Did you know there are different kinds of intelligence? Many of us spend hours on self assessment and critique, pondering on how we act and think, and what drives us, but have you given any thought that we might be pigeon-holed by the type of intelligence(s) we have. Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of neuroscience at Harvard University, developed his theory of Multiple Intelligences. According to his theory there are eight different kinds of intelligence that reflect the various ways we interact with the world. Each of us has a unique blend of these intelligences. We possess all eight kinds of intelligence, just in different proportions.
1. Interpersonal Intelligence
In the past, emotional intelligence hasn’t really been “measured separately”; instead intelligence tests have strived to establish general intelligence (IQ), and general cognitive intelligence. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory breaks general intelligence down.
This is one of the two kinds of intelligence ascribed by Gardner as relating to our emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Interpersonal intelligence is how we interact with others. It includes our sensitivity to the emotions and feelings of others and how we react to them and how we react to and deal with the temperaments and motivations of people we come in contact with.
2. Intrapersonal Intelligence
Intrapersonal intelligence relates to self. This is the internal aspect of the external emotional intelligence describe in the first point. Intrapersonal intelligence defines our sensitivity to our own feelings, emotions, concerns and anxieties, and ultimately, our goals. It covers how we choose and plan our goals and how we act and make consequential decisions.
This relates not just to the basic movements of our body in our simple act of living but also to our ability to use our body to solve problems and make things. People with strong bodily-kinesthetic intelligence have good physical control and generally are dextrous with excellent hand-eye coordination.
4. Spatial Intelligence
After the emotional and physical kinds of intelligence Gardner moves onto the other factors that are generally lumped together as cognitive intelligence. Spatial intelligence is our ability to visualize and conceptualize and also includes our spatial awareness and judgment.
5. Linguistic Intelligence
Obviously, this is about language and speech. Our linguistic intelligence is our sensitivity to words – their meaning and their order, and furthermore, our patterns of speech, with its rhythms, inflections and meters.
6. Logical-mathematical Intelligence
This is one of the most commonly recognized forms of intelligence and the one most intelligence tests attempt to measure, it covers how we conceptualize problems that have a logical basis and logical response. It’s generally assumed mathematicians and scientists have a high logical-mathematical intelligence, but we all have it – we all have the problem solving ability, just in different measures.
7. Musical Intelligence
How many of us wish w had a higher musical intelligence? I would have loved to be able to sing opera! Our musical intelligence covers our sensitivity to music, to sounds, tones and rhythms. Obviously, those lucky enough to be blessed with high musical intelligence are the music makers of our world, bringing us joy with their ability and sensitivity to tone and pitch, meter and rhythm.
8. Naturalistic Intelligence
Gardner’s theory originally identified seven kinds of intelligence. He later added this as the eighth. Naturalistic intelligence relates to our observation and understanding and how it relates to the natural environment.
Has this got you thinking about your own intelligence? Where are your strengths and weaknesses?
Gardner’s book: "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences."