In 1905 French psychologist Alfred Binet devised the first major intelligence test for the purpose of identifying slow learners in school. In doing so, Binet assumed that intelligence could be measured as a general intellectual capacity and summarized in a numerical score, or intelligence quotient (IQ). Consistently, testing has revealed that although each of us is more skilled in some areas than in others, a general intelligence underlies our more specific abilities.
Today, many psychologists believe that there is more than one type of intelligence. American psychologist Howard Gardner proposed the existence of multiple intelligences, each linked to a separate system within the brain. He theorized that there are seven types of intelligence: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. American psychologist Robert Sternberg suggested a different model of intelligence, consisting of three components: analytic (“school smarts,” as measured in academic tests), creative (a capacity for insight), and practical (“street smarts,” or the ability to size up and adapt to situations).