Performance 5 min read

Can Analytical Intelligence Help You Succeed? Here’s How It Works

by Mindvalley November 28, 2018

In the 1980s, psychologist Robert Sternberg created the triarchic theory of intelligence. Unhappy with the limited capacity of traditional IQ tests, he decided to pursue a new way of examining human intelligence.

His triarchic theory breaks intelligence down into three distinct types. With this model, a healthy balance between the three forms of intelligence is key. In fact, the better balanced you are, the more success you can achieve.  

Analytical intelligence is one of Sternberg’s three forms of intelligence. Here’s how it works and how it can help you achieve success.

What Are Sternberg’s Three Types Of Intelligence?


Before we look at analytical intelligence, we must first explore Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence.

Sternberg’s three types of intelligence are: analytical, experiential, and practical intelligence.

Each of these forms of intelligence measure the brain’s ability to manage different types of challenges.

What is analytical intelligence?

Analytical intelligence is one of the three types of intelligence included in Sternberg’s triarchic theory.

Sternberg defines analytical intelligence as the ability to process and apply logical reasoning.  It includes the ability to identify patterns and make accurate predictions about the outcome of complex events.

Of Sternberg’s three types of intelligence, analytical intelligence is closest to what’s measured on the traditional IQ test.

experiential intelligence

What is experiential intelligence?

Another of Sternberg’s forms of intelligence is experiential intelligence, or creative intelligence.

Sternberg noticed intelligent people seem to have a predisposition for creative “outside the box” problem solving. When confronted with scenarios they’ve never encountered, people with a high degree of creativity can quickly devise a solution.

People with creative intelligence pick up new skills and ideas quicker than others. In fact, they also have a remarkable talent for concocting new insights and approaches to novel dilemmas, making them expert problem solvers.

What is practical intelligence?

According to Sternberg practical intelligence is the intelligence of common sense thinking. Others call it simply – “street smarts”.

A person’s practical intelligence is seen as the ability to adapt quickly to an unfavourable conditions and confidently navigate their surroundings.

Think about the moment you got lost in a new city – how would you react and what would be your plant to find your way back home? This is exactly when your practical intelligence comes into play. 

What Ability Is Provided By Analytical Intelligence According To Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory?


If you’ve got analytical intelligence, what skills and attributes would you be most likely to possess?

Those with analytical intelligence often perform well in an academic setting. They use logic and deductive reasoning to arrive at concrete solutions. But they’re also apt at grasping abstract concepts.

Analytical intelligence incorporates spatial recognition, mathematical proficiency, pattern recognition, and linguistic intelligence.

What is Robert Sternberg best known for?

Robert Sternberg is a celebrated psychologist, researcher, and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University. And while he’s contributed plenty to the field of psychology, his triarchic theory of intelligence was definitely his most famous innovation.

In the 1990s, Sternberg proposed the Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test (STAT). This test helps predict the success rate for children who don’t score well on traditional IQ tests.

Systems take a long time to change, so don’t be surprised if the traditional IQ test continues to crop up in academic settings. But Sternberg’s theory and STAT test are helping to redefine the way we understand human intelligence. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Intelligence isn’t a one size fits all affair.

It’s not how smart you are, but how are you smart.

— Jim KwikJim Kwik, Author of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Program

Do you have trouble remembering names?

Maybe you struggle to remember important dates or even basic facts and figures you need for a presentation?

If you do, don’t worry - it’s a common problem.

But what’s also common is the myth that some people are just born with good or photographic memory, while the rest of us just have to struggle.

The truth is, memory is just like a muscle - you can train it to be stronger.

Whether you’re a working professional looking to learn new skills, a student cramming for exams, or even just a senior who’s looking to stay sharp - there are techniques you can do to actively and permanently improve your memory.

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From it, you’ll also learn:

The biggest lie we’ve all been told about our brainsthat’s holding us back from our potential. Contrary to conventional wisdom, your memory actually isn’t fixed. Once you realize how much control you have, you’ll begin to discover what you’re truly capable of.

10 powerful mental hacks you can apply to unlock your inner super learner. Small tweaks in these areas could make the difference between being someone who’s forgetful, to someone who has near-perfect memory.

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So, what do you think of the triarchic theory of intelligence? Let us know in the comments below!

by Mindvalley
Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun. We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us. We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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