Problem solving is recognized as a crucial component, but the ability to
fashion a productto write a symphony, execute a painting, stage a play, build up and manage an organization, carry out an experimentis not included, presumably because the aforementioned capacities cannot be probed adequately in short-answer tests.
Moreover, on the canonical account, intelligence is presumed to be a universal, probably innate, capacity, and so the diverse kinds of roles valued in different cultures are not considered germane to a study of "raw intellect."
For the most part, definitions and tests of intelligence are empirically determined.
Investigators search for items that predict who will succeed in school, even as they drop items that fail to predict scholastic success. New tests are determined in part by the degree of correlation with older, already accepted instruments. In sharp contrast, existing psychometric instruments play no role in Gardner's formulation. Rather, a
candidate ability emerges as an intelligence to the extent that it has recurred as an identifiable entity in a number of different lines of study of human cognition.
To arrive at his list of intelligences, Gardner and his colleagues examined the literature in several areas: the development of cognitive capacities in normal individuals; the breakdown of cognitive capacities under various kinds of organic pathology; the existence of abilities in "special populations," such as prodigies, autistic individuals, idiots savants, and learning-disabled children; forms of intellect that exist in different species; forms of intellect valued in different cultures; the
evolution of cognition across the millennia; and two forms of psychological evidencethe results of factor-analytic studies of human cognitive capacities and the outcome of studies of transfer and generalization. Candidate capacities that turned up repeatedly in these disparate literatures made up a provisional list of human
intelligences, whereas abilities that appeared only once or twice or were reconfigured differently in diverse sources were abandoned from consideration.
The methods and the results of this massive survey are reported in detail in Frames of Mind and summarized in several other publications. Gardner's provisional list includes seven intelligences, each with its own component processes and subtypes (see supplement 3). It is
claimed that, as a species, human beings have evolved over the millennia to carry out at least these seven forms of thinking. In a biological metaphor, these may be thought of as different
mental "organs" ; in a computational metaphor, these
may be construed as separate information-processing devices . Although
all humans exhibit the range of intelligences, individuals differ--presumably for both hereditary and environmental reasons--in their current profile of intelligences.
Moreover, there is no necessary correlation between any two intelligences, and they may indeed entail quite distinct forms of perception, memory, and other psychological processes.
Although few occupations rely entirely on a single intelligence, different roles typify the "end states" of each intelligence. For example, the "linguistic" sensitivity to the sounds and construction of language is exemplified by the poet, whereas the interpersonal ability to discern and respond to the moods and motivations of other people is represented in the therapist. Other occupations more clearly illustrate the
need for a blend of intelligences. For instance, surgeons require both the acuity of spatial intelligence to guide the scalpel and the dexterity of the bodily/kinesthetic intelligence to handle it. Similarly, scientists often have to depend on their linguistic intelligence to describe and explain the discoveries made using their logical-mathematic intelligence, and they must employ interpersonal intelligence in interacting with colleagues and in maintaining a productive and smoothly functioning laboratory.
The Education and Assessment
Until this point, we have been reviewing the history of intelligence research,
admittedly from the perspective of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (hereafter MI
Theory). Since the publication of Frames of Mind , they and their
colleagues have been involved in investigating its implications. On the one hand, we seek to determine the scientific adequacy of the theory . On the other hand, in their view, a principal value of the multiple intelligence perspectivebe it a theory or a "mere" frameworklies in its potential
contributions to educational reform. In both cases, progress seems to revolve around assessment.
To demonstrate that the intelligences are relatively independent of
one another and that individuals have distinct profiles of intelligences, assessments of each intelligence have to be developed. To take advantage of students' multiple intelligences, there must be some way to identify their strengths and weaknesses reliably.
Yet MI Theory grows out of a conviction that standardized tests, with their almost xclusive stress on linguistic and logical skills, are limited. As a result, the further development of MI Theory requires a fresh approach to assessment, an approach consistent with the view that there are a number of intelligences that are developedand can best be detectedin culturally meaningful activities . In the remainder of the paper, the scholars describe their approach to assessment and broadly survey
their efforts to assess individual intelligences at different age levels. In addition, they report some preliminary findings from one of their projects and their implications for the confirmation (or disconfirmation) of MI Theory.
If, as argued, each intelligence displays a characteristic set ofpsychological processes, it is important that these processes be assessed in an "intelligence-fair" manner. In contrast to traditional paper-and-pencil tests, with their inherent bias toward linguistic and logical skills, intelligence-fair measures seek to respect the different modes of
thinking and performance that distinguish each intelligence. Although spatial problems can be approached to some degree through linguistic media (like verbal directions or word problems), intelligence-fair methods place a premium on the abilities to perceive and manipulate visual-spatial information in a direct manner. For example, the spatial intelligence of children can be assessed through a mechanical
activity in which they are asked to take apart and reassemble a meat grinder. The activity requires them to "puzzle out" the structure of the object and then to discern or remember the spatial information that will allow reassembly of the pieces. Although linguistically inclined children may produce a running