Often when people think of intelligence they think of IQ, but IQ is not intelligence, it is supposedly a measure of intelligence. IQ is short for Intelligence Quotient and in the early days of IQ testing if you asked a psychologist what IQ tests measure they would respond with "IQ tests measure intelligence". Nowadays psychologists are more likely to say: "IQ tests measure what IQ tests measure" or perhaps "IQ tests measure IQ".
At best IQ is a measure of performance, but it is a very poor measure. Howard Gardner has devoted his career as a psychologist to the study of intelligence. Gardner defines intelligence as 'the ability to solve troubles or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings'. Clearly intelligence is a capacity or potential to perform, that capacity may be measured, though imperfectly, in terms of IQ or academic tests, college admission tests, and so on.
Howard Gardner is best known for his work on multiple intelligences. The theory implicit in psychometric testing, is that intelligence is a single entity, that it results from a single factor, and that it can be measured simply via IQ tests. Gardner, however, has devoted a career in psychology to exploring the idea that there are multiple intelligences, not a single underlying factor.
According to Gardner's latest formulation there are seven kinds of intelligence, they are:
Linguistic intelligence, musical intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence - understanding other people, spatial intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence, which is understanding oneself.
Whether Gardner is right and there are seven forms of intelligence is debatable, and this is not a new debate. At the beginning of the twentieth century London University Professor Charles Spearman studied the nature of intelligence. At the time there was debate among scholars as to whether there is one general underlying factor in intelligence or whether intelligence consists of a number of factors, similar to some of those postulated by Howard Gardner. The single underlying factor theory won out in the IQ debate and is embodied in IQ. This led to the IQ fallacy.
There is a new IQ debate. Howard Gardner is one of the participants, Daniel Goleman is another. Gardner is concerned with what might be called intellectual IQ; Goleman is concerned with what he calls emotional intelligence.
By: Francis David