Multiple Intelligence Types

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The 8 Intelligence Types

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Do you think IQ tests provide the best indication of intelligence? You may be surprised to know that some scientists don't think so.

These tests can provide important feedback on some types of intelligence, but they do not address all types of intelligence. 

As a matter of fact, one scientist came up with a new theory about intelligence more than twenty years ago. Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University proposed that people were much more complex than standard testing suggested. He argued that traditional intelligence tests favored logical and mathematical people, but that different people had different strengths.

The intelligence types were:

  1. Linguistic and verbal intelligence: people scoring high in this category may be good with words
  2. Logical intelligence: people scoring high in this category may be good with math and logic
  3. Spatial intelligence: this type of intelligence is helpful for navigating and "finding your way"
  4. Body/movement intelligence: people scoring high are coordinated and good with activities
  5. Musical intelligence: this type of intelligence indicates people who are good with rhythm
  6. Interpersonal intelligence: high scorers in this category are good with communication
  7. Intrapersonal intelligence: these high scorers are good with contemplating and analyzing things
  8. Naturalist intelligence: people who score high in this area are especially adept at understanding the natural world

 

You can read more about each type and discover your own strengths on the pages that follow.

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Linguistic and Verbal Intelligence

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Good With Words

 

Do you keep a journal? Do you plan to write a novel one day? How many of the traits below fit your personality?

People who are good with words may have a natural type of intelligence in linguistics. This includes people who are naturally talented when it comes to building a great vocabulary and understanding sentence structure and grammar.

Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well. If you count more than four, you score well on this type of personality. Remember you can be strong in several intelligence types!

  • You are a good writer
  • You're good with crossword puzzles
  • People say you "have a way with words"
  • You tell good stories
  • People say you're funny
  • You like to debate or argue
  • You explain things well
  • You have a great vocabulary or enjoy learning new words and their origins

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Logical and Mathematical Intelligence

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Good With Math and Logic Problems

Are you a natural math whiz? Do you enjoy solving logic problems? Are you a natural organizer?

Logical and mathematical intelligence represents the traditional concept of "intelligence," and it is the type of intelligence that is measured on many standardized tests.

Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well.

If you count more than four, you score well on this type of personality. Remember you can be strong in several intelligence types!

 

  • You enjoy solving mysteries
  • You can solve logic problems
  • You're good at math
  • You like to put things in their places
  • You've always been interested in scientific discoveries
  • You can be bossy
  • You like to figure out how things work
  • You're good with computers

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Spatial Intelligence

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Good With Pictures and Images

 

How many of these traits fit your personality? Are you a leader when it comes to finding your way to a new location? If you count more than four of these traits as familiar to you, you might have spatial intelligence.

Spatial intelligence represents a person's ability to make sense of information that is depicted in diagrams, charts, and shapes. Spatial intelligence would be important for students interested in studying architecture or engineering.

 You may have strong spatial intelligence if you find the following traits familiar:

  • You can put puzzles together
  • You appreciate art or photography
  • You prefer geometry over algebra
  • You study with charts and pictures
  • You can find your way with a map
  • You make outlines when you write a paper
  • You doodle or draw
  • You notice details

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Body and Movement Intelligence

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Good with Sports and Movement

 

Are you a natural when it comes to gymnastics or dance? Do you have smooth moves? Body and movement intelligence is a trait of the world's great athletes.

You may have noticed that some people just move more gracefully than others. People with high intelligence in body and movement have greater control in many physical skills.

These traits can indicate that you have a high level of intelligence in sports and movement.

  • You're good at sports
  • You can dance well
  • You talk with your hands
  • You're interested in acting
  • You like to build things
  • You clown around in class
  • You have great balance
  • You can throw a ball accurately

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Musical Intelligence

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Good With Music and Rhythm?

 

Did you start dancing as soon as you started walking? Can you tap out a tune on the piano after hearing it once? People with musical intelligence "have an ear" for music.

If you are naturally drawn to music, you may have a high degree of musical intelligence. 

How many of these traits fit your personality? Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well. If you count more than four, you score well on this type of personality. Remember you can be strong in several intelligence types!

 

  • You'd like to be a drummer
  • You can read music
  • You criticize a new song when others just accept it
  • You enjoy a few types of music
  • You can figure out how to play a tune on an instrument
  • You've considered writing songs
  • You notice patterns
  • You remember old songs

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Interpersonal Intelligence

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Good With People

 

Do people come to you with their problems? Do you find yourself giving a lot of advice? People can sense if you have interpersonal intelligence and they tend to lean on you.

People with high interpersonal intelligence are naturally good communicators, because they seem to have the ability to read the thoughts and feelings of others.

If you seem to know what other people are thinking, you probably have interpersonal intelligence. 

  • You sometimes feel like a mind reader
  • You hate injustice
  • You're a good listener
  • You see through people who aren't being honest
  • You know how others feel
  • You often lend a shoulder
  • You find it hard to be mean
  • You enjoy deep conversations

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Intrapersonal Intelligence

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Good With Analyzing Things

 

Do you get lost in your own little world sometimes? Do you prefer books over people at times? Lots of great thinkers can relate to these traits, which describe someone with a high degree of intrapersonal intelligence.

A person with strong intrapersonal intelligence might be accused of "thinking too much" about things. But this type of intelligence is not a fault! This trait comes in handy when it comes to analyzing essays, deconstructing arguments, and doing a critical analysis of an article.

 

  • You think a lot
  • People think you're dreamy
  • You can analyze dreams
  • You are self-critical
  • You second guess yourself
  • You really get into a good book
  • You can break down complicated ideas
  • You judge people

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Naturalist Intelligence

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Good at Understanding Nature

 

Love bugs? Are you deeply concerned about the environment? These are a few of the traits of people with naturalist intelligence.

If you dream about living in the wilderness, or if you love to grow plants, you might fit into this category. If you relate to the characteristics below, you score well on this type of personality. Remember you can be strong in several intelligence types!

 

  • You like the wilderness
  • You read about nature
  • You stop to look at bugs
  • You categorize things
  • You read about explorers
  • You collect things
  • You enjoy studying plant parts
  • You notice characteristics