Psychologists have devoted considerable attention to the understanding of the nature of intelligence. Is intelligence a single ability or does it con multiple abilities? Is it fully inherited or is it shaped by environmental factors? Should intelligence be conceptualized as abilities or processes? Are qualitatively different stages of intellectual development? Is there one type of intelligence or several types of intelligences?
These and similar issues been studied by psychologists for developing different theories of intelligence There are mainly three groups of theories or three major approaches study of intelligence:
(a) Psychometric approach, (b) Information-processing approach, and (c) Cognitive-developmental approach.
The psychometric approach studies intelligence as ability, or aggregate of multiple abilities, assesses intelligence in quantitative and expresses individual’s performance on a test in the form of scores theories of Charles Spearman, Louis Thurstone, Raymond Cattell, Guilford, Arthur Jensen, and Howard Gardner are examples of the psycho approach to the study of intelligence.
The information-processing approach describes the processes people intellectual reasoning and problem solving. The major emphasis i approach lies in studying the underlying processes of intelligent behavior. Included in this approach are the theory of Robert Sternberg.
The cognitive-developmental approach emphasizes the functional significance and development of intelligence. It argues that intellectual development proceeds in the form of qualitatively distinct developmental stages. Jean Piaget’s theory of intelligence is the most dominant cognitive- developmental approach to the study of intelligence.