The phenomenon of intelligence is, to say the least, quite complex. While the majority agree to its general definition as a measurement or indicator of an individual's capacity to absorb information and perform well on a variety of tasks, there remains a lack of consensus on the different types of intelligence…
Although Spearman's Intelligence Model is a useful guide to the comprehension and measurement of the phenomenon of human intelligence, Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Model is both more precise and comprehensive, rendering it more consistent with psychology today.
Spearman's Model of Intelligence maintains human intelligence to be comprised of two factors. These are General Intelligence, "g," and Specific Intelligence, "s" (Deary et al., 2004). General Intelligence refers to the general performance of individuals across a wide variety of tasks and is a measurement of their capacity to assimilate and utilise information/knowledge. Specific intelligence, on the other hand, refers to the performance of individuals on specific tasks, as in their gift, or lack thereof, in certain areas (Deary et al., 2004). Specific intelligence, as Spearman contends, and as may be inferred from both definitions, is partially predicated upon general intelligence, with the inference here being that general intelligence supports and promotes specific intelligence. Spearman established the correlation between the two through mathematical formulae (Deary et al., 2004).
Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Models can be defined as a step beyond Spearman's Model of Intelligence and identified as a more evolved model. ...
These are (1) verbal/linguistic; (2) musical; (3) logical/mathematical; (4) visual/spatial; (5) bodily kinaesthetic; (6) interpersonal; (7) intrapersonal; and (9) naturalist (Shearer, 2004; Jie-Qi Chen, 2004). A review of Gardner's different intelligence types indicates that his theory of intelligence is consistent with Spearman's insofar as he similarly identifies and defines specific intelligences. The primary difference between the two, and as attested to by Jie-Qi Chen (2004) is that Gardner specifies the different types of specific intelligence. It is, thus, that his model can be identified as a progression of the Spearman model.
The value of Gardner's model of intelligence lies in the fact that it recognises the complexity of the human intelligence phenomenon, and concedes to the fact that an individual can display gifted intelligence levels in one area while exhibiting below average intelligence levels in another. Shearer draws attention to this particular aspect of the Gardner Multiple Intelligences Model Shearer (2004) and highlights the fact that it builds upon the Spearman one. Quite simply stated, the Gardner model focuses upon the factor of specific intelligences and identifies and defines them. More importantly, by defining and identifying the various types of specific intelligences, Gardner furnishes an explanation as to why some individuals are highly gifted in a particular skill set, such as mathematics, while being under-skilled in other areas, such as bodily kinaesthetic.
In attempting to determine which of the two models is more consistent with the study of psychology today, one is bound to, as are Brten and Strms (2005) favour the Gardner model. As Brten and Strms (2005) contend, psychology has, ...
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