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THE TRIARCHIC MIND: A New Theory of Human Intelligence by Robert J. Sternberg

THE TRIARCHIC MIND: A New Theory of Human Intelligence


Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1988
Publisher: Viking

According to the tongue-twister theory Yale psychologist Sternberg proposes, intelligence consists of mental self-management and involves ""metacomponents"" (planning, monitoring and evaluating; performance components; and knowledge-acquisition). These three components in turn are related, respectively, to the internal world of the individual, the external world, and experience in the world. As these ideas are explicated, we encounter various cross-links, feedback mechanisms, and modifying factors--such as cultural context, socialization processes, personality, and cognitive styles. Thus, much of the content of courses in social psychology, developmental and educational psychology, and personality theory are presented largely from the point of view of someone who has had more than a little experience with executive management analyses in corporate America. This mixture, unfortunately, gives the book the decided flavor of you-too-can-succeed-in-business: if you follow the outline and do the exercises! For exercises there are. All the way from connect-the-dots and missionaries and cannibals to the verbal and figural analogies (""Part is to trap as rat is to. . ."") that are the bane of garden-variety I.Q. tests. Of course, garden-variety I.Q. tests are too limited, Sternberg acknowledges--as are past theories of intelligence from Binet to Jensen to Piaget to Howard Gardner. Sternberg's alternative, a pragmatic, eclectic approach full of guidelines and helpful hints, will appeal to anxiety-ridden would-be-achievers (or their parents) but offers no real insights into how the human mind works.