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Explain Sternberg’s Triarchic theory of intelligence.

Explain Sternberg’s Triarchic theory of intelligence.


Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

The triarchic theory of intelligence was developed as an alternative to the concept of generic intelligence factor. Sternberg’s theory of intelligence is broken into three sub-theories.

The triarchic theory is founded on a more expansive concept of intelligence than is commonly applied. According to this view, intelligence is the ability to succeed in life based on one’s standards and sociocultural setting. Maximising one’s abilities while correcting or compensating for flaws is critical to success. A mix of analytical, creative, and practical abilities is required to adapt to, shape, and select a person’s surroundings, which is achieved through a balance of analytical, creative, and practical abilities.

Psychometrician Robert Sternberg developed the triarchic hypothesis of intelligence, sometimes known as the three forms of intelligence. This theory shifts away from a psychometric approach to intelligence and toward a more cognitive approach, categorising it as cognitive-contextual theories. The three meta components are referred to as triarchic components.

Sternberg’s theory of intelligence

As indicated by the Sternberg hypothesis of knowledge, the three perspectives are viable, particular, and insightful. Robert Sternberg instituted the saying and is a clinician whose exploration habitually centers around human mind and innovativeness. The Sternberg hypothesis of knowledge is separated into three sub-speculations, every one of which compares to an alternate sort of insight. The logical subtheory relates to viable insight, or the capacity to effectively work. The experiential subtheory alludes to imaginative knowledge, or the capacity to manage novel circumstances or troubles in one’s environmental elements. The componential subtheory relates to insightful knowledge, or the capacity to examine information.

Three aspects of Sternberg’s theory of intelligence

Analytical intelligence: The analytical intelligence sub-theory is linked to the componential subtheory. This is essentially academic intelligence. Analytical intelligence is the type of intelligence evaluated by a regular IQ test and used to solve issues.

Practical intelligence: According to Sternberg, practical intelligence is the ability to connect with the everyday world successfully. The contextual subtheory is linked to practical intelligence. Practically intelligent people are particularly skilled at behaving successfully in their surroundings.

Creative intelligence: The experiential subtheory is associated with creative intelligence, which is the ability to apply prior knowledge to develop new solutions to problems or cope with novel situations.


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Sternberg’s intelligence theory has three sub-theories: contextual, experiential, and complementary.

Contextual subtheory

According to the contextual subtheory, intelligence is linked to an individual’s surroundings. Thus, intelligence is determined by one’s ability to:

  • Adapt to one’s surroundings.
  • Choose the best environment for yourself.
  • Alter the environment to better suit one’s requirements and desires.

Experiential subtheory

The experiential subtheory proposes a range of experiences that can apply intelligence, from unique to automated. Intelligence is best displayed at the extremities of this spectrum. An individual is confronted with an unfamiliar activity or situation and must devise a strategy to deal with it at the novel end of the spectrum. On the automation end of the spectrum, someone has become comfortable with a task or scenario and can now manage it without thinking.

Componential subtheory

The componential theory describes the numerous processes that lead to intelligence.

Meta components

The sub-theories in Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence have three types of mental processes:

  • Meta-components enable us to keep track of, control, and assess our mental processes to make better decisions, solve problems, and prepare for the future.
  • Performance components allow us to put the plans and decisions made by the meta-components into action.
  • Knowledge-acquisition components assist us in gaining new knowledge that will aid us in carrying out our plans
  • Conclusion

    Sternberg’s intelligence theory has been the subject of several criticisms and challenges throughout the years. Educational psychologist Linda Gottfredson, for example, claims that the theory lacks a solid empirical foundation and that the data presented to support it is sparse.


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