Daniel, an eight-year-old from a poor, inner-city neighborhood, is given a traditional IQ test.  One section of the IQ test involves defining various words.  "Yacht" is one of the words that...

Daniel, an eight-year-old from a poor, inner-city neighborhood, is given a traditional IQ test.  One section of the IQ test involves defining various words.  "Yacht" is one of the words that Daniel is asked to define.  Briefly discuss why the test administrator should be cautious when interpreting Daniel's performance on this test. How does the triarchic theory potentially counter this bias?  Develop and add to the above answers three questions, one for each component of the triarchich theory, (analytic, creative, and practical), that would provide a more accurate representation of Daniel's intelligence.

Asked on by gracedaymon

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is no question that often traditional IQ tests do not take into consideration that the vocabulary of children from different geographic areas and from differing socio-economic classes affects their performance. Certainly, inner-city children might not be familiar with the word yacht just as a Southeastern child might not recognize the word brook as being the same as creek, which is the regional the name given to a small stream in the Southeast.

The triarchic theory, formulated by Robert J. Sternberg, can potentially counter this dilemma as it involves a more cognitive approach. For one thing, it recognizes three components: Analytical Ability, Creative Intelligence, and Practical Intelligence. If then, Daniel is tested in all three areas, he may prove more intelligent in one area than another, and this may be an area which is not tested much in the standardized IQ test.

For instance, in Practical Intelligence, Daniel may score rather high because he has developed skills to better adapt to his environment and has become acutely aware of his surroundings. But, he may not score well in Analytical Ability, which is similar to traditional definitions of IQ and academic achievement. He could be employing creative solutions rather than analytical ones to problems he encounters in his young life, so he might not test well in that analytical ability, which is the ability stressed in traditional IQ tests.

3 questions for each component of the triarch theory:

1. Analytical - If there are 15 students in the class, but 2 are sick and have stayed home, and 3 are on a field trip, how many are present in class?

(a) 13   (b) 12  (c) 5  (d) 10

2. Creative -  Your friend is very upset because his birthday cake was accidentally given to the wrong customer. All that is at the bakery is one that was not picked up for a child with a different name. What can you do? 

(a) Try to find another one at a different bakery
(b) Ask for a discount on this one and scrape off the name; then smooth the frosting over the bare spot.
(c) Ask for a discount and purchase a tube of frosting and letters; at home repair the cake
(d) Ask for a discount, ask the clerk if new frosting could be put on it. If not, find another cake.

3. Practical - There is a bully at school who keeps bothering your friend. What should he do?

(a) Fight the bully so he does not think he is afraid of him.
(b) Tell your parents and teacher and be careful not to be alone where this bully may confront you.
(c) Surprise attack the bully with three other friends.
(d) Show no fear to the bully, but inform your teacher of the problem.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,988 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question