Criticism of Spearman’s Theory of Intelligence 

Various researchers have proposed different intelligence theories and Charles E. Spearman is one of them. According to the British psychologist Charles Spearman,

“Intelligence is the capacity of the organism to adjust itself to an increasingly complex environment”.

Spearman developed his two-factor theory of intelligence in 1904. The theory is known as “General Intelligence” or the “g factor”. According to his theory, a person doing good in one subject would do so in corresponding subjects too and so happens the other way round.

Criticisms of Spearman’s Two Factor Theory of Intelligence

Spearman’s theory of intelligence has received some criticism too, which are:

Criricism on the Concept

A British-American psychologist named Raymond Cattell, who was a student of Spearman, criticized the two-factor theory stating that the nature of intelligence could be better understood by the concept of “fluid intelligence” (Gf) and “crystallized intelligence” (Gc). All the knowledge, skills, experiences, skills an individual has acquired throughout his or her life is called fluid intelligence, and the ability to correctly understand and utilize the information or knowledge, and learning new skills, is called fluid intelligence. For Cattell, the “g” factor was more accurate as “Gc” (crystallized intelligence) and felt that tests that deal with only the “g” factor ignore the other intelligence factors that are covered with the fluid intelligence.

Criticism on the Approach of Cognition Analysis

According to American Psychologist Howard Gardner, this theory focused only on academic intelligence. Other factors such as body-kinesthetics, Naturalist intelligence, and musical intelligence which he has mentioned in his theory of Intelligence should also be considered a significant part of intelligence. There are plenty people of who are bad in academics but have a talent in other domains such as art, sports, and music. He argued that the “g” factor emphasized only academic intelligence, such as verbal and logical intelligence, and skipped other forms of intelligence.

Criticism on the Factor Analysis Technique

Spearman’s two-factor theory is also criticized for focusing only on the factor analysis technique to measure intelligence. He ignored the cognition processes related to intelligence. The “g” factor of spearman’s theory fails to acknowledge various other activities like perception, and emotional abilities.

These are the criticisms Spearman’s Two Factor Intelligence Theory has received. The theory has emphasized only academic intelligence and failed to recognize other factors of intelligence because of which it has received these criticisms.