The 8 Types of Intelligence We Can Develop for a More Fulfilling Life
Intelligence has long been defined – in a truncated manner – only as a simple mental ability, a sort of unique computer, allegedly steering all our actions. In fact, our actions and reactions are controlled by several internal “computers”, which step in successively in various life situations. A “cyber system” whose story began in 1983, when the American psychologist Howard Gardner launched his theory about multiple intelligences.
After observing the mental activity of a number of patients, Gardner reached the conclusion that we may lose certain types of intelligence and still achieve impressive performance in completely different areas. The American psychologist had in mind the striking example offered by autistic persons, who have serious communication difficulties, but are able to perform most complex mathematical calculations.
Going on with his researches, Howard Gardner developed his theory of the eight types of intelligence that we all have at our command, and which we had better become aware of, considering that the dominant types (three or four, on the average) are the ones that “predestine” us for the area/areas where we can achieve our best performance.
1. Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence
The verbal-linguistic intelligence is the ability to easily manipulate words, either orally or in writing.
How you recognize it: the verbal/linguistic intelligence “reveals” itself through the pleasure of reading and storytelling, the ability to speak fluently, artfully and amusingly, the knack for crossword puzzles, scrabble, Sudoku and a peculiar ability to memorize dates and names.
How you develop it: by reading constantly, contriving argumentations, presenting dissertations in front of an audience, making puns etc.
2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence
It consists in the ability to calculate, quantify, solve mathematical problems, hypothesizing, feeling at ease when working with abstract ideas and mathematical symbols.
How you recognize it: deductive reasoning (logical sequence of facts) and propensity for problems that exercise your logical thinking are the classical manifestations of this type of intelligence. Along with the passion for mathematical operations, strategy games, diagrams or analogies, thoroughness in searching for the causes and consequences of any fact, thinking ahead in a rational manner, sequence thinking.
How you develop it: working on a computer, solving puzzles, deciphering codes, reading scientific papers, solving mathematical problems, performing complex calculations and number games.
3. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence
It is the ability to communicate using your own body, to handle delicate objects and perform highly accurate movements.
How you recognize it: this type of intelligence is specific to those who express their emotions using their body, communicate through gestures, coordinate their movements very well, display dexterity and flexibility. Such people need to move incessantly, to touch things, to play with them. They could be athletes, dancers, surgeons, artists, professional footballers…
How you develop it: acting, performing pantomime, exercising, doing yourself projects/ activities, and dancing.
Many other techniques designed to help you develop your bodily intelligence can be found in the book “The Elusive Obvious”, published by Vidia.
4. Spatial Intelligence
This type of intelligence has to do with the ability to think three-dimensionally, to visualize the space with the mind’s eye, to handle graphic images and translate actions into visual images.
How you recognize it: people endowed with a sharp spatial intelligence are highly sensitive to forms and colors, perceive space in a visual-spatial manner, picture themselves in the surrounding space, learn through images, diagrams, illustrations. They could be sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, designers …
How you develop it: by dedicating yourself to art – be it sculpture, dancing, painting, etc. –, to a team sport, to cycling, driving, creating graphic aids, film editing…
5. Musical Intelligence
Musical intelligence is the ability to distinguish rhythms, sound qualities, to perceive sounds, to express your emotions through music, to write music scores.
How you recognize it: by the talent for performing musical compositions without being out of tune; by the aptitude for learning to decode music scores effortlessly; by the ability to learn to play an instrument, to write music scores, to conduct an orchestra, to express emotions through music.
How you develop it: listening to as much best quality music as possible, whether live or on the computer or radio, pricking up your ears to catch the rhythm and trying to keep it as accurately as possible, even when you hum in the bathroom by yourself, taking singing lessons or learning to play an instrument.
6. Interpersonal Intelligence
This type of intelligence is the ability to interact, to understand others – to sense their moods, their intentions, their motivations and their emotions, being sensitive to the messages they send through their gestures and able to easily adapt to context changes.
How you recognize it: interpersonal intelligence is specific to people who like to teach others, to help solve problems, to cooperate, to lead a team, to listen actively. This kind of people connect easily with their fellow creatures, adore speaking and exercising influence on them, are good organizers, skilled in solving conflicts, good listeners, they enjoy teamwork and need other people to learn from them. Interpersonal intelligence is the trump card of psychologists and opinion leaders.
How you develop it: by fostering friendships, involving yourself in discussions, running various projects, trying to understand people’s concerns, making associations and offering advice.
7. Intra-personal Intelligence
Also known as self-consciousness intelligence, this type of intelligence has to do with knowing yourself deeply and understanding your emotions.
How you recognize it: people endowed with a powerful intrapersonal intelligence are perfectly aware of their strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly, are capable of critical self-assessment, self-respect and self-discipline and able to share their personal values to others.
How you develop it: by setting a golden rule: “first think and then act”; by sorting out your interests and goals and making your decisions accordingly; by keeping a diary, learning to be yourself, meditating, spending time an your own and making time to talk to yourself.
8. Naturalistic Intelligence
Also known as environmental intelligence, it refers to the propensity for paying attention to the living world, to animals and plants, observing them and understanding ecosystems. This type of intelligence is highly developed in hunters, in aborigines who know how to live in close contact with nature, in biologists and photographers who dedicate their lives to observing and taking pictures of animals, plants, landscapes, nature in general.
How you recognize it: by the ability to classify and remember characteristic details of each element, just like a botanist who knows hundreds of plants and fungi by their names.
How you develop it: by slowing down the pace of life and allowing yourself to fall into a reverie more often, by spending more time walking alone in the middle of nature and training your observation skills.
Eight types of native intelligence. Three, maximum four are dominant. They define the core characteristics of who we are. And they lay down our path in life, which is defined, first of all, by social performance. Yet, what do we have to lose if we also encourage and train the other four or five types of intelligence, which would redefine us as refined, complex, human personalities, ultimately achieving the spiritual plenitude we all seek for?
The 8 Types of Intelligence We Can Develop for a More Fulfilling Life by Technology for life is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.