1. Education

Robert Sternberg Biography (1949 - )

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"Successfully intelligent people discern their strengths and weaknesses, and then figure out how to capitalize on their strengths, and to compensate for or remediate their weaknesses. Successfully intelligent individuals succeed in part because they achieve a functional balance among a "triarchy" of abilities…Moreover, all of these abilities can be further developed." – Robert Sternberg

Best Known For:

  • Triarchic theory of intelligence
  • Triangular theory of love
  • Theory of cognitive styles
  • Research on creativity

Early Life:

Robert Jeffrey Sternberg was born in New Jersey on December 9, 1949. Sternberg's interest in psychology began early in life. After suffering from test anxiety and doing poorly on an exam, he realized that the test was not an accurate measure of his actual knowledge and abilities.

When he retook the same test in a different room with a group of younger students, he found that he felt more confident and was scored much higher as a result. The next year, Sternberg developed his very first intelligence test, which he named the Sternberg Test of Mental Ability (STOMA).

His later academic experiences further demonstrated that standard tests were often poor measures of mental abilities. He actually performed so poorly in his Introductory Psychology class that his professor advised him to pursue a different major. Undeterred, Sternberg went on to graduate from Yale with a B. A. in Psychology in 1972 and to earn his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1975.

Career:

After earning his degree, Sternberg returned to Yale as a professor of psychology. He later became the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. He is currently Provost and professor of psychology at Oklahoma State University.
Sternberg is perhaps best known for his research on intelligence, love, cognitive styles and creativity. His triarchic theory of intelligence focuses on what he refers to as "successful intelligence" which is composed of three elements: analytical intelligence (or problem-solving abilities), creative intelligence (using prior knowledge and skills to deal with new situations) and practical intelligence (the ability to adapt to a changing world).
Sternberg is also known for his research on love. His triangular theory of love identifies commitment, passion and intimacy as the three main components of love. When these three elements are combined in various ways, they result in different types of love. For example, passionate love is composed of passion and intimacy, while compassionate love is a mix of intimacy and commitment.

Contributions to Psychology:

Sternberg served as the President of the American Psychological Association in 2003 and has won numerous awards including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children in 1985, the James McKeen Cattell Award from the American Psychological Society in 1999 and the E.L. Thorndike Award for Achievement in Educational Psychology from the APA in 2003.

In addition to this, he has written more than 1200 articles, book chapters and books, has been awarded ten honorary doctorates and was listed by the APA as one of the top 100 psychologists of the twentieth century.

Selected Publications:

If you are interested in learning more about Sternberg's work and theories, consider reading some of his books and other publications. In addition to his research, teaching and university work, Sternberg is also a prolific writer. The following selected works represent just a small sampling of his output:

Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A triarchic theory of human intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (1996). Successful intelligence. New York: Simon & Schuster. (Paperback edition: New York: Dutton, 1997).

Sternberg, R. J., & Spear-Swerling, L. (1996). Teaching for thinking. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Thinking styles. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (1999). The theory of successful intelligence. Review of General Psychology, 3, 292-316

Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2000). Teaching for successful intelligence. Arlington Heights, IL: Skylight Training and Publishing Inc.

Sternberg, R. J. (2007). Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized. New York: Cambridge University Press.

References

Robert J. Sternberg. Retrieved from http://academics.tjhsst.edu/psych/oldPsych/sternberg/

Robert Sternberg. Human Intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/sternberg.shtml

Sternberg, R. J. Personal CV. Retrieved from www2.udec.cl/~hbrinkma/robert_sternberg.doc

Sternberg, R. J. (1988). The triarchic mind: A new theory of human intelligence. New York: Viking.

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