My intention for this article: expand possibilities. Today’s subject is not a new thing. In fact, more than 30 years ago Gardner started publishing his research on the multiple types of intelligence. Before that, the standard way of defining intelligence was the capacity to solve problems using logic and mathematical skills. Admit that it’s still a lot like that today. Even current IQ tests feel like they are heavily biased that way.

Gardner proposes 9 types of intelligence.

  1. Naturalist or nature smart. Understanding living things and reading nature.
  2. Musical or sound smart. Discerning sounds, their pitch, tone, rhythm and timbre. Ease in playing or composing music.
  3. Logical and mathematical or number/reasoning smart. Quantifying things, making hypothesis and proving them using scientific approaches.
  4. Existential or life smart. Tackling questions of why we live, who we are, what is our purpose, how life works, why we die. Ease in philosophical thinking.
  5. Interpersonal or people smart. Sensing people’s feelings and motives. Ability to interpret behaviors. Ease in relationships, interacting with a diverse crowd.
  6. Bodily / kinesthetic or body smart. Coordinating the mind with the body. Strong coordination and consciousness of where the body is in space. Expression with the body, physical agility, ease in sports.
  7. Linguistic or word smart. Finding the right words to express what is meant. Adapting the message to the audience. Capable of putting words on emotions. Finds the right words in highly emotional and sensitive situations.
  8. Spatial/visual or picture smart. Visualizing the world in 3D, having sense of orientation, sense of colors and design.
  9. Intra personal or self smart. Understanding yourself, what you feel and what you want. Use of intuition. High ability and ease at discerning and taking the right decision.

I’ve always had the intuition that summarizing one’s intelligence only on math and logic was restrictive.

This last type of intelligence is one that I feel is so important. Using discernment to make decisions. It is the combination of discernment with other types of intelligence that makes the human brain so powerful. We use many types of intelligence and perhaps we can develop the less prevalent types we have.

We all know people who did not complete their schooling and who are very successful. This would mean that school does not develop all our human potential, it concentrates on a few of them but not all.

Gardner’s theory opens human possibilities by revolutionizing the definition of intelligence. This lets us see more people as intelligent. Each person by combining and developing their own types of intelligence can reach the success they want for themselves.

Cultivate What Matters

Let me know which types of intelligence you use most.

 Bio : Howard Earl Gardner

(Born in 1943 in Scranton, PA, US) American developmental psychologist, professor at the Harvard School of Education, father of the theory of multiple forms of intelligence. Howard Gardner, believes that school should support the development of all forms of intelligence.