How Bright Are You?

I argue that there is persuasive evidence for the existence of several relatively autonomous human intellectual competencies, abbreviated hereafter as “human intelligences”.

Howard Gardner

A decade of coaching kids and adults has shown me that everyone is intelligent in their own way. Intelligence is not only reason and logic. There are many types of intelligence, and this notion grew in popularity in the fields of Psychology and Education thanks to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory. According to Gardner, we are not born with a finite amount of intelligence. Instead, intelligence can be expanded and developed across our lifespan. Gardner’s proposition is that there is more to intelligence than the so valued cognitive abilities, with emotional competencies being only one example.

This new approach to intelligence has contributed to more supportive school environments around the globe. It proposes that there are eight types of intelligence. These include linguistic intelligence, logical/mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, and naturalist intelligence. Theoretically, we all have these types of intelligence. Some of us have some types more developed than others, based on genetics and experience, but the good news is that we can learn and evolve if we are willing to.

One aspect that I like about the Multiple Intelligences Theory is that it promotes diversity and individuality. For this reason, we can’t assess intelligence as an absolute. Let’s say John is good at reasoning and not so good at managing relationships with other people. Peter may be good at dancing and not so good at math. Mathew can be good both at reasoning and handling people but not so good at dancing. Can we say one of them is less intelligent than the other? I refuse to say we can. Different situations and tasks require different types of intelligence.

The idea that human beings have multiple intelligences promotes diversity and individuality.

Not being limited to the amount of intelligence we are born with also gives us the confidence to grow and expand different personal assets. I’d say this is the goal of personal growth. If your aim is to evolve, you can’t be stuck with the idea that you are only good at one thing and that thing only. That’s a limiting belief you must get rid of. If you’re good at reasoning and awful with people, you can learn how to relate better, and if you’re not that good with numbers, you can start practicing calculus and simple equations.

For instance, I was never a sportsperson. This means I had very little bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. One of my goals has been to be physically active though. It doesn’t come naturally to me but it’s part of my personal development plan. It’s linked to my health and well-being goals. What do I do then? I give my best to make this type of intelligence a priority. I search for ways I can develop it further. I’ve tried jogging, yoga, pilates, and even body-building. This allows me to explore different avenues I can expand my bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

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Now that I gave you a practical introduction to Howard Gardner’s theory of intelligence, let’s have a closer look at each type of intelligence. You can either use the buttons below to navigate through the content you are more interested in, or you can scroll down and read it thoroughly.

Linguistic Intelligence

This type of intelligence comprises skills in both spoken and written words. It deals with being sensitive to what people say but also to the way you express yourself. Learning new languages or using communication are examples of this type of intelligence.

Examples of people with high linguistic intelligence:
Shakespeare, Oprah, Tony Robbins

Examples of careers:
Authors, Speakers, Lawyers, Journalists

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

This type of intelligence involves approaching problems using logic and mathematical operations. These skills are usually associated with research and science.

Examples of people with high LM intelligence:
Albert Einstein, John Nash, Stephen Hawking

Examples of careers:
Scientist, Accountant, Computer Analyst, Mathematician

Spatial Intelligence

This type of intelligence involves the capacity to identify and reorganize spatial patterns. It’s useful in activities such as piloting, working on a piece of sculpture, or projecting a house.

Examples of people with high Spacial intelligence:
Leonardo DaVinci, Frank Lloyd Wright, Neil Armstrong

Examples of careers:
Pilot, Surgeon, Architect, Graphic Designer

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

This type of intelligence requires us to use the whole body or parts of it. It’s a very important kind of intelligence among athletes and performers.

Examples of people with high BK intelligence:
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo

Examples of careers:
Dancer, Athlete, Dentist, Carpenter

Musical Intelligence

This type of intelligence involves identifying, creating, performing, and composing musical patterns. These skills are related for instance to musical pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.

Examples of people with high Musical intelligence:
Alicia Keys, Sting, Frank Sinatra

Examples of careers:
Singer, Composer, Musician, DJ

Interpersonal Intelligence

This type of intelligence involves understanding and identifying other people’s psychological needs. It’s an intelligence that is very important in the development of healthy relationships.

Examples of people with high Interpersonal intelligence:
Lady Diana Spencer, Robin Williams, Dr. Phil

Examples of careers:
Psychologist, Teacher, Manager, Publicist

Intrapersonal Intelligence

This type of intelligence deals with understanding oneself and practicing self-regulation. It allows us to understand and be in touch with our own psychology. It’s useful to understand and define one’s life purpose.

Examples of people with high Intrapersonal intelligence:
Carl Rogers, Maya Angelou, Marcus Aurelius

Examples of careers:
Therapist, Psychologist, Entrepreneur, Counselor

Naturalist Intelligence

This type of intelligence involves identifying and classifying different types of species.

Examples of people with high Naturalist intelligence:
Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan, Jane Goodall

Examples of careers:
Botanist, Biologist, Astronomer, Geologist

Concluding Thoughts

Howard Gardner’s approach to intelligence has made quite the impact on how human intelligence is perceived and assessed. Although cognitive competencies are prioritized within the traditional educational system, there is a growing number of alternative schools and frameworks that promote a diversity-based approach to intelligence and teaching. Learning about multiple intelligences can also be useful to individuals who are interested in personal growth and development.

Would you like to know your multiple intelligences profile?
You can take this fun test for free.

Other blogs you may like to read:

How To Motivate Yourself? The Power of Mindset

The ego-mind is very likely to play tricks on us and unless we learn to master its game we can’t go very far. We will keep relapsing and breaking the promises we make to ourselves and others. It’s a tough job; it’s hard work really but you must become acquainted with the way the mind functions so that you can remove what’s preventing you from becoming the best version of yourself. You have to tame your mind by working on your mindset and programing your day-to-day routine so that you can be on top of your game.

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4 Comments

  1. Lee Compagna says:

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Benny says:

    As an educator I deal with these intelligences on a daily basis and having them so well explained helps me to remind me of them.

    It is also important to understand where your personal strengths lie, so thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s awesome to observe kids and how they have different talents across these multiple intelligences. I think this approach brings a lot of acceptance and individual empowerment. Thanks for reading!

      Like

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