By Dr. Dany Lousky
The theory of intelligences explains how we create our understanding of the world where we live, how we change attitudes and beliefs, and how we determine objectives and accomplish them. The success of the process necessitates the implementation of all the dimensions in the individual’s personality – a holistic approach, or in essence, the implementation of many intelligences. Thus, the contribution of the research of intelligences to the understanding of the holistic approach, which is the heart of integrated medicine.
The French psychologist Binet addressed intelligence as an intellective ability that can be quantified into a numerical index, called IQ – Intelligence Quotient. Binet composed a tree of units of age-intelligence, assuming that intelligence changes with age. Therefore, the intelligence quotient is defined as the ratio between the individual’s personal ability and the ability of his peer group. The IQ test was first developed by Binet and Simon in 1916 and was intended to classify students for regular and special schools. On the basis of the test, these intelligence tests are still used in the Western world to classify students and predict their success in the studies. The IQ test measures the abilities required to succeed in the studies in the conventional school such as comprehension and verbal ability, logical mathematical ability, and recall of words and numbers. According to Binet and Simon, there are three criteria for the thinking action: thinking in a defined direction, adjustment ability using temporary solutions and ability to clarify, judge correctly, and critique every assumption or solution (Gardner, 1996).
The extensive use of intelligence tests over the years has awakened criticism, which addressed the question of whether intelligence is one ability, which can be measured quantitatively, or whether it constitutes an entirety of abilities. The critics argue that the definition of intelligence is narrow, examining only logical-mathematical and verbal abilities. This approach is the antithesis of the holistic approach, since it addresses only one part of the intellective dimension and does not see the whole person (the four dimensions).
In 1710 Jambista Vicko maintained that the Divine truth is what God learns in the process of its creation and combination. Human truth, too, is what the person learns when he builds it and shapes it according to his deeds. Therefore, science (scientia) is the knowledge (cognito) of the sources, of the ways, and of the manner in which things are created. According to Viko, the only way to know something is to create it, and only then it is possible to know all the elements that were combined together in it. Viko used the word ‘operation’; hence, knowledge according to Viko is awareness of the actions that create the world of activity and the world of activity is a product that builds the intelligence.
Piaget (1977) maintains that the implementation of a cognitive entity is what organizes the world of experience through the organization itself. Weschler (1944) holds that intelligence is an ability, which is evinced through challenges that are placed before the individual and according to resources at his disposal. Thorndyke (1921) maintains that intelligence is the ability to respond with the right answers.
Goleman (1995) posited ‘emotional intelligence’ to meet the need to find a different index for the quantification of a person’s ability and to understand his behavior or the course of his life. Emotional intelligence takes two uncorrelated concepts, intelligence and emotion, and creates a new definition of the concept that better explains the social, organizational, and administrative situation in a world that is steadily becoming more complex.
Sternberg (1985) posited a theory of ‘Three Factors Intelligence’ that maintains that it is necessary to examine intelligence in three dimensions and in the relations among these dimensions.
1. The person’s world of inner thinking, which includes elements of knowledge acquisition, knowledge processing, and meta-cognition elements that address planning and regulation of the elements of knowledge acquisition and organization.
2. Thinking in contact with the person’s outside world that includes his abilities to adjust to the environment, change it, or exchange it for another environment.
3. The person’s thinking and range of experience, in other words, his abilities to cope with new situations and transform the abilities that he developed during these coping into an automatic part of his repertoire of actions.
Sternberg (1997) in his book Successful Intelligence had what is considered the breakthrough of the last decade, when he constructed a new theory that defines human intelligence. His primary approach is based on the tripartite theory of intelligence, which is based on three elements: the analytic element, the creative element, and the practical element. According to Sternberg, successful intelligence is intelligence that can help the individual build himself in light of these three elements and a qualitative educational system needs to allow and encourage such construction. Sternberg’s approach to the examination of the nature of intelligence is primarily expressed in terms of the context in which it is held. He proposed a contextual framework for the understanding of intelligence. Most researches, from the 1970s and 1980s, engaged in intelligence in relation to the individual’s inner world. These researches provided means for the understanding of intelligence in terms of the processes and cognitive structures that contribute to it, but they did not contribute anything to the relationship between intelligence and the individual’s outside world. If we perceive intelligence, at least in part, as adaptive behavior in an environment of the real world, according to Sternberg (1997), then it is not possible to completely understand the nature of intelligence without understanding how the real world shapes what is intelligent behavior in the given social and cultural context