chapter  4
Alternative Views of the Structure of Abilities
Pages 27

Whilst chapter 3 focused on attempts to use factor analysis to understand the number of distinct abilities and the interrelations between them, not all theorists have followed this route. For there are some phenomena (such as ‘streetwise’ intelligence) that the models of ability described in Chapter 3 were not designed to explain, and this chapter explores some ways of understanding the nature of intelligence that are not based on factor analysis. We fi rst briefl y consider three arguments that suggest that the approach of the previous chapter is misguided; they suggest that our defi nitions of ability are arbitrary, that how people perceive their intelligence is what matters, and that our approach is fl awed because it cannot explain the behaviour of some clinical groups. We then build on this to consider in some detail the theories of Gardner, Sternberg and Howe all of whom developed theories of abilities that are not based on the factor-analysis models of Chapter 3 .