三元智力理论提出有三种不同类型的智力：实用，独特和分析。它由着名心理学家罗伯特·斯特恩伯格（Robert J. Sternberg）制定，他的研究通常侧重于人类智慧和创造力。三元理论由三个子理论组成，每个子理论都涉及一种特定的智力：与实际智能相对应的语境子理论，或在一个人的环境中成功运作的能力;体验式理论，对应于创造性智慧，或处理新情况或问题的能力;和成分的理论，对应于分析智能，或解决问题的能力。斯特恩伯格在1985年提出了他的理论，作为一般智力因素概念的替代。一般情报因素，也称为g，是智力测验通常测量的因素。它仅指“学术智慧”.Sternberg认为，在衡量个人的整体智力时，实用智能 – 一个人对周围世界作出反应和适应的能力 – 以及创造力同样重要。他还认为，情报不是固定的，而是包含一系列可以开发的能力。斯腾伯格的断言促成了他的理论的产生。
The triarchic theory of intelligence proposes that there are three distinct types of intelligence: practical, distinct, and analytical. It was formulated by Robert J. Sternberg, a well-known psychologist whose research often focuses on human intelligence and creativity. The triarchic theory is comprised of three subtheories, each of which relates to a specific kind of intelligence: the contextual subtheory, which corresponds to practical intelligence, or the ability to successfully function in one’s environment; the experiential subtheory, which corresponds to creative intelligence, or the ability to deal with novel situations or issues; and the componential subtheory, which corresponds to analytical intelligence, or the ability to solve problems. Sternberg proposed his theory in 1985 as an alternative to the idea of the general intelligence factor. The general intelligence factor, also known as g, is what intelligence tests typically measure. It refers only to to “academic intelligence.” Sternberg argued that practical intelligence — a person’s ability to react and adapt to the world around them — as well as creativity are equally important when measuring an individual’s overall intelligence. He also argued that intelligence isn’t fixed, but rather comprises a set of abilities that can be developed. Sternberg’s assertions led to the creation of his theory.