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Analytical Intelligence: Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:02 Analytical Intelligence
  • 0:21 Sternberg's Theory
  • 2:18 Components
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Analytical intelligence, also called componential intelligence, includes your ability to successfully complete academic tasks, solve analogies, and process information. Learn more about Robert Sternberg's theory of analytical intelligence and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Analytical Intelligence Overview

Do others refer to you as 'book smart'? Do you perform well on academic tasks, such as math functions and reading? Maybe you're good solving analogies, such as 'Nurse is to Doctor as X (missing link) is to Executive'? If so, you have demonstrated analytical intelligence.

Robert Sternberg's Theory of Intelligence

Robert Sternberg, an American psychologist, believed that there is more than just one intelligence factor. Sternberg proposed a triarchic theory of intelligence. That is, there are three components of intelligence:

  • Analytical intelligence: Your ability to complete academic tasks and solve problems
  • Creative intelligence: Your ability to use existing knowledge and skills to effectively deal with new and unusual situations
  • Practical intelligence: Your ability to use existing knowledge and skills to modify, adapt to, or select a different environment in order to achieve your goals

In order to be intelligent, you must not only possess the three types of intelligence, but you must also know when and how to use them.

According to Sternberg, intelligence is not defined by how well you perform on intelligence tests like the Stanford-Binet scales. Intelligence is determined by how well you perform in the real world (which ironically enough is what the Stanford-Binet scales and other intelligence tests are supposed to measure). Furthermore, traditional intelligence tests only account for analytical intelligence. They do not measure creative or practical intelligence.

People who possess what Sternberg calls successful intelligence possess the ability to do the following:

  • Create and achieve their own idea of success within their own sociocultural context
  • Identify and maximize their personal strengths and compensate for their personal weaknesses in order to achieve success
  • Adapt to, modify, or select environments so that they can achieve their idea of success
  • Balance creative, analytical, and practical intelligence

It is important to note that intelligence is highly dependent upon cultural context. Because of this, behavior that has been determined to be intelligent in one culture can be seen as unintelligent in another.

Analytical Intelligence Components

So, what is analytical intelligence? Analytical intelligence, also referred to as componential intelligence, includes academic tasks, problem-solving abilities, and abstract reasoning. Whenever you have to complete a task that requires you to compare, contrast, evaluate, analyze, or make a logical judgment, you are using analytical intelligence. Tasks that involve analytical intelligence have problems that are usually well-defined and have only one correct answer.

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