on intelligence is to isolate the portions of the brain responsible for each of the intelligences. Gardner has speculated as to at least some of these locales, but hard evidence for the existence of these separate intelligences has yet to be produced.
STERNBERG: THE TRIARCHIC THEORY
Whereas Gardner emphasizes the separateness of the various aspects of intelligence, I tend to emphasize the extent to which they work together in my triarchic theory of human intelligence (Stemberg, 1985a, 1988c). According to the triarchic (tri "three"; archic, "governed") theory, intelligence comprises three aspects, dealing with the relation of intelligence (a) to the internal world of the person, (b) to experience, and (c) to the external world. Figure 14-5 illustrates the parts of the theory and their interrelations.
How Intelligence Relates to the Internal World
This part of the theory emphasizes the processing of information, which can be viewed in terms of three different kinds of components: (1) metacomponents-execu-tive processes (i.e., metacognition) used to plan, monitor, and evaluate problem solving; (2) performance components-lower order processes used for implementing the commands of the metacomponents; and (3) knowledge-acquisition components-the processes used for learning how to solve the problems in the first place. The components are highly interdependent.
Suppose that you were asked to write a term paper. You Would use metacom ponents to decide on a topic, plan the paper, monitor the writing, and evaluate how well your finished product succeeds in accomplishing your goals for it. You would use knowledge-acquisition components for research to learn about the topic. You would use performance components for the actual writing. In practice, the three kinds of components do not function in isolation. Before actually writing the paper, you would first have to decide on a topic and then do some research. Similarly, your plans for writing the paper might change as you gather new information. It may turn out that there just is not enough information on particular aspects of the chosen topic, forcing you to shift your emphasis. Your plans also may change if particular aspects of the writing go more smoothly than others.
How Intelligence Relates to Experience
The theory also considers how prior experience may interact with all three kinds of information-processing components. That is, each of us faces tasks and situations with which we have varying levels of experience, ranging from a completely novel task, with which we have no previous experience to a completely familiar task, with which we have vast, extensive experience. As a task becomes increasingly familiar, many aspects of the task may become automatic, requiring little conscious effort for determining what step to take next and how to implement that next step. A novel task makes demands on intelligence different from those of a task for which automatic procedures have been developed.
According to the triarchic theory, relatively novel tasks-such as visiting a foreign country, mastering a new subject, or acquiring a foreign language-demand more of a person's intelligence. On the other hand, a completely unfamiliar task may demand so much of the person as to be overwhelming. For example, if you were visiting a foreign country, you would probably not profit from enrolling in a course with unfamiliar abstract subject matter, taught in a language you do not understand. The most intellectually stimulating tasks are those that are challenging and demanding but not overwhelming. (Recall the discussion of Lev Vygotsky' s zone of proximal development in Chapter 13 : We learn the most when we are given cognitive tasks that are optimally challenging-not so difficult that they overwhelm us, but not so easy that we need not stretch our skills or expand our knowledge in order to complete the tasks.)
How Intelligence Relates to the External World
The triarchic theory also proposes that the various components of intelligence are applied to experience in order to serve three functions in real-world contexts : adapting ourselves to our existing environments, shaping our existing environments to create new environments, and selecting new environments. You use adaptation when you learn the ropes in a new environment and try to figure out how th succeed in it. For example, when you first start college, you probably try to figure out the explicit and implicit rules of college life and how you can use these rules in order to succeed in the new environment. You also shape your environment, such as in deciding what courses to take and what activities to pursue. You may 두두 try to shape the behavior of those around you. Finally, if you are unable either to adapt yourself or to shape your environment to suit you, you might consider selecting another environment-such as by transferring to a different college.
According to the triarchic theory, people may apply their intelligence so many different kinds of problems. For example, some people may be more intelligent in the face of abstract, academic problems, whereas others may be more intelligent in the face of concrete, practical problems. The theory does not define an intelligent person as someone who necessarily excels in all aspects of intelligence. Rather, intelligent persons know their own stengths and weaknesses and find ways in which to capitalize on their stengths and either to compensate for or to remediate their weaknesses. For example, a person who is strong in psychology but not in physics might choose as a physics project the creation of a physics aptitude test (which I did when I took physics). The point is to make the most of your strengths and to find ways to improve on or at least to live comfortably with your weaknesses.
Thus far, we have described various models of human intelligence, mentioning only briefly that humans have tried to program computers to simulate various aspects of intelligence. Before concluding this discussion of intelligence, we now turn to a discussion of artificial intelligence. As this chapter has shown, cognitive psychologists have learned much about human intelligence by attempting to understand and even to create artificial intelligence.