Analytical intelligence, there are three components of intelligence:

Analytical intelligence, also called componential intelligence, includes your ability to successfully complete academic tasks, solve analogies, and process information. Learn more about Robert Sternberg’s theory of analytical intelligence and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Analytical Intelligence Overview

Do others refer to you as ‘book smart’? Do you perform well on academic tasks, such as math functions and reading? Maybe you’re good solving analogies, such as ‘Nurse is to Doctor as X (missing link) is to Executive’? If so, you have demonstrated analytical intelligence.

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Robert Sternberg’s Theory of Intelligence

Robert Sternberg, an American psychologist, believed that there is more than just one intelligence factor.

Sternberg proposed a triarchic theory of intelligence. That is, there are three components of intelligence:

  • Analytical intelligence: Your ability to complete academic tasks and solve problems
  • Creative intelligence: Your ability to use existing knowledge and skills to effectively deal with new and unusual situations
  • Practical intelligence: Your ability to use existing knowledge and skills to modify, adapt to, or select a different environment in order to achieve your goals

In order to be intelligent, you must not only possess the three types of intelligence, but you must also know when and how to use them.According to Sternberg, intelligence is not defined by how well you perform on intelligence tests like the Stanford-Binet scales. Intelligence is determined by how well you perform in the real world (which ironically enough is what the Stanford-Binet scales and other intelligence tests are supposed to measure). Furthermore, traditional intelligence tests only account for analytical intelligence. They do not measure creative or practical intelligence.People who possess what Sternberg calls successful intelligence possess the ability to do the following:

  • Create and achieve their own idea of success within their own sociocultural context
  • Identify and maximize their personal strengths and compensate for their personal weaknesses in order to achieve success
  • Adapt to, modify, or select environments so that they can achieve their idea of success
  • Balance creative, analytical, and practical intelligence

It is important to note that intelligence is highly dependent upon cultural context.

Because of this, behavior that has been determined to be intelligent in one culture can be seen as unintelligent in another.

Analytical Intelligence Components

So, what is analytical intelligence? Analytical intelligence, also referred to as componential intelligence, includes academic tasks, problem-solving abilities, and abstract reasoning. Whenever you have to complete a task that requires you to compare, contrast, evaluate, analyze, or make a logical judgment, you are using analytical intelligence.

Tasks that involve analytical intelligence have problems that are usually well-defined and have only one correct answer.For example, questions such as: ‘What is the difference between a frog and a toad?’ or ‘What is the next number in this series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…’ involve analytical intelligence. The techniques and information that is taught in schools consists primarily of analytical intelligence. Because of this, people with high analytical intelligence typically perform well on traditional intelligence tests, as well as the American College Testing exam, or any other exam that depends primarily on what has been learned in school.

Analytical intelligence also includes the ability to process information effectively. Processing information involves three basic components:

  • Metacomponents
  • Performance components
  • Knowledge-acquisition components

Metacomponents are the executive processes that control, monitor, and evaluate your cognitive processes. They analyze problems and decide how to respond. Performance components execute the strategies that are dictated by the metacomponents. Knowledge-acquisition components encode, compare, and store new information.For example, you may decide to become a psychologist (metacomponents). Then, you’d enroll in a college of your choice, complete your degree, and apply for a job (performance components).

You’d learn how to create a therapeutic alliance, how to relate to your clients, and learn new techniques relevant to your field (knowledge-acquisition components).

Lesson Summary

According to Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence, there are three components of intelligence: analytical, practical, and creative intelligence. Traditional intelligence tests such as the Stanford-Binet only measure analytical intelligence and are therefore not reliable measures of intelligence.

Analytical intelligence includes academic tasks, problem-solving abilities, information processing, and abstract reasoning.So the next time one of your friends is in a bad mood about her academic testing scores, tell her the test only measures one facet of intelligence and that there are still two others she may do well on. Hopefully, this revelation will make your friend smile.

Learning Outcomes

After you are done, you should be able to:

  • Describe Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence
  • Discuss the components of analytical intelligence
  • Explain what makes a person have successful intelligence

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