The American psychologist and psychometrician, Robert Jeffrey Sternberg is currently a provost at Oklahoma State University. He formerly served as the the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University, and the President of the American Psychological Association.
Robert Sternberg was born on December 9, 1949 in New Jersey. From an early age, Sternberg developed an interest in the study of psychology. He suffered from test anxiety. After performing poorly on an exam, Sternberg realized that tests could not be an accurate measure of one’s intelligence, knowledge and abilities. Upon retaking the same test in a different room with younger students, Sternberg felt more confident and performed better, gaining a higher score. A year later, Sternberg developed his own intelligence test which was named the Sternberg Test of Mental Ability (STOMA).
Sternberg’s academic experience clearly showed that most standard tests were poor tools of measuring mental abilities of a person. In light of Sternberg’s poor performance in his Introductory Psychology class, Sternberg was advised to pursue a different major by his professor. However, Sternberg was determined to study psychology. He went on to complete a B.A in psychology from Yale and then earned his PhD from Stanford in 1975.
He returned to Yale after earning his PhD and became a professor of psychology after which he went on to becoming the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University and Provost and professor of psychology at Oklahoma State University.
Robert Sternberg is an expert researcher in the areas of creativity, intelligence, cognitive styles and love. He is the founder of the triarchic theory of intelligence which focuses on the concept of successful intelligence. The theory consists of three main elements; analytical intelligence, creative intelligence and practical intelligence, where analytical intelligence refers to problem solving abilities, creative intelligence means making use of prior knowledge to deal with new situations and practical intelligence is all about the ability to adapt to a changing world.
Another fame winning credit of Robert Sternberg is his famous triangular theory of love. Sternberg has spent a large portion of his career researching love. According to this theory, commitment, passion and intimacy are the three main components of love. The combination of these three elements in different ways results in different types of love.
Sternberg’s contributions to the world of psychology are many. In addition to serving as the President of the American Psychological Association(2003), Robert Sternberg has written more than 1200 articles, book chapters and books. He has been awarded ten honorary doctorates and has won numerous prestigious awards including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children in 1985, the James McKeen Cattell Award from the American Psychological Society in 1999 and the E.L. Thorndike Award for Achievement in Educational Psychology from the APA in 2003. In addition to this, the American Psychological Association listed Robert Sternberg as one of the top 100 psychologists of the twentieth century.