Sternberg proposed that the fundamental unit of solving an intelligence task is a component. This means a person breaks a problem into parts and uses these mental components to solve it. A component may serve various functions, and multiple components may be used to solve a task. Examples are determining what order to solve the problem in, formulating a strategy, and monitoring performance until the problem is solved.
Contextual is the next part of Sternberg's triadic theory, and explains that there is an ability to do well in whatever context you exist in. Thus, smart people can adapt to whatever context they live in, and whatever that context defines as intelligent.
Sternberg theorizes that with more experience and knowledge, the functioning of components may be improved. Someone who is more experienced may be able to intelligently automate a routine task.
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