Triarchic theory states that intelligence is based on three factors: componential intelligence, experiential intelligence, and contextual intelligence. The theory came from Robert J. Sternberg’s desire to acknowledge, test, and rate intelligence on more than factual content.

The testing targets three components of intelligence. First: componential intelligence or what most call IQ or intelligence. The basis lies in analytical thinking and information recollection. Second: experiential intelligence or adaptive capabilities. This basis lies in creative thinking, intuitive solutions, and adapting to problems that are completely foreign. Third: contextual intelligence or survival skills. The basis lies in real world survival abilities such as getting out of trouble, replacing a fuse, or simply getting along with people.

Resources include:
Sternberg, R.J. (1986). Intelligence applied. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Sternberg, R.J. (1989). Advances in the psychology of human intelligence. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Sternberg, R.J. (1990). Academic and practical cognition as different aspects of intelligence. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.