important function of promoting success in managing relationships. It applies the skill of ability to notice and make distinctions among people and the ability to recognize moods, emotions, perspectives, and motivations of individuals.
Sternberg’s theory of Triarchic intelligence (Sternberg, 2004) is a true representation of the nature of intelligence. The theory proposes that analytical, creative, and practical abilities constitute intelligence, and these three abilities work together, when dealing with a person’s internal world, experiences, and environment. Sternberg’s theory also encompasses three components of information processing, in the forms of metacomponents, performance components, and knowledge acquisition components. Each component depends on others to resolve problems. By focusing on more than one aspect of intelligence or independent variable of life, the triarchic theory conveys the nature of intelligence. Generally it focuses on three relationships namely; intelligence and the internal world, intelligence and experience and intelligence and external world
Of the three types of relationships of intelligence in triarchic theory, how intelligence relates to the inner person is dependent upon the ability to process information. Information processing has three diverse parts. Metacomponents allow one to schedule, observe, and assess problem solving. Performance components facilitate the orders of the metacomponents. Knowledge acquisition components are the initial procedures used in determining how to answer the challenge. Each aspect is dependent upon the other two (Sternberg, 2004). The information processing component of Sternberg’s theory is representative of the true nature of intelligence, because when one attempts to solve problems that require the assessment of data, all three components play a role. Furthermore, in solving similar and dissimilar problems an individual develops a familiarity for certain situations that can prove useful in later applications.
Prior experiences greatly affect an individual’s actions. The more familiar a person is with a task, the more automated his/her response. According to Sternberg (2004), all the three information processing components link to prior experience. A person’s familiarity with a situation lowers the mental demand upon the individual. Past experiences, according to the triarchic theory, can strongly influence the present intelligence of a person.
As suggested by the triarchic theory, when applied to experience, the three components of intelligence serve three purposes in everyday life. Sternberg (2004) believes that the functions allow one to adjust to his/her current setting, to transform current surroundings into new ones, and to choose a different atmosphere. A person, in an effort to live happily, will attempt to adapt to his/her environment, followed by an attempt to adapt the environment to his/her own desires, and if these two endeavors are fruitless, the individual will seek another setting. The triarchic theory adequately demonstrates the nature of intelligence, because normally people will systematically proceed through the three functions relevant to living in an environment.
The triarchic theory of intelligence provides a means for the intellect to react to various types of challenges, by emphasizing that analytical, creative, and practical intellectual abilities work together to better resolve issues. The theory realizes that intelligence is not one dimensional. A condition for being deemed intelligent is not the need to be superior in all the different features of intelligence. An intelligent person is able to discern his/her gifts from his/her limitations, and then strive to ameliorate the softer spots in his/her intellect while exploiting his/her superior skills. Thus, an intelligent person, while weak in one area, may appear extremely bright overall, because the individual takes the proper steps to correct for his/her shortcomings. Given this definition of an intelligent person, the nature of intelligence is best represented in Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence, because the theory applies to functioning intellects.