Uploaded by Sharon West


Sharon West
September 10, 2020
Professor Peitz
Robert Sternberg
American psychologist Robert Sternberg studies human intelligence. He is the creator of
the STOMA intelligence (Sternberg test of Mental Ability) test. His theory is called “The Theory
of Successful Intelligence” and takes a cognitive approach in explaining intelligence. Sternberg
describes successful intelligence as “the ability to figure out what you want to do with your life
and to succeed in doing it given the constraints in the environment in which you live. He argues
that successful intelligence is different from IQ in the way that IQ is a narrow measure that looks
at analytical skills, and the ability to acquire knowledge as well as apply it. Successful
intelligence is not just about school success, but life success. The question that he has asked is,
whether we teach in ways that help students to make the most of their strengths while
simultaneously compensating for or correcting weaknesses, will they do better in school?
Sternberg’s interest in Human Intelligence came about as a result of his own experiences.
As a child, he did not do well on IQ tests. His argument is that if we focus on the narrow IQ
abilities, we end up overlooking the children who can do more than their IQ tests would predict.
His findings across a wide variety of content matter and grade levels is that if you consider that
kids learn in different ways, then you as a teacher can improve student achievement. Sternberg
believes that teachers should vary their teaching styles so that at least some of the time, you are
meeting the needs of all students. Overall, he believes that it is important to teach/test to the
different ways of thinking. If we do not, then children are taught that only memory matters.
Sternberg is also interested in student’s cultural or ethic backgrounds and the parts that they play
in the conception of intelligence. If the parent’s idea of intelligence matches the teachers, then
the students do better in school. If you teach in ways that take diversity in account, the children
will often do better. It pays to think of intelligence more broadly.
3 ASPECTS OF INTELLIGENCE - Dr. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of (Successful)
Intelligence contends that intelligent behavior arises from a balance between analytical, creative
and practical abilities, and that these abilities function collectively to allow individuals to achieve
success within particular sociocultural contexts.
Analytical abilities enable the individual to evaluate, analyze, compare and contrast
information. It deals with how a person is approaching the task.
Creative abilities generate invention, discovery, and other creative endeavors. This form
of intelligence focuses on capacity to be intellectually flexible and innovative. A person
with a high level of creative intelligence comes up with creative solutions to the problem.
Practical intelligence involves individuals applying their abilities to the kinds of problems
that they may face in their everyday life. Practical abilities tie everything together by
allowing individuals to apply what they have learned in the appropriate setting.
To be successful in life we must make the best use of our analytical, creative and
practical strengths, while simultaneously compensating for weaknesses in any of these areas.
This might involve working on improving weak areas to become better adapted to the needs of a
particular environment, or choosing to work in an environment that values your individual
strengths. For example, a person with highly developed creative and analytical abilities, but with
less well-developed practical abilities, might choose to become a software developer or garden
landscaper. Conversely, if the chosen career does not value creative abilities, the individual can
use his or her practical strengths and go into engineering.