Intelligence is one of the most valued traits in our society, along with beauty or health. This build is often thought of as a trait that one possesses or not, so it is common to wonder if someone is smart or not. The reality is that intelligence is full of nuances.
Over the decades, there has been a lot of debate about what kind of intelligence exists. What about the guy who can’t take a math exam, but is able to write pieces of music of infinite beauty? What about the guy who isn’t good at languages, but is a programming genius? Much of this debate has revolved around whether there is unitary intelligence or different types of intelligence.
In today’s article, we will review the different types of intelligence based on the second option of this debate.
Different intelligence tests for different types of intelligence
The truth is that intelligence is an abstract construct, so it has caused great discussions between different experts.
Psychologists have long been interested in this concept, and today there are different types of intelligence tests. Some measure what is called the “G-factor” or unit intelligence and others measure the different types of intelligence that we will talk about in this article. For example, logical-mathematical intelligence or linguistic intelligence.
- To learn more about intelligence tests, see our article: “Types of intelligence tests”
The 12 types of intelligence
And of course, since this construct has been studied, several theories have attempted to explain what intelligence is. From the crystallized and fluid intelligence of Raymond Cattell, to the two-factor theory of Spearman or the multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner, there are many contributions that different researchers and professionals in psychology have left us to help us understand how of human intelligence.
This last theory, that of multiple intelligences, has been very influential in naming some of the most recognized intelligences and has largely contributed to breaking with the paradigm of unit intelligence.
But, What kind of intelligence do you have? Below you can see a list of the different types of intelligence.
1. Linguistic intelligence
As indicated by his name, is the ability to master the language. But this type of intelligence understands not only oral language but also writing or gestures, so it has a lot to do with the communication process. People with high linguistic intelligence have a special sensitivity for the meaning of words, their order, sounds, rhythms, metrics, etc. (For example, writers or poets).
- You can find out more about this type of intelligence by reading this article: “Linguistic intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?”
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence
It is the ability to conceptualize logical relationships between actions or symbols (e.g., a mathematician or a scientist). In other words, it is the ability to reason deductively and logically and the ability to solve mathematical problems.
Psychologist Jean Piaget, when he was studying, thought he was working on a wide range of intelligences, but he was in fact studying logical-mathematical intelligence. The speed at solving mathematical problems is the most common indicator for determining the amount of logical-mathematical intelligence that an individual possesses.
3. Spatial intelligence
Spatial intelligence is defined as the human ability to observe the world and objects from different angles and, moreover, it is the ability to manipulate or create mental images in order to be able to solve problems. This type of intelligence is made up of different skills: dynamic imagination, image manipulation, artistic graphic skills or spatial reasoning, among others. People with high spatial intelligence are very good at doing puzzles or drawing. Sculptors, architects, painters or pilots are examples of individuals with a great spatial capacity.
- More on this intelligence: “Spatial intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?”
4. Musical intelligence
While some people are very good at sculpting or painting, others have a tremendous ability to create musical pieces, As they recognize and compose musical sounds and rhythms with great talent. Those people who are advanced in the musical aspect have great musical intelligence, which enables them to play instruments and read or compose musical pieces with ease.
5. Bodily and kinesthetic intelligence
And the dancers, what kind of intelligence do they have? Because according to the theory of multiple intelligences, they have what is called bodily or kinesthetic intelligence, which is the ability to use one’s own body, i.e. the coordination of bodily movements.
This type and intelligence makes visible a great connection between mind (and emotions) and movement, and in addition to dancers, they usually have actors or athletes. Have you ever seen Leo Messi play? He probably can’t play a Beethoven piece or do a Luis Suárez caricature, but with the ball at his feet he’s able to do things that are beyond anyone’s reach.
6. Intrapersonal intelligence
There are individuals who have a remarkable ability to understand themselves, Their thoughts and emotions and regulate their own behavior, as they are able to access and reflect on their feelings and emotions. While intrapersonal intelligence includes self-knowledge and self-appreciation, it also includes understanding the human condition. Psychologists, philosophers or writers, generally have a great capacity in this type of intelligence. Additionally, these types of individuals tend to enjoy greater emotional and psychological well-being.
- Learn more: “Intrapersonal intelligence: what is it and how can it be improved?”
7. Interpersonal intelligence
You may have noticed that hhave some people who have a unique ability when it comes to behaving well or relating to other people. These are individuals who use their interpersonal intelligence when interacting effectively with others, as they are able to understand, empathize, and communicate appropriately.
Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to discern the emotions and intentions of others and enables them to interpret the words and actions, or the goals and objectives of others. Politicians, teachers or actors are at the forefront of this type of intelligence.
8. Emotional intelligence
One of the recent and major paradigms of intelligence is emotional intelligence. Although the concept of emotional intelligence was first used by American psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990, it was Goleman who, thanks to his bestseller Emotional Intelligence (1995), made this concept famous. .
Emotional intelligence includes both intrapersonal intelligence and interpersonal intelligence, And consists of five components: emotional self-awareness, emotional self-control, self-motivation, empathy and social skills. Numerous research indicates that emotional intelligence brings many benefits: it minimizes the effects of stress and prevents it, improves emotional well-being, improves interpersonal relationships, improves performance at work …
9. Naturalistic intelligence
Naturalistic intelligence refers to the sensitivity of some people towards the natural world, As is the ability to distinguish, order, classify, understand and use elements of the environment, objects, animals or plants. In the past, this type of intelligence was extremely important for survival. Biologists, farmers, botanists or hunters dominate this type of intelligence.
10. Existential intelligence
While some people go through the day without spending a lot of time on reason, people with high existential intelligence tend to meditate on its existence. Such thoughts can include the meaning of life and death. Existential intelligence is known as the ninth multiple intelligence in Howard Gardner’s theory, and he defines it as: “the ability to position oneself in relation to the cosmos and in relation to the existential characteristics of the human condition, just like the meaning of life and death, the ultimate destiny of the physical and psychological world in deep experiences like love for another person ”.
The search for meaning, self-knowledge, having its own scale of moral values, aesthetic joy or a sense of mystery are some of the manifestations of this type of intelligence, which can be cultivated with the practice of meditation. philosophize and dialogue.
While some authors speak of this type of intelligence as spiritual intelligence, others, on the contrary, assert that it is two different types of intelligence, such as existential intelligence goes far beyond spiritually positive and healthy behavior, Beyond being a good person.
11. Creative intelligence
There are people who are made to work in a workplace that requires mechanical and monotonous work and who adapt perfectly to work environments of this type. But rather there are people who seem to be quick-witted, who are always one step ahead of others and who are constantly innovating. These people have great creative intelligence.
But what characterizes people with high creative intelligence? Fluency, that is, the ability to generate many ideas; flexibility, to see and approach situations in different ways; and originality, to fabricate unusual or new responses.
- How are creative people? Find out in this article: “The 7 personality traits of creatives”
12. Collaborative intelligence
Recently, a new concept of intelligence has appeared in the organizational environment, it is collaborative intelligence. It could be defined as the ability to choose the best option to achieve a certain goal by working together, And is based on the idea of teamwork, so necessary for today’s businesses.
Indeed, teamwork is one of the skills most valued by recruiters, which is why, faced with this new need for job search, many masters or courses specializing in this type of training are making their mark. appearance.
- If you would like to explore this topic further, you will find all the information you need in our article: “Collaborative intelligence: what is it exactly?”