the Theory of multiple intelligences was conceived by the American psychologist Howard Gardner as a counterweight to the paradigm of a single intelligence.
Gardner proposed that human life requires the development of various types of intelligence. Thus, Gardner does not contradict the scientific definition of intelligence, such as the “ability to solve problems or manufacture valuable goods.”
Howard Gardner and his collaborators from prestigious Harvard University they cautioned that academic intelligence (obtaining educational degrees and merits; academic record) was not a deciding factor in knowing a person’s intelligence.
A good example of this idea is seen in people who, despite obtaining excellent academic qualifications, have significant problems in relationship with other people or in other aspects of their life. Gardner and his associates could claim that Stephen Hawking does not have greater intelligence than Leo MessiBut each of them has developed a different type of intelligence.
On the other hand, Howard Gardner points out that there are obvious cases in which people have extremely developed cognitive skills, and others are very underdeveloped: is the case of scholars. An example of a precursor was Kim Peek, who, although she generally had little reasoning ability, was able to memorize maps and entire books, in virtually every detail.
These exceptional cases led Gardner to believe that intelligence does not exist, but that there are in fact many independent intelligences.
Multiple intelligences: 8 types of intelligence
Howard Gardner’s research has successfully identified and defined endings eight different types of intelligence. Let us know in more detail each of the intelligences proposed by Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory below.
► Linguistic intelligence
The ability to master the language and being able to communicate with others is transversal across all cultures. From an early age, we learn to use our mother tongue in order to be able to communicate effectively.
the linguistic intelligence It not only refers to the ability of oral communication, but to other forms of communication such as writing, body language, etc.
Those who master this ability to communicate best have superior linguistic intelligence. The professions in which this type of intelligence stands out could be politicians, writers, poets, journalists, actors …
How to improve linguistic intelligence?
If you want to know more about verbal intelligence and how to progress in this field, we invite you to read the following article:
- “Linguistic intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?”
► Logical-mathematical intelligence
For decades the logical-mathematical intelligence it was considered raw intelligence. This was the main axis of the concept of intelligence and was used as a scale to detect the degree of intelligence of a person.
As the name suggests, this type of intelligence is related to the ability to reason logically and solve mathematical problems. The speed with which such problems are solved is the indicator that determines how much logical-mathematical intelligence one has.
the famous IQ test (IQ) are based on this type of intelligence and, to a lesser extent, on linguistic intelligence. the scientists, economists, academics, engineers and mathematicians they generally excel at that kind of intelligence. Likewise, chess players also need a logical ability to develop better playing strategies than their opponent, and in turn to anticipate their moves.
Is it possible to improve logical-mathematical intelligence?
Of course. We tell you everything you need to know about this type of intelligence and the keys to improving it here:
- Logical-mathematical intelligence: what is it and how to improve it? “
► Spatial intelligence
Also known as visual-spatial intelligence, it is the skill that enables us observe the world and objects from different angles. In this intelligence, chess players and visual arts professionals (painters, designers, sculptors …), as well as taxi drivers, who must have an exquisite mental map of the cities they pass through, stand out.
People who excel at this type of intelligence often have abilities that allow them to conceive of mental images, draw and detect details, as well as a personal sense of aesthetics. In this intelligence we find painters, photographers, designers, publicists, architects, creatives …
How can we increase our spatial intelligence?
It is a skill that can be improved. Here is all the information:
- “Spatial intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?”
► Musical intelligence
Music is a universal art. All cultures have some kind of music, more or less elaborate, which leads Gardner and his collaborators to understand that there is a musical intelligence latent in everyone.
Certain areas of the brain perform functions related to the interpretation and composition of music. Like any other type of intelligence, it can be trained and improved.
Needless to say, the most advanced in this class of intelligence are those who are able to play instruments, read and compose musical pieces with ease.
► Bodily and kinesthetic intelligence
the body and motor skills which are necessary to manipulate tools or to express certain emotions represent an essential aspect in the development of all cultures in history.
The ability to use tools is considered kinesthetic bodily intelligence. On the other hand, there are a number of more intuitive abilities such as using bodily intelligence to express feelings through the body.
They are particularly brilliant in this kind of intelligent dancers, actors, athletes and even plastic surgeons and creatorsAs they all need to use their physical skills rationally.
► Intrapersonal intelligence
the intrapersonal intelligence it refers to that intelligence that allows us to understand and control the inner realm of ourselves in terms of regulating emotions and focusing attention.
People who excel in intrapersonal intelligence they are able to access their feelings and emotions and to reflect on these elements. According to Gardner, this intelligence also allows you to deepen your introspection and understand the reasons why you are like you.
On the other hand, knowing how to distance oneself from the situation in order to de-dramatize events with a negative emotional impact and knowing how to identify one’s own thinking biases are very useful tools both for maintaining a good level of well-being and to perform better in different aspects of life.
How to improve this type of intelligence?
There are several ways to get to know each other better. We have summarized them in this article:
- “Intrapersonal intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?
► Interpersonal intelligence
the interpersonal intelligence it allows us to be able to notice the things of others beyond what our senses manage to grasp. It is an intelligence that allows you to interpret words or gestures, or goals and objectives of each speech. Beyond the Introversion-Extraversion continuum, interpersonal intelligence assesses the ability to empathize with others.
It is a very valuable intelligence for people working with large groups. Her ability to detect and understand the circumstances and problems of others it’s easier if you have (and develop) interpersonal intelligence. Teachers, psychologists, therapists, lawyers and educators are profiles who generally score very high on this type of intelligence described in the theory of multiple intelligences.
Learn more about interpersonal intelligence and how to improve it
We explain how to develop these gifts of empathy and communication here:
- “Interpersonal intelligence: definition and tips to improve it”
► Naturalistic intelligence
According to Gardner, the naturalistic intelligence it makes it possible to detect, differentiate and categorize aspects linked to the environment, such as animal and plant species or phenomena linked to climate, geography or natural phenomena.
This intelligence class was later added to Gardner’s original study on multiple intelligences, particularly in 1995. Gardner found it necessary to include this category in order to be one of the intelligences essential to human survival (Or any other species) and it brought about evolution.
It should be noted that if for Gardner this type of intelligence was developed to facilitate the creative use of the resources offered by nature, currently its use is not limited to environments where there are no human constructions, but that the latter could also be “explored”. in the same way.
You can read more about the eighth type of intelligence in this article:
- “Naturalistic intelligence: what is it?”
Gardner states that everyone has each of the eight intelligence classesWhile each stands out more in some than in others, none of the eight is more important or more valuable than the others. Generally, you have to master a large part of it to face life, whatever the profession. After all, most jobs require the use of most types of intelligence.
The teaching provided in the classroom aims to offer content and procedures focused on the evaluation of the first two types of intelligence: linguistic and logical-mathematical. However, this is totally insufficient in the project to educate students to their full potential. The need for an educational paradigm shift has been raised in debate thanks to the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner.
On the other hand, Howard Gardner pointed out that what is important in his theory are not the 8 intelligences that he proposes, but the conceptualization of human cognition as parallel and relatively independent processes One and the other. For this reason, he has repeatedly pointed out that the multiple intelligences may not be those he proposed, but others that he did not envision or grouped together under the name of one intelligence.
Report to Howard Gardner on multiple intelligences
If you want to delve into the theory of multiple intelligences and the reasoning and evidence of its lead author, Howard Gardner, we highly recommend you check out this chapter of the program on neuroscience and psychology networks.
- Gardner, Howard (1998). “A response to” Multiplying Intelligence Problems by Eight “by Perry D. Klein. Canadian Journal of Education 23 (1): 96-102. Doi: 10.2307 / 1585968. JSTOR 1585790.
- Scarr, S. (1985). “The mood of the authors [Review of Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences]”. New Ideas in Psychology 3 (1): 95-100. Doi: 10.1016 / 0732-118X (85) 90056-X.
- Triglia, Adrián; Regader, Bertrand; and García-Allen, Jonathan (2018). “What is intelligence? From CI to multiple intelligences.” EMSE publication.