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Howard Gardner proposed a radical alternative model of intelligence – quite different from the hierarchical models generally accepted by psychometricians. Known as the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, it posits the existence of 7 – 9 separate abilities, each designated an “intelligence.” The theory originally (1983) included the following abilities: linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual, musical, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. Later, Gardner added naturalistic intelligence; still later, existential intelligence joined the list. The Multiple Intelligences model has become quite popular among educators, especially at the preschool and elementary levels. The theory has, however, been criticized on empirical grounds. Neither Gardner nor his followers have developed tests to measure these hypothesized abilities. Therefore, nobody has demonstrated that the abilities really exist – or, if they do, that they are distinct, as opposed to being part of a hierarchy with Spearman’s ‘g’ at the top.

You are instructed to do the following:

1. Explain briefly (1½ – 2 pages) how Gardner identified these “intelligences.” That is, on what evidentiary basis does he postulate their existence and defend their status as distinct cognitive abilities? Note that this does not call for a list of the intelligences. What I am looking for are the standards by which he judges whether an ability counts as “an intelligence.” (10 points)



2. Describe briefly (1½ – 2 pages) how Gardner defines and describes musical intelligence. What are its core operations, and how does it qualify as an intelligence? (10 points)

3. Propose a set of tests that could be used to measure musical intelligence as defined by Gardner. Describe the kinds of items that might be included, any special equipment that would be required, and any special scoring or judging instructions that might need to be mastered by professionals wishing to utilize the tests. Use your imagination, but be realistic. This should come to about 1½ – 2 pages. (10 points)



4. Describe a couple of studies by which the reliability and validity of your proposed tests might be evaluated. Your goal is to develop a case for the construct validity of your test and a basis on which educators or clinicians might use the test to evaluate children’s abilities.  Be realistic. This should come to about 2 – 2½ pages. (10 points)



Your responses should be typed. Please double-space throughout, use 1” margins all around, and use a standard font such as Times New Roman 12. The entire paper will come to about 6 – 8 pages. Remember to use your own words and work independently.


The only resources you need (besides your wonderful minds) are your class notes, textbook, and two relevant chapters from Gardner’s (1983) book. I have posted them to eLearning. Chapter 4 answers question #1; chapter 6 contains the answer to #2. The rest is up to you!


Textbook: Gregory, R.J. (2015). Psychological Testing: History, Principles, and Applications, 7th Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

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    6 page paper

    Howard Gardner proposed a radical alternative model of intelligence – quite different from the hierarchical models generally accepted by psychometricians. Known as the Theory of Multiple …