Date of this Version
Implicit theories of intelligence were investigated via surveys of exemplars of intelligence. Study 1 was a four-sample survey of famous exemplars. These diverse samples reported a similar set of popular exemplars, which clustered into five groups. These groups represented five types of intelligence: scientific, artistic, entrepreneurial, communicative, and moral intelligence. In Study 2, the minimal overlap of intelligence exemplars with those of fame, creativity, and wisdom refuted the possibility that exemplar reports are indiscriminate or solely a result of availability. In Study 3, knowledgeable judges rated the similarity of 50 famous persons to exemplars representing each type of intelligence. All five similarity ratings predicted exemplar popularities. In Study 4, where exemplar reports were not restricted to famous people, 31% were nonfamous (friends, family members, teachers, etc.). The results indicate that five implicit types of intelligence, each represented by highly available exemplars, play a role in people’s implicit theories.