Overthe past years, several scholars have tried to come up with theoriesin attempt to understand the human intelligence quotient. Thosescholars have employed the use of different aspect in attempt todevelop the theories that tends to explain the human intelligencequotient. The theories are numerous to be exhausted by the essaypaper hence the paper will just analyze four major theories discussedin class. The major human intelligence theories discussed are thegeneral intelligence theory, the multiple intelligence theory, theTriarchic theory, and the Piaget’s theory of intelligence.

Tostart with, is the general intelligence theory that was brought forthby Charles Spearman. In attempt to understand the human intelligence,the theory defines intelligence as the general cognitive aptitudethat can be expressed numerically at the same time can be measured.Charles elaborates the theory by examining the mental performance ofindividual and he concludes that human intelligence is generalcognitive aptitude that can be numerically expressed as well as beingmeasured[ CITATION Ste04 l 1033 ].In giving the proper understanding of the human intelligence,the theory cannot be termed as competent enough in explaining thehuman intelligence quotient as it lacks the empirical support. Nexttheory is the multiple intelligence theory developed by HowardGardner. In his theory, Gardner defines intelligence by describingeight intelligences namely: visual-spatial, logical-mathematical,bodily-kinesthetic, musical, verbal-linguistic, naturalistic,intrapersonal, and interpersonal intelligence. Though the theoryseems more advanced than the general intelligence theory, the theoryfaces some criticism like the previous theory. Same as the generalintelligence theory, multiple intelligence theory cannot be concludeas the best in describing the human intelligence as the theory hasnever been reviewed or subjected to any further test by Gardnerhimself or any other author. Further, multiple intelligence theory issubjected to criticism of basing its arguments more on politicalconcepts than on scientific concept. Generally, intelligence shouldbe based on scientific agenda compared to any other agenda and byconsidering political aspects, more makes the theory ineffectual[ CITATION Ste04 l 1033 ].Forinstance, the aptitude theory tends to side with political agendathan with scientific agenda.

Theother major theory is the Triarchic theory of intelligence developedby Robert Sternberg. The theory terms intelligence as the mentalactivity express to adaptation and shaping of the actual worldenvironments relevant to individual life. In attempt to understandthe intellectual functioning of human beings, Sternberg does notcriticize the general intelligence theory instead he speculates thatthe general intelligence theory inclusive of the analyticalintelligence. In his analysis, he came up with a different version ofthe theory known as successful intelligence. Successful intelligencetheory comprises of three factors namely analytical intelligence,creative intelligence, and practical theory. Analytical factor is theintellectual ability to solve problems. Creative intelligence on theother side is the intellectual ability to deal with new circumstancesby applying the current knowledge and experiences. Finally, thepractical intelligence is the ability to adjust to changingenvironments. Irrespective the measurement challenge where the theoryfails to measure the extent of intelligence, the theory remainscontagious in the scientific world.

Finallyis the Piaget theory of intelligence. The theory deviates from othertheories that concentrate on the study of the mental ability bystudying the child’s mental models of the world. The theory arguesthat, a child develops with development of the world’s modelenabling the child to understand and interact with the world better.The theory describes intelligence in terms of development stages of achild and it categorizes the stages into four main stages. The firststage is the sensory motor stage that ranges from the time of birthup to 2years. Next is the pre-operational stage that ranges from2years to 7years. Concrete operational stage follows next and itranges from 7years to 11year. Finally is the formal operations stagethat ranges from 11years to 16 years. Like other theories, the theorycannot be termed as the best in attempt to explain the humanintelligence quotient as it seems difficult to be testedempirically[ CITATION Ste04 l 1033 ].

Takeof the best theory

Ibelieve the best theory for determining intelligence is Triarchictheory by Sternberg. I believe intelligence is the ability to solveproblems, ability to deal with various circumstances, and the abilityto adapt to new environment. Those are the aspects that, human beingsencounter in their lives and the ability to deal with those aspectsis what intelligence is all about. I posses analytical intelligenceas I am able to solve problem that I encounter in life. In addition,I posses practical intelligence as I am able to adapt to differentenvironments. For instance, was able to adapt the college environmentthat is different from high school environment.

Prosand cons of each theory in defining intelligence

Whilegeneral intelligence theory tries to examine the human intelligenceas a general cognitive aptitude that can be expressed numerically andthat can be measured, the theory does not have any empirical supportto support the evidence. While multiple intelligence theory tends toexhaust every factor of intelligence in describing the eight factorsof intelligence, the theory lacks further tests and peer reviews.Additionally the theory tends to side with political agenda insteadof siding with scientific agenda. In addition, while Triarchic theoryseems to be the best in attempt to explain the concept of humanintelligence, the theory does not measure the extent of humanintelligence. Finally, as Piaget’s theory tries to defineintelligence in terms of development models of a child’sdevelopment process the theory does not explain fully on how to dealwith object permanence especially on the ever changing world. Thetheory further has not been tested to fully satisfy that it iscompetent enough in explain the human intelligence.

Needto assess a child’s intelligence

Itis essential to assess a child’s intelligence to enable theinstructors forecast the learning performance of a child. Thisenables the educators to put children in the right classrooms byconsidering the child’s ability and not their own thinking.Sometimes educators might underestimate the ability of children byjust looking at them but by assessing a child enable the instructorto make the right judgment on where to place a child. Anotherimportance derived from assessing the child’s intelligence is theability to understand the strengths and weakness of a child. Since itis easy to notice learning difficulties at elementary levels suchintelligence test are administered at the elementary level in attemptto understand the weakness and strengths of a child.


Humanintelligence is a sensitive topic of discussion that is yet to beexhausted by further studies. Theories developed to explain the humanintelligence so far face some criticisms hence cannot be settled atas the best theories to explain the human intelligence. However,those with few criticisms can be termed as contagious in thescientific world as they await further studies and improvements.


Lindsay,J. E., &amp University of Wyoming. (2006).&nbspTheoriesof intelligence, goal orientation, and self-efficacy: Examiningvulnerability to depression in Native American children andadolescents.Laramie, Wyo: University of Wyoming.

Sternberg,R. J., National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented., &ampInstitute of Education Sciences (U.S.). (2004).&nbspModerntheories of intelligence applied to assessment of abilities,instructional design, and knowledge-based assessment.Storrs, CT: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented,University of Connecticut.