A Pear for Your Thoughts
The Structure of Intellect theory discovered ninety aspects of intelligence. So far, we have discussed five operations and three contents. The third dimension of the SOI is intellectual products. There are six of them.
5 operations x 3 contents x 6 products = 90 cognitive abilities
Did you know you had so many?
The products build upon each other, as follows:
A pear is a unit.
Units: single, separate pieces of information. Children are units thinkers first. They focus on things one at a time. One famous example of a units thinking adult is the detective Sherlock Holmes, or perhaps his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Units thinkers retain information that is separate and unrelated, existing as individual units.
Pears, figs, and oranges are a class we call fruit.
Classes: groups or sets of things. Classes lessons are featured abundantly on Sesame Street, in “One of These Things is Not Like the Other.” We tend to group like things together, which is the basis of science, filing systems, social organization, and legal systems.
Pears in a bowl, pears growing on a tree, and pears stitched on a pillow as a symbol for comfort are three relations of pears.
Relations: associations and orders among things. Dr. Seuss taught us about them in books like Hop on Pop and Red Fish Blue Fish. A compass and a family reveal relations. Analogies are a subclass of relations. We find these on tests like the SAT: Bee is to honey as a goat is to milk.
The ecosystem of the the raccoon eating the pear, the coyote eating the raccoon, and the human eating the raccoon is, of course, a system.
Systems: relations of relations, or a sequence of relations. For example, Arithmetic is to relations as Math is to systems. Arithmetic is simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and so on. Math is how addition is relation to multiplication, and subtraction to division, and on into the higher levels.
Imagining life as a pear farmer or a raccoon who steals pears at night is a transformation.
Transformations: the ability to see or use something in a different perspective. “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” Or, see this ocean from the dock and determine how it would look like from the lighthouse on the opposite shore.
Analyzing a potential ecosystem without pears, the possible benefits of planting a pear garden, or the role of the pear in the life of St. Augustine is an implication.
Implications: the ability to see the outcome or consequences of an action, conceptual position, or a line of argument. A military commander, engineer, and successful lawyer should be respective experts at figural, symbolic, and semantic implications.
For each product there is an aspect that is figural, symbolic, and semantic, as they all interplay with cognition, memory, evaluation, convergent production, and divergent production. Most of this all happens without the thinker realizing. The mind is a truly amazing thing.