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Multiple Intelligence Theory | Criticism Of Gardner’s Theory


Multiple Intelligence Theory:

Gardner’s Theory:

For the development of their theories, both spearman and Thurston relied on traditional types of intelligence tests. According to Gardner, traditional intelligence tests have to narrow a scope to determine intelligence accurately for different people even in the same society and culture.


A person is very creative does very good at art but is weak in math’s. Traditional tests could have called him unintelligent. He also argued that humans have multiple intelligence’s and listed the identified eight ones as below:

Verbal Skills:

Ability to communicate effectively using words to express meaning. Authors, journalists, speakers are good at this.

Mathematical Skills:

The logical ability to mathematical operations, good at reasoning and recognizing patterns. mathematical, scientists, programmers, accountants, engineers.

Spatial Skills:

The ability to think 3 dimensionally visual and spatial judgement in maps, charts, pictures, videos, graphics. Artists, architects, Graphic, Designer, Engineer.

Musical Skills:

Sensitivity to pitch, rhythm, tone, melody, musical, composers, singers, musician.

Interpersonal Skills:

The ability to internet well with others through understanding their meaning and communicating one’s own. The ability to to access emotions, read, faces, and predict moves Psychologists (mental, health , professionals), politician’s, teachers, salesperson, counselor.

Naturalist Skills:

The Ability to understand and clarify patterns in nature as well as human systems. Biologists, ecologists, landscapers, hikes (adventurers) According to Gardner, everyone has all these intelligences but in varying amounts.

Criticism Of Gardner’s Theory:


If used in classroom it can enable students to discover the areas in which children have interest and talent. Even average or low-level people can find strengths they have.


Students in a school in Indianapolis are exposed to properly designed materials daily that can stimulate and sensitive a wide range of human abilities such as art, music, language, skills, math, games and time is also provided to them to understand their selves. This I a Gardner based program.


Criticized by both psychologists and educators on the basis that gardner’s definition of intelligence is too braod and his 8 intelligences can easily be described as talented or personalities traits instead of intelligences. His theory is also not backed by empirical researched.

Sternberg’s Trichina Theory:

Sternberg agrees with the theory of gardner’s multiply intelligence but proposes that only three intelligences exist instead of Gardner’s eight. Stemberg focuses on how adults solve problems and that intelligence occurs in process not in categories of abilities.


Analytical intelligence is assessed by intelligences tests, also called academic problem solving, tests designed to assess analytical intelligence are composed of problems having a single right answer there tests are used in school and other academic as well as professional areas like job tests to assess analytical well-being of the candidates.

Creative Intelligence:

It is the ability to skill-fully adopt to new situation and the ability to produce new applicable ideas.

Practical Intelligences:

It depends on basic cognitive abilities and is required for performing everyday tasks such as understanding one’s self the other people and using verbal communication skills to extract benefit from the other individuals able to learn general norms and values of the society and known how to apply them.

Example of Analytical Intelligence:

A person who scores high on traditional intelligence tests having ability to acquire or store information and retrieve it in making decisions and solve problems.

Example of Creative Intelligence:

A person may or may not score high on intelligence test of traditional nature but have the ability to solve new problems quickly and ultimate the solution of familiar problems to save time and energy is.

Example of practical intelligence:

A person whose score on traditional IQ tests may be low but has the ability to get out of problems be diplomatic with people to extract positive gains and internal with other people very well. He is popular among the people and can get along with them properly. He ends up having a lot of friends.


STAT Stenberg diarchic ability test (1993) was developed by Stenberg to assess the 3 intelligences the test is composed of verbal, quantitative, figural MCQs and essays, memory analytical section resembles a conventional intelligence test.

The practical section tests the person’s ability to solve everyday problems like planning an event, conflict resolution between employees, purchasing tickets to an event etc. the creative section tests the ability of a person to come up with new ideas, such as solving the problem of poverty, building an idea school, tackling social problems writing stories, fiction etc.

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