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Understanding Intelligence from CTET Preparation Online Experts

Child Development and Pedgogy is a subject that is common to both Paper-I and Paper-II of CTET Exam Preparation. Superior understanding of this subject is a must for not just the exam purpose, but also for being an effective teacher at the school level.

Renowned for offering the Best CTET Online Classes in English medium to students across India, Vidya Guru publishes 100% exam relevant study material as concise blog updates. With each such update, our objective is to take up an important topic, simplify it and make it easily comprehensible . Today’s agenda is to understand the theories of Intelligence and to memorize the key points related to each of them.

What is Intelligence?
Intelligence has often been described as an organism’s ability to adapt to its surroundings. It is also described as the ability to learn or the ability to recognize and solve problems.

Pyschometric Approach

Information-Processing Approach

Intelligence is as an Aggregate of Abilities

Describes the processes people use in Intellectual Reasoning & Problem Solving

Expresses an Individual’s Performance in terms of an Index of Cognitive Abilities

Focuses on how an Intelligent Person Acts.

Focuses on the Structure of Intelligence

Emphasizes studying Cognitive Functions that form the basis of Intelligent Behaviour

(I) Psychometric Approach: The theories clubbed under this approach are:
• Uni factor theory
• Two Factor Theory
• Theory of Primary Mental Abilities
• Fluid & Crystallized Intelligence
• Hierarchical Model of Intelligence
• Structure of Intellect Model
• Theory of Multiple Intelligences
(II) Information-Processing Approach: The theories clubbed under this approach are:
• Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
• PASS Model

1. Uni Factor Theory (Alfred Binet)
It defined Intelligence as the Ability to Judge well, Understand well & Reason well. Intelligence consists of one similar set of Abilities which can be used for solving any problem in an Individual’s Environment. It came to be criticized because individuals have different levels of different abilities and don’t shine equally in all directions.

2. Two Factor Theory (Charles Spearman)
Intelligence consists of: (I) General Factor (g-factor) (II) Specific Factor (s-factor)

(i) General Factor (g)
• Also known as General Intelligence.
• Includes mental operations which are Primary and Common to all Intellectual Tasks.
• Universal Innate ability (Native Intelligence).
• Remains Constant throughout life.
(ii) Specific Factor (s)
• It represents specific abilities
• S factor is acquired from Environment.
• It’s task specific and varies from activity to activity in the same individual.
• All intellectual tasks require both ‘G’ & ‘S’ factors, but in different proportions.
• ‘S’ factor can be developed through Practice, Training and Experience.

3. Theory of Primary Mental Abilities (Thurstone)
Thurstone did not consider Intelligence to be a single, general ability. In fact, he believed that it comprised many abilities that were independent of one another. He proposed that certain mental operations have a common ‘Primary Factor’ that differentiates them from others. These similar mental operations constitute a Group. That is why the theory is also known as the ‘Group Factor Theory’. Each of these groups is said to be relatively independent of the others and represents a specific mental ability.

Thus, emerge 7 primary mental abilities which are as follows:
(i) Verbal Comprehension – Grasping the Meaning of Words, Concepts & Ideas.
(ii) Numerical Ability – Speed and Accuracy in Numerical & Computational Skills. It’s the ability to solve Arithmetic problems.
(iii) Spatial Relations – Visualizing 3 Dimensional Patterns & Forms. Ability to manipulate Patterns and Objects in space.
(iv) Perceptual Speed – Speed in Perceiving Details. Ability to see Differences & Similarities among Objects.
(v) Word Fluency – Using Words Fluently & Flexibly. Rhyming, Solving Anagrams & Crossword Puzzles.
(vi) Memory – Accuracy in Recalling Information. Ability to recall information such as Lists or Words, Definitions and Mathematical formulae.
(vii) Reasoning – Deriving General rules from presented facts. Drawing Inferences based on given data.

4. Fluid & Crystallized Intelligence (Raymond Cattell)

Raymond Cattell, a British psychologist, proposed that General Intelligence comprises 2 types of intelligence:
(i) Fluid Intelligence
• Capacity to Reason, Identify Patterns and Relationships.
• Ability of Solving Novel Problems, Independent of Prior Knowledge.
• Source of Intelligence used when one doesn’t already know what to do.
• Grows quickly during early years, peaks in the late 20’s and tends to decline further with age.
• Generally measured by using spatial visualization, block design and puzzle solving tests.
(ii) Crystallized Intelligence
• Ability to use Skills, Knowledge, and Experience
• As we age and gather New Knowledge & Understanding, it keeps becoming stronger
• Grows throughout life and is seen as an individual’s life time intellectual achievement.
• Includes General Information, Domain-specific Knowledge and Vocabulary.
• Generally measured by using tests of GK, Vocabulary & Linguistic Usage, and various other acquired skills.

5. Hierarchical Model (Arthur Jensen)
Jensen proposed a Hierarchical model of Intelligence consisting of abilities operating at 2 levels.
(i) Level-I: It is Associative Learning in which the output is more or less similar to the input. Eg. Rote Learning & Memory.

(ii) Level-II: It is known as Cognitive Competence. It involves High-order Skills as they transform the Input to produce an Effective Output.

6. Structure of Intellect Model (Guilford)
Guilford was of the view intelligence is a combination of numerous activities. The model is based on factor analysis and classifies Intellectual Traits along the 3 dimensions: Operations, Contents & Products. Hence, there are 3 aspects of any intellectual task.

The content dimension incorporates the broad areas of information. The operations dimension takes into account the general intellectual or mental activities. Finally, the product dimension comprises the results of applying operations on contents.

(i) Operations: It refers to what the respondent does. There are six types of general intellectual processes operations:
• Cognition
• Memory Recording
• Memory Retention
• Divergent Production
• Convergent Production
• Evaluation
(ii) Contents: This dimension is associated with the nature of Material/Information on which Intellectual Operations are performed. Five types of contents are:
• Visual – Example: Pictures & Patterns
• Auditory – Example: Information perceived from Sounds & Hearing
• Symbolic – Example: Letters & Numbers
• Semantic – Example: Words
• Behavioural – Example: Information regarding people’s needs, attitudes, feelings etc.)
(iii) Products: They are the forms in which information is processed by the respondent and are classified into 6 types:
• Units
• Classes
• Relations
• Systems
• Transformations
• Implications
As this classification (Guilford, 1988) includes 6x5x6 categories, thus, the model has 180 cells. Each cell is expected to have at least one Factor or Intellectual ability. The factors / intellectual abilities are a result of interaction among the 3 Dimensions.

7. Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner)
As per this theory, intelligence isn’t a single entity; rather 8 distinct types of intelligences exist. Each of these intelligences is different from the other. If an individual exhibits having one type of intelligence, it does not necessarily imply his being low or high on other intelligences. Different types of intelligence interact and work together to find a solution to a problem.

(i) Linguistic Intelligence
• It is the capacity to use language fluently and flexibly to express one’s thinking and to understand others.
• Poets & Writers are very strong in this type of Intelligence.

(ii) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

• Individuals high on this type of intelligence are able to think critically and logically.
• They engage in abstract reasoning, and can manipulate symbols to solve Mathematical Problems.

(iii) Spatial Intelligence

• It refers to skills in forming Visual Images & Patterns.
• It’s the ability to represent Spatial World in the mind.
• Pilots, Sailors, Sculptors, Painters and Architects are quite likely to have highly developed Spatial Intelligence.

(iv) Musical Intelligence

• It’s the ability to sense Musical Rhythms & Patterns.
• Those highly sensitive to Sounds & Vibrations and can create new Musical patterns.
• Musicians, Sound Engineers and Singers have well developed Musical Intelligence.

(v) Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence

• It involves ability to use whole or portions of the body flexibly and creatively.
• Athletes, Dancers, Sportspersons, Gymnasts, Martial Artists and Surgeons generally have well
developed Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence.

(vi) Interpersonal Intelligence

• It is the ability to understand Motives, Feelings & Behaviours of others and to establish comfortable relationships with them.
• Psychologists, Salesmen, Social Workers, Teachers, Managers & Political leaders have strong Interpersonal Intelligence.

(vii) Intrapersonal Intelligence

• It is the consciousness of one’s own Desires, Emotions and Motives.
• People high on this ability have deep understanding of their Identity, Human Existence and Meaning of life.
• Intrapersonal Intelligence is highly developed in Philosophers & Spiritual Leaders.

(viii) Naturalistic Intelligence

• It refers to the understanding of the natural world and sensitivity towards it.
• Helps in recognizing different species of Flora and Fauna seen in nature.
• Farmers, Botanists, Zoologists and Bird Watchers have high Naturalistic Intelligence

8. Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (Sternberg)
This theory is based on understanding the cognitive processes associated with problem solving. Sternberg defines intelligence as the intellectual ability to remember important information, to learn from one’s experiences, to reason well and to cope with the demands of everyday living. Therefore, it involves problem solving capability, reasoning skills, memory, knowledge, and successful adaptation to one’s environment.
(i) Componential / Analytical Intelligence

• It’s the analysis of information to solve problems.
• Persons high on it think Analytically & Critically and succeed in school.
• This is what a traditional IQ test measures.

(ii) Experiential / Creative Intelligence

• It’s the ability to come up with New Ideas and to use Past Experiences creatively for solving Novel Problems.
• It involves Imagination, Innovation & Creative Thinking.

(iii) Contextual / Practical Intelligence

• It’s the ability to adapt to a changing environment.
• It may be called Street Smartness or Business Sense.
• Persons high on it are good at solving practical problems faced in daily life and become materially successful.

9. PASS Model (JP Das, Jack Naglieri & Kirby)
PASS stands for Planning, Attention-arousal & Simultaneous-Successive. As per this model, Intellectual activity involves the interdependent functioning of 3 Neurological systems, called the Functional units of brain. These units are responsible for Arousal/Attention, Coding or Processing, and Planning respectively.

(i) Arousal / Attention

Arousal is central to any behaviour because it helps us attend to the stimuli. Arousal and attention facilitate an individual in processing information. An optimal level of arousal focuses our attention on critical aspects of a problem. Too little or too much arousal becomes a hindrance in attention.

(ii) Simultaneous and Successive Processing

Information can be incorporated into an individual’s knowledge system in either of the two ways: Simultaneously or Successively.
(a) Simultaneous Processing: It takes place when we perceive the relations among various concepts and integrate them into a meaningful pattern for comprehension. Eg: Design Completion in RPM Test.
(b) Successive Processing: It takes place when information is remembered serially so that the recall of one leads to the recall of another. Eg: Learning of Alphabet, Numbers, Multiplication Tables, etc.

(iii) Planning

Once the information has been attended to & processed, planning gets activated. It allows us to think of possible courses of action and implement them. If a plan doesn’t work, it’s modified as per the situation.
Now that you have gone through the broad framework of Intelligence theories, we assume that you will be able to attempt the foundation level questions based on it. However, CTET exam is known for asking application based questions which test the conceptual clarity of a student. Without it, cracking CTET is next to impossible.

To strengthen your concepts and to get guidance from our faculty, all you need to do is touch base with our admissions team. Our team can be reached at by dialling either of the following numbers: 9650549487 / 9650549587. Since we offer not only Live Online Classes but also Video Courses, you have the complete flexibility of learning from anywhere, anytime. Add to it, the Mock Test Series we provide for performance assesment and you have all the resources needed to crack even the toughest examination.

Finally, you can also walk in to our Study Centres, interact with our teachers and find out for yourself why we are rated as the Best CTET Online Coaching in Delhi / NCR.

This blog update covers Intelligence theories that are included in the syllabus of all teaching examinations such as CTET, DSSSB, KVS and State Level Teacher Eligibiligty Tests. To enquire about our Classes and Online Courses, you can write to us at

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