Essay on Intelligence One or Many?

Submitted By JalilaBenlali1
Words: 565
Pages: 3

Intelligence one or many?
Intelligence is one of the most controversial issues in the field of psychology; to this day researchers still are unable to find a clear cut definition for intelligence, and still can’t agree on whether intelligence is one thing or many.
There are two opposing theories that try to explain intelligence; the one general intelligence theory, and the multiple intelligences theory. These two schools of thought disagree on the nature of intelligence, supporters of the one general intelligence theory believe that intelligence derives from one thing, and there is only one kind of intelligence, the multiple intelligences theory believers support the idea that there are different types of intelligence.
The one general intelligence theory argues that intelligence is derived from one factor referred to as “g” by psychologist Charles Spearman. Spearman created a test analysis covering several different areas of cognitive ability; he found out that there was a high correlation between these tests, in other words if one individual performed well on one cognitive test, he would perform the same way on another one of cognitive ability. This positive correlation was called the Positive Manifold; it was also called the general intelligence factor referred to as “g”. Spearman added to his theory another important factor, he believed that the performance between individuals on any cognitive task can be attributed to another factor in addition to the g (general intelligence), this factor is the s --the skill unique to that particular task. According to Spearman those who possess more powerful g and s are smarter than others, and are better at processing information. This theory is rejected by many for the simple reason that it spreads the idea that some people are plain smarter than other.
The second theory is the multiple intelligences theory, this theory argues that every individual is smart in a different way, that is to say everyone is smart in a unique way. One of the leading psychologists of this theory is Howard Gardner’s (1983, 1999). Gardner believed that individuals vary in the levels of intelligence at which they excel; he suggested 8 levels of intelligence, they are linguistic,