Types of Intelligence

Psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is that each person has varying levels of different intelligences, so every person is different and has a “unique cognitive profile.”  When I taught in the public school system, I was a “Gifted and Talented” teacher for my grade level. I attended many workshops for G/T teachers, and we studied Howard Gardner’s theory which stuck in my mind. Here are his seven areas of intelligence or giftedness:

  1. Bodily-Kinesthetic has to do with movement or physical activity. Learning is best accomplished by physically doing something, rather than reading or hearing about it. People with this intelligence usually excel in sports, dance, acting, or building, for example, and this group might also include surgeons and soldiers.

  2. Interpersonal has to do with interaction, sensitivity, and empathy with others. Learning is best accomplished by working with people and discussing things. People in this group might include social workers, teachers, counselors, managers, or diplomats, for example.

  3. Verbal-Linguistic has to do with language and words, either written or spoken. Learning is best accomplished by reading, taking notes, listening to a lecture, debates, and discussions. People in this group can learn foreign languages easily and might include linguists, writers, politicians, lawyers, and teachers.

  4. Logical-Mathematical has to do with logic, reasoning capabilities, abstract pattern recognition, scientific thinking, and the ability to perform complex calculations. People in this group might include scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and doctors.

  5. Intrapersonal has to do with being introspective, self-reflective, and having a high level of self awareness. Learning is best when working alone. This group might include philosophers, psychologists, theologians, writers, and scientists.

  6. Spatial has to do with visualizing and spatial reasoning plus strong visual memory. These people have a good sense of direction and might include architects, engineers, and artists.

  7. Musical has to do with a high level of sensitivity to music, rhythm, tones, and sounds. Learning may be best accomplished through lecturing, and playing music in the background may assist learning. People in this group would be musicians, conductors, singers, and composers.

IQ tests measure a person’s Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical and Spatial Intelligence. A person might be a genius in another area, yet the typical IQ test would miss it. So don’t fully rely on IQ tests for intelligence levels.

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