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Intelligence: the ability to benefit from experience and thereby modify future behaviors to accomplish new tasks successfully.


Steinberg- intelligent behavior involves adaptation, one must modify their responses to deal successfully with specific environmental conditions or modify the environment to better fit their own needs.

Steinberg- intelligent behavior sometimes involves the individual to use prior experiences which plays a crucial role.

Steinberg- proposes that numerous cognitive processes are involved in intelligent behavior, interpreting new situation in ways that promote successful adaptation, sustaining concentration on a task, deciphering information and identifying effective problem solving strategies. etc...

Group Differences in Intelligence


Why are there so many theories?

Are they now more culturally sensitive?

Are they accurate for a child of possible Special Needs?

Are they accurate for a normal child?

Which theory is most relevant in testing a child?

How Children Acquire Intelligence

Nature and Nurture play a role in the development of intelligence. Also, environmental differences play a role in intellectual development.

Childrens genes require environmental support to work efficiently.

In an impoverished environment a child with a lack of adequate nutrition and little stimulation- heredity may have little to say about the extent to which children develop intellectually.

In an ideal environment a child with nutrition, proper parenting practices, and educational oppurtunities are optimal and age appropriate. Heredity is likely to have a significant influence on children's IQ scores.

As children grow they choose their environment and their experiences. A child with quantitative reasoning may choose something that nurtures their inherited talents or a child of average quantitative abilities may choose something less challenging.


Spearman's G: General factor in intelligence that influences performance in a wide variety of tasks and content.

Cattell's Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence: ability to acquire knowledge and adapt to new situations. Knowledge and skills accumulated from proir experiences and school.

Gardner's 8 Multiple Intelligences: Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Musical, Bodily Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist.

Steinberg's Triarchic Theory: 3 Factors, The Environmental Context, Prior Experiences, and The Cognitive Process.