There are basically two camps on the theory of intelligence, how exactly to define intelligence is still debated. There are, however, two major schools of thought on its nature and properties. This paper examines and evaluates the two opposing theories on the nature of intelligence. The two opposing theories of intelligence are the one general intelligence school of thought and the multiple intelligences school of thought. The general intelligence proponents believe that there is one factor from which all intelligence is derived; the multiple intelligences proponents believe that there are different kinds of intelligence. Each theory has merit and evidence to support its claims.
Two major schools of thought on the nature of intelligence. The first, supported by such psychologists as Eysenck, Galton, Jensen, and Spearman, believe that all intelligence comes from one general factor, known as g. The proponents of the other school of thought include Gardner, Sternberg, and Thurston e. These psychologists think that there is more than one general type of intelligence, or in other words, that there are multiple types of intelligences. The most convincing evidence for a single general intelligence model is the fact that there is proof of a single general factor that governs the level of intelligence of an individual. This is also known as the positive manifold (Spearman).
Furthermore, there is a very high correlation between IQ and very simple cognitive tasks, which supports the theory of one general intelligence (Eysenck). The first argument in support of one general intelligence is the fact that there is a high positive correlation between different tests of cognitive ability. (Spearman), in doing his research, administered to many people different types of tests, covering several different areas of cognitive ability. Another strong argument in support of one general intelligence is the fact that there is a very high correlation between reaction time and IQ. an example of the type of tests used to measure reaction time is a test in which a light is turned on. The participant is asked to press a button as soon as he sees the light go on.
From tests such as these, the reaction time can be measured. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences suggests that originally there were seven different forms of intelligence. He later added an additional form of intelligence to the previous seven. They are linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily, interpersonal, intra personal, logical-mathematical and naturalist. (Davis and Palladino). In developing his theory, Gardner attempted to rectify some of the errors of earlier psychologists who ignored biology; all failed to come to grips with the higher levels of creativity; and all were insensitive to the range of roles highlighted in human society." Gardner based his own theory of intelligence on biological facts.
They can be summarized as follows: 1: If it can be found that certain brain parts can distinctively map with certain cognitive functioning, then that cognitive functioning can be isolated as one candidate of multiple intelligences. 2: It has been found that certain brain parts do distinctively map with certain cognitive functioning, as evidenced by certain brain damage leading to loss of certain cognitive function. Gardner could localize the parts of the brain that were needed to perform the physical function. He studied the brains of people with disabilities postmortem and found that there was damage in specific areas, in comparison to those who did not have a disability. Gardner found seven different areas of the brain, and so his theory consists of seven different intelligences, each related to a specific portion of the human brain There are two distinct schools of thought on the nature of intelligence.
The proponents of one general intelligence have a theory that explains the biological reasons for intelligence. Given that they see neural processing speed as the root for intelligence, their theory has an effective causal explanation. On the other hand, the theory of one general intelligence does not encompass all peoples. A drawback to the general intelligence school of thought is that it is heavily dependent on psychometric evaluations. Consequently, it cannot take into account the vast array of different talents that people have.
As for multiples intelligences, there are many theorists in that school of thought as well. Some of the theories presented by the proponents of multiple intelligences are excessive and have too many constructs to measure. Gardner's theory has a very clear causal explanation for intelligence. References: Davis, S and Palladino, J (2003). Psychology Fourth Edition.
New Jersey Eysenck, H. J. (1982). Introduction. In H. J.
Eysenck (Ed. ), A model for intelligence. New York Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences.
New York Basic Books Spearman, C. (1904). 'General intelligence' objectively determined and measured. American Journal of Psychology.