While it is commonly perceived that IQ tests provide the best measure of intelligence, some scientists disagree.
More than 20 years ago, a Harvard University scientist by the name of Dr. Howard Gardner argued that traditional IQ tests only favoured logical and mathematical people. He proposed that people were much more complex than standard testing suggested and grouped the different strengths of individuals into 8 intelligence types.
- Linguistic and verbal intelligence (good with words)
- Logical intelligence (good at math and solving logic problems)
- Spatial intelligence (good with pictures)
- Body/Movement intelligence (good at sports and movement)
- Musical intelligence (good at music and rhythm)
- Interpersonal intelligence (good with people and communication)
- Intrapersonal intelligence (good at analyzing things)
- Naturalist intelligence (good at understanding the natural world)
Here’s a more detailed explanation of each of the intelligent types. Which ones fit you best? Remember, you can be strong in several intelligence types!
Linguistic and verbal intelligence (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?
Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well. If you count more than four, you’re very likely linguistically and verbally intelligent. (And might just be the next J.K. Rowling!)
- Are a good writer
- Are good with crossword puzzles
- “Have a way with words”
- Tell good stories
- Are funny
- Like to debate or argue
- Explain things well
- Have a great vocabulary or enjoy learning new words and their origins
Logical intelligence (good at math and solving logic problems)
Logical and mathematical intelligence represents the traditional concept of “intelligence”, and it is the type of intelligence that is measured on many standardized tests.
Scored more than four? You might just be the next Einstein!
- Enjoy solving mysteries
- Can solve logic problems
- Are good at math
- Like to put things in their places
- Have always been interested in scientific discoveries
- Can be bossy
- Like to figure out how things work
- Are good with computers
Spatial intelligence (good with pictures)
How many of these traits fit your personality? Do you have a knack for navigating? Are you the leader when it comes to find your way to a new location?
If more than four of these traits as familiar to you, you might just be a rare spatial intelligence type!
- Can put puzzles together
- Appreciate art or photography
- Prefer geometry over algebra
- Study with charts and pictures
- Can find your way with a map
- Make outlines when you write a paper
- Doodle or draw
- Notice details
Body/movement intelligence (good at sports and movement)
Are you a natural when it comes to gymnastics or dance? Do you have smooth moves? Do you have a great sense of balance and are usually called graceful?
Body and movement intelligence is a trait of the world’s great athletes. Are you one of them?
- Are good at sports
- Can dance well
- Talk with your hands
- Are interested in acting
- Like to build things
- Clown around in class
- Have great balance
- Can throw a ball accurately
Musical intelligence (good at 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”.
Who knows? You might be the next Beethoven or pop idol!
- Would like to be a drummer
- Can read music
- Criticize a new song when others just accept it
- Enjoy a few types of music
- Can figure out how to play a tune on an instrument
- Have considered writing songs
- Notice patterns
- Remember old songs
Interpersonal intelligence (good with people and communication)
If you seem to know what other people are thinking, you probably have interpersonal intelligence. 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.
- Sometimes feel like a mind reader
- Hate injustice
- Are a good listener
- See through people who aren’t being honest
- Know how others feel
- Often lend a shoulder
- Find it hard to be mean
- Enjoy deep conversations
Intrapersonal intelligence (good at analyzing things)
Do you get lost in your own little world sometimes? That’s a trait of someone with intrapersonal intelligence. A person with strong intrapersonal intelligence might be accused of “thinking too much” about things.
Intrapersonal intelligence comes in handy when it comes to analyzing essays, deconstructing arguments, and doing a critical analysis of an article.
- Think a lot
- Are often caught “daydreaming”
- Can analyze dreams
- Are self-critical
- Second guess yourself
- Really get into a good book
- Can break down complicated ideas
- Judge people
Naturalist intelligence (good at understanding natural world)
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’re a naturalist intelligence type.
- Like the wilderness
- Read about nature
- Stop to look at bugs
- Categorize things
- Read about explorers
- Collect things
- Enjoy studying plant parts
- Notice characteristics
Which intelligence type are you?
At the end of the day, the type of intelligence that you are may play a great factor in how fast you pick things up. However, this cannot be exchanged with pure effort. When it comes to skills, the old adage still holds true – “Practice makes perfect”.
Remember, you can be strong in several intelligence types!
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