Robert Sternberg formulated a triarchic theory of intelligence. According to this theory there are three types of intelligence. The first of which is componential, which is the analytical intelligence. The second is the experimental or creative intelligence. The last being contextual or practical intelligence.

Componential intelligence is the mental abilities most closely related to success on conventional IQ and achievement tests. According to the belief held by this theory, traditional IQ tests measure only this type of intelligence.

Experimental intelligence is the type of intelligence reflected in creative thinking and problem solving. People with high experimental intelligence find creative ways to perform common daily tasks more efficiently and effectively. They are able to solve novel problems and deal with unusual and unexpected challenges.

Contextual intelligence is practical intelligence. It is common sense or street smarts. People that test high is this type of intelligence are survivors who capitalize on their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. They either adapt well to their environment, change the environment so that they can succeed, or if all else fails, find a new environment.