Ever wondered what your intelligence type is? What kind of intelligent are you? What kind of “smarts” do you have? We usually divide ourselves into book smart or street smart. One is based mostly on the academic way of learning. The other is based on learning from experiences. There are actually different types of intelligences.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
In 1983, Howard Gardner, an American development psychologist at Harvard University, introduced the different types of intelligence in the book “Frames of Mind”. He describes that there are multiple types of human intelligence. Each one represents a different way of how a person best processes the information that they receive from different sources.
The multiple intelligences theory states that everyone has all types of intelligences at varying degrees of proficiency. Each one’s learning style is not related to the areas in which they are most intelligent. Classifying learners by their learning style or intelligence type will only limit their potential for learning and developing their skills. A variety of activities and learning approaches is the best way to help individuals hone their potential.
The 9 Types of Intelligences
Here’s a summary of the different types of intelligences. Which one do you relate with most? Focus on honing that area to enhance your intellectual wellness. This is a good first step to unleashing the genius in you.
VISUAL-SPATIAL: Picture Smart
These are people who are good at visualizing, understanding directions and reading maps, charts, videos, and pictures. They usually read and write for fun. Their interests include drawing, painting and photography. Putting puzzles together is fun for them and they recognize patters easily.
This intelligence type can be great architects, pilots, fashion designers, artists, surgeons or engineers.
LINGUISTIC-VERBAL: Word Smart
This type uses language well. They enjoy reading and writing and are usually good at remembering written and spoken information. Debates and giving persuasive speeches are part of their skill set. They explain things very well. Humor in telling stories is part of their communication style.
These types usually pursue careers in writing like journalism, novelist, poets, editors, teachers and lawyers.
LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL: Number/Reasoning Smart
A friend who is your group’s math whiz falls under this type. They have strong skills in analyzing problems and mathematical operations. Number crunching and problem solving are their specialties. They enjoy thinking about abstract ideas and can solve complex computations. They like conducting scientific experiments.
Being a scientist, mathematician, economist, computer programmer, engineer or accountant will suit them well.
BODY-KINESTHETIC: Body Smart
Know someone who is good at body movement and has great physical control? Do they have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity? These people have great motor control and are skilled at dancing and sports. They like creating things with their own hands. With their excellent physical coordination; they remember things better by doing.
They can become body builders, mechanics, athletes, physical therapists, sculptors, and actors.
MUSICAL: Music Smart
Thinking in patterns, rhythms and sounds is a unique characteristic of this type. They have a strong appreciation for music and are skilled at composing music and musical performance. They easily remember songs and melodies, musical patterns and tones. Their rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notes helps them enjoy singing and playing musical instruments.
Musicians, composers, singers, song writers, DJs, music teachers, and conductors are musically intelligent.
INTERPERSONAL: People Smart
People who are good at interacting and understanding other people fall under this type. They are skilled at assessing emotions, motivations, desires and even the intentions of people around them. You will usually see them helping to resolve conflicts in group settings and encouraging positive relationships where ever they go. They communicate well verbally. Skilled at nonverbal communication, they feel empathy easily.
Their ability to easily see situations from different perspectives makes them great psychologists, philosophers, counselors, team managers, negotiators, publicists, social workers, life coaches, salespersons and politicians.
INTRAPERSONAL: Self Smart
These types of people are very aware of their own emotional states and motivations. They enjoy introspection, self-reflection and analysis. Daydreaming is one of their past times. They like exploring their relationships with others and are able to analyze their strengths and weaknesses well.
With their excellent self-awareness; they enjoy analyzing theories and ideas. This makes them good therapists, counselors, psychologists, philosophers, writers, theorists, scientists and entrepreneurs.
NATURALISTIC: Nature Smart
This intelligence type is a recent addition to Gardner’s theory. Individuals under this type are in tune with nature. They like exploring their environment, finding patterns and relationships to nature. Their nurturing tendencies make them interested in learning about other species. They are very sensitive to subtle changes happening in their surroundings. Categorizing and cataloguing information comes easily to them. Gardening, hiking, camping and exploring the outdoors are favorite hobbies.
They are interested in subjects like botany, biology and zoology; making them good biologists, botanists, florists, geologists, conservationists, gardeners and farmers.
EXISTENTIAL: Abstract Smart
The most complex of all the types, people under this type tend to be sensitive and very considerate. They ask deep questions about human existence and the meaning of life and all of existence. They are deeply spiritual and tend to ask big questions about life and death like why are we here? What is the point of all this? Small talk and superficial chitchat are often not satisfying to them. They are deeply philosophic thinkers, always asking questions bigger than themselves.
This type is often called spiritual or moral intelligence and is often referred to as “life smart”. They like reflective and deep thinking and designing abstract theories; making them good scientists, philosophers, theologians, inspirational speakers, writers, authors, economists, and bloggers.