Wednesday, 25 March 2015



(This notes are for M.Ed. students. B.Ed. students don't need this topic in the depth covered as in this. 
However B.Ed. students can go through it and understand!!)

Prepared by
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Assistant Professor in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
Attur, Thrissur.


J P Guilford was a psychologist involved during the world war ӀӀ in developing tests to select candidates for training as pilots. As he expanded his interesting to testing Various other specific thinking skills, he developed a model to guide his research & to organize his thinking about all the various skills he was testing.

Guilford announced his intention to use a factor analytic technique to begin isolating the various factors of thinking,to separate our creativity & other skills from the factors measured by IQ.

He developed a model of intellect on the basis of the factor analysis of several tests employed for testing intelligence of human beings. And came to the conclusion that any mental process or intellectual activity of the human being can be described in terms of 3 basic dimensions or parameters know as operation (the act of thinking or the way of processing the information); contents (the terms in which we think or the type of information involved); and the products(the ideas we come up with i.e., the fruits of a thinking).

Each of these parameters – operation, contents, product may be further subdivided into some specific factors or elements. As a result, operations may be subdivided into 5 specific factors, contents into 5 & products into 6. The interaction of these 3 parameters, according to Guilford, thus results into the 5*5*6 = 150 different elements or factors in one’s intelligence. He sought to develop tests for each combination of the possibilities on these 3 dimensions, expecting that a person could be high on some of these abilities while being low on others.


                                              Guilford’s model of intellect


By content he meant that different people seemed to pay more attention to and think more effectively about different kinds of information, such as:

o Visual information directly from the senses or from imaging, Informations like colour    
of objects,shape & size of figures,etc.

o Auditory information directly from the senses or from images.
Sound of birds or animals,sound of a musical instrument,etc.

o Symbolic items such as words and symbols which generally convey some meaning,numbers,letters,symbols,designs etc.

o Semantic : meanings of words,ideas.

o Behavioral : The actions & expression of people.The information about the mental states and behavior of observed individuals.

This type of content was added to the model based on abilities that emerged from his testing. Daniel Goleman (1995) has popularized this as “social intelligence”. An artist might excel at processing visual information, but be poor at processing words, numbers and other symbolic content. A researcher who excels at processing symbolic content such as words and numbers and semantic meaning, might be very poor at processing behavioral data and thus relate poorly with people.


The operations dimension describes what the brain does with and to these types of information:

o Cognition : recognizing & discovering. It has to do with the ability to perceive the various items. For example, the cognition of semantic units has to do with one's ability to recognize words, i.e. one's vocabulary. Cognition of Behavioral Transformations would be the ability to perceive changes in the expressions of an individual.

o Memory has to do with the ability to store and retrieve various kinds of information. People differ in their abilities to remember not only from other people, but also among various kinds of information. Some people who are poor at remembering faces (behavioral units) may be excellent at remembering puns (semantic transformations).

o Divergent production has to do with the ability to access memory. It refers to the ability to find large numbers of things which fit certain simple criteria. For example, just a word circle will remind a person about so many objects in circular shape. Among which one has to be identified based on other criteria, if any.
o Convergent Production : producing a single best solution to a problem. It is associated with IQ & is often tested for skill.
Example, the search of memory for the single answer to a question or situation. This area includes most areas of logic type problem solving. It differs from divergence in the constraint of one right answer..

o Evaluation is the ability to make judgments about the various kinds of information, judgments such as which items are identical in some way, which items are better, and what qualities are shared by various items.


The products dimension relates to the kinds of information we process from the content types:

o Units refers to the individual pieces of information limited in size. The units in a content area. This might be symbolic units such as words, visual units such as shapes, or behavioral units such as facial expressions.

o Classes refers to the ability to organize units into meaningful groups and to sort units into the right groups. Relate units to each other on the basis of some common characteristics.  Example , men + women = people

o Relations pertains to the ability to sense the relationships between pairs of units.A connection between concepts. Relating the date to the day.

o Systems consist of the relationships among more than two units. An ordering or classification of relations.

o Transformations is the ability to understand changes in information, such as rotation of visual figures, or jokes and puns in the semantic area.

o Implications refers to expectation. Given a certain set of information, one might expect  
certain other information to be true. Making inferences from separate pieces of information.


In this way, according to Guilford’s model of intellect, there are 150 factors operating in   one’s intelligence. Each one of these factors has a trigram symbol i.e., at least one factor from each category of 3 parameters has to be present in any specific intellectual activity or mental task.
Suppose a child is asked to find out the day of the week on a particular   
      date with the help of a calendar. In the execution of this mental task, he will need
      mental operations like convergent thinking, memory & cognition. For these
      operations, he will make use of the content, ‘semantics’ i.e., reading & understanding
      of the printed words & figures indicating days & dates of a particular month in the
      calendar. Finally he will arrive at the products i.e., the day of the week to which the
      date refers in the question, which represents the factor ‘relations’ .

            References :

·        Essentials of Educational Psychology S.K.Mangal
·        Guilford’s structure of the Intellect Christopher M Barlow