Medicine & USMLE

Triarchical Intelligence Theory

  1. Theory of General Intelligence
  2. Fluid Intelligence
  3. Crystallized Intelligence
  4. Theory of Multiple Intelligences
  5. Triarchical Intelligence Theory
  6. Primary Mental Abilities


Triarchical Intelligence Theory states that there are three areas of intelligence: analytical, creative, and practical. According to this theory, each area of intelligence is independent of the others. The theory was proposed by Robert Sternberg.

Key Points

  • Theory of Triarchical Intelligence
    • Three intelligences (hence triarchical)
    • Intelligences are independent of each other 
    • Proposed by Robert Sternberg


For example, someone like a scientist may have very strong analytical abilities, but they may be poor at art (creative) or practical skills. On the other hand, a painter might have strong creative intelligence, but weak practical or analytical intelligence.