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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nine Types Of Intelligence

Intelligence is broken down into nine different types, also called the nine domains of intelligence. This categorization of intelligence was first theorized by developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in his 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  Since then, the Multiple Intelligences theory been used as one of the primary models for research that has gone on concerning human cognition.  Gardner argues that there is no one true way to measure intelligence and that the human brain is wired with a wide range of cognitive abilities.  Framing intelligence in the way Gardner does disrupts the old mold of thinking in which intelligence was ultimately a measure of (what Gardner would call) logical-mathematical intelligence.   The premise of Gardner’s theory is that someone can be extremely bad at math yet be the best of the best in another field, such as music.  Thus limiting the definition of intelligence is detrimental to our understanding of how the human brain works.  So without further ado, I present to you the nine different types of intelligence:

1. Naturalistic Intelligence

Ever wonder why certain people are able to connect with animals just like that? Have you ever encountered someone that posses what is commonly referred to as a “green thumb”? Well, those people are great examples of “nature smart” individuals. Naturalistic intelligence refers to a human being’s sensitivity to the natural world. This is the ability to distinguish among nature’s different features such as animals, plants, rock configurations, cloud formations, and other such things. In the past, the naturalist intelligence was undoubtedly of great value in a person’s survival. Farming and hunting were clearly among the activities that relied on this type of intelligence. Today, naturalistic intelligence remains a vital component of roles like being a chef or botanist. This type of intelligence is also seen in the way consumers discriminate among products.

2. Musical Intelligence

While other people gravitate towards nature, there are also those who tend to be drawn to the musical arts. These “musical smart” people are usually more sensitive to sounds that most individuals aren’t aware of. The intelligence involved in this ability to recognize tone, rhythm, timbre, and pitch is musical intelligence. With this type of intelligence, people are able to detect, generate, reproduce, and contemplate music as clearly exhibited by attuned listeners, musicians, composers, vocalists, and conductors. You’ll find that young adults with musical intelligence are frequently drumming, singing, or any other activity that demonstrates a melodic inclination. It is also interesting to note that a connection has been shown to exist between emotions and music as well as mathematics and music.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Who can forget that classmate of yours in high school who seemed to know the answer to every mathematical equation your teacher asked?  Who can also fail to remember that peer of yours who could reason his way to winning every argument? They are the perfect embodiment of logical-mathematical intelligence. This type of intelligence equips a person with the ability to calculate and carry out mathematical operations as well as mull over hypotheses and propositions. Those who are “number or reasoning smart” tend to easily recognize relationships and patterns, demonstrate sequential reasoning skills, and generate and use abstract thoughts. When logical intelligence is dominant in young adults, you’ll see them especially attracted to logic puzzles, experiments, strategy games, and arithmetic problems. Later on, you might see these youth going on to become detectives, scientists, and mathematicians.  Logical-mathematical intelligence has been closely linked to fluid intelligence and general intelligence.

4. Existential Intelligence

Even as other people go about their daily lives without devoting much thought to their existence, people with existential intelligence tend to mull over “deep” thoughts. These thoughts may include the why’s and how’s of life and death. While most people just shake these kinds of thoughts away, individuals who are particularly keen to their own existence are drawn to exploring such questions like why are people born, how do they get here, and why do they die. They also have the capacity and sensitivity to tackle thoughts about what lies beyond life and death. Though not much discussion has been done about existential intelligence, it has also been called spiritual or moral intelligence.  Those with high existential intelligence are deeply philosophical.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence

You might have observed that there are certain persons who have the seemingly unique ability to get along superbly with others. These “people smart” individuals, with the use of their interpersonal intelligence, interact with others in such a way that they are able to understand and communicate well. Interpersonal intelligence makes it possible for a person to effectively communicate through verbal and nonverbal means, to distinguish among others, to sense the temperament and moods of people, and to consider various points of view. You’ll usually find this type of intelligence manifested by politicians, social workers, actors, and teachers. This type of intelligence can also be found in young adults who hold leadership roles.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Know how you tend to embarrass yourself with your two left feet and see your best friend practically floating on the dance floor? Well, there’s an explanation for that “injustice.” While clumsy people have the tendency to be awkward in all things physical, “body smart” people possess the capacity to stay graceful and coordinated when using a range of physical skills and manipulating objects. People with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence have an almost perfect sense of timing, and their mind-body coordination is nearly faultless. Even as a number of persons struggle to become well-coordinated, people who possess this type of intelligence usually grow up to become craftspeople, dancers, surgeons, athletes, and other careers involving exceptional mind-body union.

7. Linguistic Intelligence 

Being the intelligence most commonly shared by humans, linguistic intelligence involves the human capacity to think in words and use these to make oneself understood. It is this type of intelligence that allows a person to appoint complex meanings and express these through the use of language. Though this human competence is widely used, it is most evident in the way effective public speakers, novelists, journalists, and poets make use of their meta-linguistic skills. In the early stages of life, linguistic intelligence is exhibited in a person’s enjoyment of crossword puzzles, storytelling, reading, and writing. So the next time you think of these as “geeky” activities, you’ll do a better job of describing them as activities “word smart” people take pleasure in.

8. Intra-Personal Intelligence

People who have the remarkable ability to understand themselves, their thoughts, and their emotions and are capable of using this knowledge to plan their lives possess intra-personal intelligence. While intra-personal intelligence does involve self-appreciation, it also comprises a wider understanding of the human condition. As young adults, “self smart” people possess a deeper awareness of their own emotions, are self-motivated, and tend to be shy. Examples of people with evident intra-personal intelligence include philosophers, spiritual leaders, writers, and psychologists.

9. Spatial Intelligence

The last domain is spatial intelligence, which is defined as the human capacity to consider things in three dimensions. This type of intelligence involves the following core capacities: a dynamic imagination, image manipulation, mental imagery, artistic and graphic skills, and spatial reasoning.  People with spatial intelligence are highly creative.  At a young age, people with high spatial intelligence are deeply entrenched in solving jigsaw puzzles or mazes, or they may be using up their extra time by daydreaming or drawing. Spatial intelligence is demonstrated mainly by “picture smart” people such as architects, sculptors, painters, pilots, and sailors.

There you go, the nine domains of intelligence according to Howard Gardner.  Keep in mind that this is just a model for intelligence and there are many who score high in more than one category.  The most famous one that would come to mind is Leonardo De Vinci.  Go over the list and analyze which type of intelligence you would categorize yourself.
If you want to learn how to increase all these types of intelligence,
Traditionally, intelligence was measured by short aptitude tests that measures competence in core subjects such as reading and mathematics.  And to a large extent, intelligence is still defined by how well you do on aptitude tests.  However Howard Gardner, an academician from Harvard University, thinks that being intelligent doesn’t mean that you can easily comprehend what you read or can easily solve an equation.  That is why he presented the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which states that there are actually multiple types of intelligences, 9 to be exact.
In this theory, Gardner explains that there should be no single ability that defines intelligence. The hypothesis, as printed in his 1983 book ‘Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences,’ proposed that several criteria should be looked upon in order to predict the intelligence of a person. Whatever you excel in makes you intelligent in your own right. But if you are looking for more ways to improve your multiple smarts, then read on below to find out how you can do so:
theory of multiple intelligences 9 types of intelligence

Naturalist Intelligence

This type of intelligence is defined as the ability to distinguish and classify animals, plants and other naturally-occurring objects in the environment. As such, individuals who are touted as ‘nature smart’ excel in applying scientific theories to real-life scenarios. Landscape architects, naturalists and scientists are said to be ‘nature smart.’ Do you want to become just like them? Then here are ways on how you can improve your Naturalist Intelligence:

1) Experience the great outdoors.

In order to be one with nature, you must expose yourself to nature. Break away from the comfortable confines of your home. Trek, hike and bike your way through forests and mountains. These exhilarating activities will help you improve your skills in categorizing and recognizing plants, animals, even rock formations!

2) Do gardening.

Bring out the green thumb in you by transforming your home’s vacant spaces into a plant sanctuary. It is one of the best ways to connect you with your primal state, according to James Jiller of Urban GreenWorks. By tending to your garden on a regular basis, you can boost your knowledge of the environment.

Visual-Spatial Intelligence

Accurate and abstract visualization is just one of the many skills possessed by ‘picture smart’ persons. With their exceptional ability in thinking in pictures, visually-spatially intelligent people can paint, construct and design objects with relative ease.
If you want to hone this kind of smartness – then make sure to do the following mental workouts:

1) Play Puzzles.

Yes, you can have fun while you hone your visual-spatial intelligence. In fact, the most entertaining way to hike your IQ by a few notches is to play puzzles. Games such as Rubik’s Cube, Jigsaw puzzles and spatial puzzles that require you to maneuver items inside your head will do wonders for your visual-spatial skills.

2) Play Chess.

Another enjoyable way to improve your ‘picture smarts’ is to play chess. It cannot be denied that this game has multitudes of brain benefits. Apart from boosting memory and enhancing problem-solving skills, chess improves one’s creativity – one of the most important aspects for visual-spatial intelligence. With enhanced creativity, you will be able to create and design items just like picture-smart architects and painters.

3) Utilize Google Earth and Google Maps often.

Apart from helping you find your way in an unfamiliar place, Google Earth and Google Maps applications can help you boost your visual-spatial intelligence. These programs, after all, help develop your sense of direction. One of the best things about these tools is that they can transform you into a navigational pro, even without the need for a map.
However, it is important that you do not use GPS navigation to navigate though as that will turn you into a mindless drone.  Instead, use maps and learn how to navigate from place to place on your own, with the assistance of a navigation system.  Research has been done on this topic and it shows that navigating the city without the use of GPS is how you would improve your visual-spatial skills.

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence

Word smart people – or those who possess verbal-linguistic intelligence – feature exceptional verbal skills. They are highly-sensitive to meanings, sounds and rhythms of words. In essence, they possess great capacities in writing, reading, teaching and listening. If you want to be smart in the verbal-linguistic aspect, take heed of the following tips:

1) Keep a journal of things that fascinate or interest you.

Go through the things you find noteworthy – a unique news article or a famous celebrity, perhaps. Write all the thoughts that draw you to this appealing event/entity.

2) Write about a country or city you want to visit.

Are you dreaming of visiting Paris or living in the United Kingdom? What if you were given the chance to live out your fantasy? Talk about what you plan on doing, if ever you are given the opportunity to live a life different from the one you have right now.

3) Write a literary masterpiece.

It can be a story, poem, novel or even a play. Let your imagination fly and allow the words from your mind to trickle down to your journal. Show your write-up to your English teacher or Literature professor and ask for some feedback. What parts are exceptional? What sections need improvement? While you might not write down an award-winning novel on your first try, your dedication and hard work might help you pen down the next Harry Potter series.

Mathematical-Logical Intelligence

Defined as the skill to think abstractly and conceptually, this intelligence is often seen in number smart people such as engineers, scientists and mathematicians. If you want to develop exceptional skills in logical and mathematical problem solving, then these brain exercises can definitely help you out:

1) Play card games.

Contrary to popular beliefs, you need not engage in a boring activity just to improve your logical smarts. One of the most entertaining ways for you to increase your number IQ is to play card games that stimulate your brain to perform mental math. Fun pastimes such as Crazy Eight, Go Fish and Gin Rummy are perfect for the young ones, while matured players will benefit a lot from the addicting game of Black Jack.

3) Break secret codes.

Take the role of Sherlock Holmes by playing detective with your friends. Let your friends create secret codes – or lift some from the web – and try to break them without the help of anybody. Once you get the hang of cracking codes, you will find it easier to solve logical and mathematical problems along the way.

4) Join a math club.

If you are really determined to improve your mathematical smarts, a knowledgeable and fun way to do so is to join a math club. While this might sound boring – it is not! Such a club allows you to learn in a supportive yet sociable environment. Learning with your colleagues and participating in events and competitions will give you the math IQ boost you are looking for.

Musical Intelligence

Singers, composers and musicians usually possess this kind of intelligence. Such ‘musical smart’ persons can appreciate and produce perfect timbre, rhythm and pitch. Become the musical virtuoso you aspire to be by training your mental faculties with these methods:

1) Sing!

You might think singing doesn’t like you, but it does not mean that you should not sing to your heart’s content! Sing whenever you can: in the shower, in the car, even in the office pantry during break time! While you might not be able to hit the high notes just like your favorite singers, singing constantly is a great way for you to perfect your music smarts.

2) Learn how to play an instrument.

This is perhaps the best thing you can do in order to hone your musical intelligence. Studying an instrument – no matter how simple or complicated it might be – enables you to learn the basic tones, rhythms and pitches. And as you improve your instrument-playing capacities, you will be able to demonstrate the music smarts that your idols possess.

3) Listen to different types of music.

Musical intelligence is not just about singing well and playing a plethora of instruments, it is about appreciating the beauty of music – no matter how peculiar or weird it might be. Hone your music smarts by lending an ear to different kinds of symphonies – from classic to pop, even from native to eclectic. By immersing your ears in multitudes of melodies, you will be able to distinguish the different tones that govern the world of music.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Wonder why professional athletes boast of perfect score cards? And why dancers can jive to fast tunes all so well? That is because they possess bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, outlined as the acumen in skilfully handling objects and controlling physical movements. Here are some tips that can help you become physically smart:

1) Practice and Play Sports.

girl playing volleyball
It goes without saying that practice indeed makes perfect. Of course, if you want to be physically intelligence just like pro athletes – then you need to engage your body in sports that tickle your fancy. It does not matter if you suck at first. As long as you set your mind to it – and as long as you are 100% motivated to improve your bodily intelligence, then you will be able to improve your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – sooner or later.  The key to improving your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is to practice well and often—and to practice correctly.  By learning how to improve your skills and getting better, you will improve your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

2) Play Charades.

Do you want to become an excellent actor? Then you need to be able to portray people and events accurately. One good way to enhance your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is to play charades with friends. Not only is this an entertaining way to spend time with pals, it can also improve your skills in acting. If your friend manages to decipher all of your acts in just a few seconds’ time, then it means that you are getting better and better with your kinesthetic abilities.

3) Join Acting Classes.

Say that you are already a pro in charades – then it is time for you to take your acting skills to another level. Join acting classess in school and audition for simple plays if you can. Not only are these good methods to hone and improve your thespian capabilities, these will give you the confidence to act in front of throngs of audiences.

Interpersonal Intelligence

A people-smart person, or one who possesses interpersonal intelligence, excels in determining and responding to the motivations, moods and desires of other people. Known as the ability to empathize and visualize from numerous perspectives, interpersonal intelligence is often seen in counselors, ministers and politicians. Solidify your counseling and interpersonal skills with the help of such techniques:

1) Be Empathetic.

It is not enough to just listen to your friend’s woes. If you want to improve your interpersonal intelligence, then you must make sure to practice empathy whenever you are engaged in a conversation with a family member or a pal. Put yourself in another’s shoes and try to resolve the conflict as if it were your own.

2) Socialize.

You might have a big brood of friends, but if you want to improve your interpersonal intelligence, then you need to get out of your shell and be a social butterfly. Take time to meet new people and engage in conversations that will help you learn more about your newfound buddies.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Theorists, philosophers, and philosophers are seen to possess this kind of intelligence. Self smart people are said to be aware of their own values, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes. Improve your self-reflection and sentience by conditioning your mind with the following activities:

1) Formulate Your Own Personal Development Plan.

How do you want to be in the next few years? What are your plans when you grow old? Write them all on your journal and reflect on them whenever you can. This will keep you aware of your own emotions and desires in life.

2) Engage in Personal Pep Talk.

Before the start of each day, face the mirror and boost your confidence with positive thoughts and ideas.  Positive self-talk has been touted for many years as an important tool to reaching success and attaining goals.  In fact, Navy SEALS are known to engage in positive self-talk on a daily basis to get through their grueling six-month BUDS training program.

Existential Intelligence

What is the meaning of life? How did we get here? Why do we die? These are just some of the sensitive questions that existentially intelligent persons are not afraid to ask.
People who possess this astuteness – such as theologians, philosophers and scientists – outclass others in terms of deep and reflective thinking and formulating abstract theories. Hone your existential intelligence with the help of these mind-conditioning methods:
1) Apply what you have learned in the classroom.
2) Relate the subjects you have learned with national concerns and global issues.
3) Study topics from multiple points of view.
Intelligence does come in several facets and domains. If you think you suck at math or music, you can still excel in many other ways and be smart in many other aspects. The tips mentioned above are practical ways for you to boost your brain power. Apply them in to your day-to-day routines, and see how smart you can turn out to be!