Wednesday 15 February 2017

"Three Dimensional Theory of Guilford"; "Three-Factory Theory"; Theory of Primary Mental Abilities

Theory of Three-Dimensional Structure of Intellect:

Theory of Three-Dimensional Structure of Intellect
Theory of Three-Dimensional Structure of Intellect
The theory, which is perhaps the most comprehensive theory of intelligence, was developed by J. P. Guilford, an American psychologist who was involved during the Second World War in developing tests to select candidates for training as pilots. In 1938, Guilford took over the charge of the Psychometric Society as its third president, after its founder Louis Leon Thurstone and E. L. Thirndike who had earlier held the same position in the year 1937.

Guilford (born on 7th March 1897) refuted Charles Spearman’s view that intelligence could be characterized in a single numerical parameter. Guilford proposed a three-dimensional structure of intellect. According to Guilford, intellectual activity or traits has three dimensions—“Operations”, “Contents”, and “Product”.

“Operations” are what the respondent does. It refers to the particular cognitive process being used. These are cognition, memory, divergent production, convergent production, and evaluation.

“Contents” dimensions refer to the particular medium in which a person happens to be operating at the moment. It is the nature of materials or information on which intellectual operations are performed. These include visual, auditory, symbolic (such letters, numbers, etc.), semantic (for example, words), and behavioral.

“Product” dimension is the result of operations and contents. It includes units, classes, relations, systems, transformations and implications.

“Three-Factor Theory” or “Theory of Neural Connections”:

Edward L. Thorndike, an American psychologist born in the year 1874, differed sharply with Spearman. Thorndike, who ho spent nearly his entire career at Teachers College, Columbia University, asserted that there are no such things as general intelligence or general mental ability. 

Thorndike’s theory is based on the idea that intelligence is due to the number and kind of neural connections. Thus, a bright person has more neural connections of an adequate nature than a dull person. 

According to him, every mental act is different from the other. But there are common elements in all mental acts. Based on these common elements, he identified three components of intelligence. These three components are the following:
  • Concrete thinking (or the ability to deal with things)
  • Social thinking (or the ability to deal with people)
  • Abstract thinking (or the ability to deal with ideas)

Theory of Primary Mental Abilities:

The theory of primary mental abilities was propounded by T. G. Thurstone. According to Thurstone, intelligence is made up of seven components or seven primary mental abilities. These seven primary mental abilities are:

  • Space Factor: It is the ability to visualize objects in space. It is the ability, for example, to judge whether or not we have time and room to pass a car when another car is approaching in the other lane.
  • Number Factor: It is the ability to manipulate numbers (for example, making change, maintaining accounts, etc.). Accountants and cashiers are expected to be high on this ability.
  • Verbal Comprehension: It is the ability to read and understand what is read, interpret language and vocabularies.
  • Word Fluency: It is the ability to use words.
  • Ability to memorize:
  • Inductive Reasoning: It is the ability to discover the underlying rule or principle in the material one is working with. It is the ability to arrive at useful generalization from limited information.
  • Perceptual Speeds: It is the ability to identify objects quickly; the ability to understand entire sentence without having to examine each word carefully. It is the ability to comprehend the entire paragraph without looking at each sentence thoroughly.