Guilford's Structure of Intellect (SOI) theory states that a person's success in general intelligence may be traced all the way back to fundamental mental talents or intellectual elements. He used up to 150 different mental capacities and arranged them into three categories in his SOI model: operations, content, and products. With the expectation that a person could be exceptionally gifted in some of these talents while lacking in others, he set out to create tests for every possible scenario of ability on these three dimensions.
Guilford studied and produced a wide range of neuropsychological tests to assess the talents anticipated by the SI principle. The numerous qualities of Guilford’s theory of intelligence are operationalised through these tests. Factor analysis was utilised to see which assessments reflected similar or slightly dissimilar competencies.
About the Theorist
J. P. Guilford was a psychologist connected to the development of tests to choose individuals for flight testing during World War II. As he broadened his study interests to include evaluating a variety of other specialised reasoning skills, he constructed a model to direct his research and organise his thoughts about all of the other talents he was examining at the same time. Guilford is widely regarded as the person who inspired the discipline of psychology to begin investigating the phenomenon of creativity.
During his 1950 presidential address to the American Psychological Association, he emphasised the critical importance of creativity as a study issue, while highlighting the shortage of documented research on the subject. In his opinion, most people believe that creativity is a natural by-product of intellect, as indicated by IQ. As a result, they have not started to investigate the topic of creative thinking. Guilford declared his plan to employ a factor analytic technique to begin extracting the many aspects of thinking to distinguish creativity and other qualities from the factors evaluated by IQ.
Categories in Guilford’s Structure of Intellect theory
Guilford’s "Structure of Intellect" approach categorises and organises the varied talents into three categories: content, product, and process, respectively. Each dimension is briefly described in the next section.
The structure of intellect consists of six operations or general intellectual processes:
Cognition - Cognition includes aspects like understanding, comprehending, discovering, and becoming aware of the information.
Memory recording - Memory recording is the proficiency to integrate and encode information.
Memory retention - Memory retention is the ability to recollect facts or information.
Divergent production - Divergent production describes the ability to develop different ways to solve problems; it also refers to the ability to be creative.
Convergent production - Convergent production is the capacity to derive singular answers to problems from a set of rules; it is also known as rule-following or problem-solving.
Evaluation - Evaluation is the ability to determine whether a piece of particular information is correct, reliable, or trustworthy.
SI comprises five main categories of information to which the human intellect uses the six operations, which are as follows:
Visual - Visual information is information encountered through the sense of sight.
Auditory - Auditory information is processed through the sense of hearing.
Kinesthetic - Kinesthetic information is experienced through one's body movements.
Symbolic - Symbolic information is seen as symbols or signals that have no significance in and of themselves.
Semantic - This is concerned with the meaning and concepts conveyed by words.
Behavioural - Behavioural information is thought to be the result of human actions.
As the name implies, this dimension shows the outcomes of specific operations being applied to specific items in a specific order. The SI model consists of six products, each of which increases in sophistication:
Units - Units are discrete pieces of information.
Classes - Classes are groups of units that have characteristics in common.
Relations - Relations are groups of units that are linked together as opposites or in correlations, series, or parallels.
Systems - Systems are made up of multiple relations that are interconnected to form structures or pathways.
Transformations - Transformations in knowledge include shifts in viewpoint, transitions, and alterations in knowledge.
Implications - Implications are expectations, conclusions, outcomes, or assumptions of knowledge based on existing information.
Combining these three elements results in the identification of 150 unique skill groups. It is crucial to remember that this model was established as a roadmap for a research study to investigate the relationships between the different categories and the capacity to integrate test results into this framework. The diagram does not explicitly depict the relationship between the different cells in the matrix. According to Guilford, they are centred solely on the cognition of a specific type of behavioural element.
Implications of Guilford’s SOI model
This matrix has several implications, one of which is that most IQ tests are highly restricted in the domains of ability they examine, with many tests presuming that persons who perform well in some of the categories will perform well in all of them. Howard Gardner (1983) stated the same point more straightforwardly in his book, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”, in which he outlines seven dimensions of intellectual prowess: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. It is beneficial to evaluate how these various abilities assist in issue resolution and how these categories correspond to the events that occur within companies.
Guilford proposed that, while most of the research on rising creativity has centred on the numerous divergent production abilities, there appears to be a strong point favouring concentrating on the various transformation abilities, which would support the claim of focusing some interest upon changes in insight. Interviews with creative persons in several alternative technical and artistic fields have revealed that such talents are a critical component of their work and an origin of their inspiration in these fields.