You Are Smarter Than You Think: 9 Types of Intelligence (Howard Gardner)

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Have you ever thought that you are either smart or you’re not? Our school system and society would have us believe that.  We are taught that you either get good grades or you are going to fail in the real world. This causes many people to feel helpless. It is like having a contest to see who can climb a tree the best, but the contestants are an elephant, fish, monkey and horse. Of course the monkey will win. According to Gardner, people are like this in regards to intellectual ability. He classified nine different types of intelligences.

  1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)

nature smart

This Intelligence is the ability to discriminate among plants, animals, clouds, rocks etc. This ability was advantageous to our early hunter-gatherer ancestors. You can still see this nature genius in people like the Polynesians that are able to travel in a canoe for hundreds of miles with no use of navigation except for the taste of of the ocean, proximity of of the stars and flight patterns of birds.  Professions with this ability are boy scouts, animal trainers nature guides. This intelligence is the translated into our modern world with our ability to discriminate between makeups, cars, etc and our sense of direction.

  1. Musical Intelligence (“Music Smart”)

musical intelligence

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, and tone. People with this type of intelligence are able to create and reflect on music more deeply than most. Professions that should be sought out by these people are composers, singers, musicians and more currently Dj’s.

This intelligence is often first noticed when young children are usually singing or drumming to themselves.  They are often aware of sounds others may miss in music.

  1. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

mathematical intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify and consider hypotheses.  Carrying out complete mathematical operations comes easily to them.  This intelligence enables people to see relationships and connections by using abstract and symbolic thought processes.

This deductive reasoning ability leads to careers in mathematics, science and detective work. Logical intelligence is often shown in children when they are fascinated by types of patterns and categories. They are drawn to strategic type games and taking devices apart to observe the mechanics behind everything.

  1. Existential Intelligence

spirtuality and intelligence

This intelligence is the most difficult to achieve mastery in.  It is the capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence and reality.  Philosophers and authors are often the professions sought out by this type of intellect.  Common questions tackled by these people are, “What is the meaning of life?” And “How did we get here?”

It should be noted that this intelligence is often increased by having a better understanding of the relationships and connections between all other intelligences.

  1. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and connect effectively with others.  People with this ability have a high level of empathy.  They can easily read others’ emotions and social cues.  This ability can be used to support or manipulate others.

Professions in this field are often therapists, teachers and successful actors.  Kids that show this early intelligence are often extroverted and leaders among their peer groups.

  1. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)

body intelligence

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and one’s own body.  This type of intelligence is all about the connection of the mind–body union.  Professions sought out by these individuals should be sports players, dancers and surgeons.

Young people with this ability are shown to have a natural tendency to be good in all types of sports.  They are naturally gifted and any physical skill they take up seems effortless.

  1. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

linguistic intelligence

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to use a wide vernacular to articulate thoughts and feelings. People with linguistic intelligence  the semantical order and meaning of words.Linguistic intelligence is the common in all people.  We all show a knack for this ability, but it is especially competent  in poets, novelists, politicians and public speakers.  People that like to write, reading, tell stories are often the ones that will reach their for potential with this intelligence.

  1. Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart”)

intrapersonal intelligence
Intra-personal intelligence is the ability to understand oneself.  It involves the person having an understanding of their thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  People with this intelligence are often great goals setters and are self development junkies. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the an almost obsession with understanding others.  It is evident in psychologists, life coaches and spiritual gurus.

Kids with this type of intellect often seem shy and introverted. They don’t say much because they are always examining and analyzing others.

  1. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

artistic intelligence

Spatial intelligence is the ability think abstractly. Mental imagery, spatial reasoning and image manipulation are a few of the skills displayed by this type of intelligence. Professions sought out by these people should be sculptors, painters, and architects. These type of professions all exhibit create and manipulate objects in space.  Kids that show this intelligence are often obsessed with Legos and stacking blocks. They constantly draw create works of art with ease.

The Nine Types Of Intelligences – Discussion

These above intelligences are not meant to limit or define your goals in life.  It is actually meant to do quite the contrary. Some people are born more predisposed to some of these intelligence,  but do not neglect the thousands of hours of practice that goes Into sharpening these intelligences.

People may have an easier ability to grow in one or the other, but only because they are passionate about that subject.  You can improve every type of these intellects with practice and hard work.

When growing up, I was more “Interpersonally smart” during my formative years.  I was not naturally kinesthetic or intrapersonally like most of my peers.  However, I would spend hours and hours a day playing soccer and trying to force myself to talk to others.  Over time these things got easier easier and easier. You can develop any type of intelligence if you want to.

See what type of intelligence you are more inclined to here by taking this psychology quiz:

Psychology Quiz  – http://psychology.about.com/library/quiz/bl-mi-quiz.htm

Get this Book:

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Frames of Mind - The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

And watch the video:

One Response

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