Spearman proposed general intelligence whereas other psychologists such as Gardner and Sternberg proposed multiple intelligence. Pretending that you are a psychologist, how would you define intelligence?
Your answer should be 2 pages, double-spaced. Please respond to 2 others.
Student A’s opinion.
The word “intelligence” is often associated with the word “smart.” Intelligence and smart are wrongfully associated with each other. The connotation that smart gives off to people is that smart can be applied to learning inferences whereas intelligence is something that cannot be learned but rather the person just innately has it, whatever “it” may be. The general consensus of the definition of intelligence is defined as “the ability to learn from one’s experiences, acquire knowledge, and use resources effectively in adapting to new situations or solving problems” (Ciccarelli 277). Gardner and Sternberg both believed that multiple intelligence is a concrete concept and that there are multiple subcategories under the definition of intelligence. I think that the more you can break up a definition into smaller pieces, much like Gardner has done, the easier it is to analyze and try to understand what intelligence really is.
If I were a psychologist, I would lean more towards Sternberg’s theory of multiple intelligence. I would define intelligence as one’s ability to learn and then apply it to the situation and communicate with others in any situation the individual is placed in. When I was in high school, my math teacher gave me a lot of advice about what students are like and how teachers are. I wanted to be a teacher and we always talked about the intelligence teachers and students hold. The biggest thing I took away from all of our talks was that someone can be incredibly smart and effortlessly understands everything but cannot explain themselves to anyone. She warned me that in college, I’ll run into math professors who are frighteningly smart, but cannot clearly explain the lesson they are teaching because of the lack of social intelligence they have. I realized that when I had a calculus class and although the teacher clearly knew what he was speaking about, he did not know how to communicate with any of his students and then half of the class dropped out because they could not learn from him. Intelligence is not just your level of comprehension, but your level of awareness socially and analytically.
If I was to analyze a person’s level of intelligence, I would look at the way they are living their day to day life. Do they have solid relationships with family and friends? Can they communicate openly with others? If I were to go to them with a problem, would this person be able to take it apart and help me understand what needs to be done to fix the problem? What is their personal approach to conquering day to day tasks? I do not think of intelligence as a number, like one’s GPA or IQ scores. I’m the worst test taker, I can completely understand a concept but then I blank out during the test. I know that I’m an intelligent human being because I know that there are other ways of measuring one’s intelligence other than a number.
Gardner’s musical type of intelligence specifically stood out to me because in the chart, under sample occupation, it read “Musicians, even those who do not read musical notes but can perform and compose”(Ciccarelli 278). My mom is an ESL teacher, but before that, she taught Special Ed. She had a student who was severely autistic but could listen to a song and then play it back perfectly on the piano. She never had taken a piano lesson and could not read piano notes, but after hearing a song only once, she was able to find the right keys and play it. In terms of intelligence, her musical intelligence I’m sure was on the higher end of Gardner’s scale. I like the idea that figuring out one’s intelligence can be figured out in so many ways, because it shows that there is more to a person other than their analyzing or book smarts. Different types of intelligence not only allow psychologists to understand their subject but it gives credit to what the person is capable of.
Student B’s opinion.
In this chapter, intelligence is defined as the ability to learn from one’s experiences, acquire knowledge, and use resources effectively in adapting to new situations or solving problems. Some psychologists argue that people may be intelligent in a specific area but to me, intelligence is when a person can apply knowledge of every aspect into their daily life.
In my opinion, for someone to be intelligent they would have to be able to utilize all skills learned that Sternberg mentioned; Analytical, Creative and Practical intelligence. If someone had a 4.0 GPA in college but weren’t able to get by in everyday life without issues, are they really that smart? There may be different levels of intelligence which can be tested usually in an IQ test but I believe that if a person is able to use all three then they are intelligent.
If people succeed in certain things, I think they are considered gifted in that area not necessarily intelligent. One may be able to play an instrument but can’t read or they can be good writers but not be able to socialize in different environments. Intelligence is using all the tools you’ve been given and achieving the task at hand. Being able to comprehend information, use good judgment in choices and have a good sense of their surroundings.
I’m not saying that if a person who is street smart but not books smart is stupid. I’m just saying that if a person can do it all, I consider them intelligent. Some people are not good test takers but know the material. Some can play music but are not able to read music and some may be a genius knowing math but socially awkward. Intelligence is based on how you use everything you’ve learned throughout the years in your daily life. Everyone shines in their own way and are good at certain things in life.