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Flowers for Algernon': Theory of Multiple Intelligences

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“ The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”- Albert Einstein. The extremely controversial topic of weather measurements of intelligence are precise or accurate is still greatly debated today. Researchers have suggested a variety of theories that display and explain the complexion of intelligence and some theories have emerged and become major in our world today. To mankind intelligence still a mystery that many are trying to solve. Some theories include Charles Spearman’s general intelligence which is not widely accepted today, and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences which many people stand behind.

One theory of intelligence is Charles Spearman’s theory of general intelligence and it is not widely accepted today. The article, “ ̈Theories of Intelligence in Psychology ̈ states that, ̈ After using a technique known as factor analysis to examine some mental aptitude tests, Spearman concluded that scores on these tests were remarkably similar.¨ This means that one who scores poorly on a cognitive test was prone to do poor on other tests and those who did well one a cognitive test are likely to have a good score on other tests as well. After Charles formed this theory of intelligence, he believed that intelligence can be measured and expressed accurately numerically. “Flowers for Algernon” mentions that researchers in modern times are realizing and recognizing that a single test is not an accurate nor a precise way to measure intelligence. This is because there is an extremely wide range of intellectual abilities that researchers are still discovering and learning about today. Because of the wide range of abilities, a single test will not be able to measure each and every type of intelligence that a person may consist of. Therefore, Charles Spearman’s theory of general intelligence is not widely accepted today as it does not clearly form the idea of modern intelligence.

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In addition, another theory of intelligence is Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and it is widely accepted today. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is very modern compared to other theories as it contains a wide range of intellects that several researchers and people believe is an accurate representation or measurement of intelligence.The article ̈Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences ̈ states, “In order to capture the full range of abilities and talents that people possess, Gardner theorizes that people do not have just an intellectual capacity, but have many kinds of intelligence, including musical, interpersonal, spatial-visual, and linguistic intelligences…¨ His theory show eight different types of intelligence which are based on expertise and abilities that are presented in different cultures and natures. Gardner never focused one one single theory or test (IQ test), and instead he was interested in how the idea of one test/theory and a single view of intelligence was extremely limited. Therefore, Howard Gardnerś theory of multiple intelligences is widely accepted today as. In modern times researchers and people believe that there are several different aspects to showing and measuring intelligence

As one can clearly see, in the story ̈Flowers for Algernon ̈ doctors measure his progress with IQ throughout his journey which is related to Charles Gardner’s theory that if one does good on one test they tend to do good on other tests. Also, Charlie thought that this surgery was the only way to become smarter. At the end of the story, when the Charlie begans losing his intelligence he learns that there are several distinct ways to become smart and that proves to change his views and thoughts on intelligence. This supports the theory of multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner. If Charlie had not gotten the surgery to become smarter, he would have never changed his perspective on intelligence.

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Flowers for Algernon’: Theory of Multiple Intelligences. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Flowers for Algernon’: Theory of Multiple Intelligences.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
Flowers for Algernon’: Theory of Multiple Intelligences. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Flowers for Algernon’: Theory of Multiple Intelligences [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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