One General Intelligence Theory: Intelligence

Intelligence Definition: This is a persons ability to take on board and develop knowledge to be applied to certain tasks and skills. Many people confuse knowledge with intelligence, seeing knowledgeable people as the most intelligent ones, however we must remember that intelligence is the ability to acquire information and skills, not just remember information when it suits them.

The one general intelligence theory, also know as a structural model, believes that all intelligence comes from one general factor, which, as Spearman refers to it is ‘g’. This theory was well believed, a couple are noted in the title, with the rest being; Galton, Jensen and Eysenck.

Binet and Simon

These two researchers carried out an experiment in a boy’s school in France from 1905 until 1908. During this time they tested the children with learning difficulties. The tests involved answering questions which were designed to see how these students measured in certain aspects of life. As the results showed, all of the questions depended on one another, and that is why Binet and Simon believe in one general intelligence.


Spearman created factor analysis to further his research. He found that there was a high positive correlation between different tests of cognitive ability, including the likes of verbal tests and numeric tests. This led him to believe that each intelligence was connected into one. This he called ‘the general intelligence factor’ or for short ‘g’.

(Binet and Simon, 20th Century) (Spearman, 20th Century)