albeit oversimplified, but to say more would go beyond the scope and purpose
of this chapter.
Sternberg's aim to make ability theory more comprehensive is represented in
his triarchic theory, which embraces the componential theory but also includes
"social intelligence" and "tacit knowledge" (i.e., practical knowledge about
the particular context of one's coping activity that is not acquired through formal
instruction). These are really achievement variables that reflect how different
individuals invest g in activities as affected by their particular opportunities,
interests, personality traits, and motivation (see Chapter 14, pp. 575-578). Beyond this, it would be an injustice to try to describe the triarchic theory in less
than a full chapter.
38 What is important to note here is that it is not antithetical
to g theory.
The most serious and detailed attempt at a theoretical formulation of "intelligence" in terms of "social learning theory" is expounded by Staats and
Burns ( 1981).
They call it a "social behaviorism theory" of intelligence. In their words, "The theory
states, in summary, that intelligence consists of specific repertoires--systems and skills-
learned according to specified learning principles" (p. 241). A classic interpretation of
mental abilities in terms of transfer of learning is the presidential address to the Canadian
Psychological Association by G. A. Ferguson ( 1956).
"Army Basic-Skills Program Said Failing," Education Week, July 27, 1983.
"IQ Tests for Reactor Operators," Science, June 22, 1979, Vol. 204, p. 1285.
Derr ( 1989) has written an entertaining article on the meaning of "intelligence"
that is implicit in the common use of language. An excellent survey of laypersons' and
experts' conceptions of "intelligence" has been presented by Sternberg,
Bernstein ( 1981).
Davis, 1947. Also see the book by Clarke &
A number of authors' views of contextualism can be found in the anthology edited
Fry ( 1984). Sternberg's ( 1984a, also included in Fry's anthology) generously tolerant
review of contextualist thought is the most comprehensive and comprehensible I have
come across in this literature. His view of contextualism from the standpoint of a sympathetic outsider makes it seem more sensible and perhaps less substantively vacuous
than the impression one gets from some of the writings by dyed-in-the-wool contextualists.
Guilford has written extensively about the SOI model. The most comprehensive
accounts, with extensive references that will lead readers to virtually the entire literature
on SOI, are
Guilford, 1967, 1985.
Carroll, 1993a, p. 60. Pp. 57-60 of
Carroll's book provide a fairly thorough yet
succinct critique of the SOI model.
I spoke to Guilford personally about this several years before he died, mentioning
that I had found large correlations between tests that differ on all three facets of the SOI.