9 Types of Intelligence

Howard Gardner introduced nine types of intelligence. He stated that humans can be described not by a single kind of intelligence, or intelligence quotient score, but rather by a variety of kinds of intelligence. This article elaborates on the nine types of intelligence developed by Gardner.

Naturalistic intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence refers to a cognitive potential to process information concerning nature or having sensitivity to nature and all its details and intricacies. People with naturalistic intelligence have an ability to identify and distinguish among different types of plants, animals, and weather formations that are found in the natural world. They enjoy hiking, camping, gardening, and exploring the outdoors and Are interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoology. They are likely to be high performers in various nature related careers and can contribute towards sustainability management and conservation of nature.

Existential intelligence 

Existential intelligence refers to the ability to be sensitive to, or have the capacity for, conceptualising or tackling deeper or larger questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why are we born, why do we die, what is consciousness, how did we get here, Can animals understand us? What happens after death? Will we all go to heaven? How did God create human beings? Do we have access to the spiritual realm? People with existential intelligence question everything, they are very curious, Which is fantastic because curiosity leads to discovery, knowledge, solutions, creativity, and innovation. They are the best problem solvers. George Carlin said don’t just teach your children to read but teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything. There is a quote that says a sure sign sign of intelligence is when you question everything and are always wondering about things. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence 

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence refers to a person’s ability to process information physically through hand and body movement, control, and expression. People with a high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence love to move. They use movement to acquire knowledge about themselves, their physical and mental abilities and about their surroundings. They learn by doing, discovering, and exploring.People who excel in this intelligence typically learn best by doing something physically as opposed to just reading and answering questions. They enjoy sports, games, and dancing. Dancers, football players, gymnasts, and athletes have high kinesthetic intelligence.

Logical-Mathematical intelligence 

Logical-Mathematical intelligence refers to The ability to analyse situations or problems logically, to identify solutions, to conduct scientific research, and to solve logical/mathematical operations easily. People with mathematical intelligence such as, Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking,  Albert Einstein, are good at working with numbers, complex and abstract ideas, and scientific investigations. They tend to solve maths problems in their heads and are drawn to logic puzzles and games. They also enjoy school activities such as maths, computer science, technology, drafting, design, and chemistry. They have strong visual analysis, memory, and problem-solving skills. Mathematical intelligence also gives children an idea of the future occupations.

Interpersonal intelligence 

Interpersonal intelligence refers to an understanding of other people, their likes and dislikes, their motivations, and how they feel. The person with interpersonal intelligence can almost predict what others will act and is therefore able to communicate with them efficiently and be very persuasive. Successful Salespeople, psychotherapist, politicians, and people with highly developed social skills have this kind of intelligence. They’re good at interacting and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

Intra-personal intelligence  

Intra-personal intelligence refers to the ability to have insight into our own thought processes, feelings and emotions, and an awareness of the causes and consequences of our actions, which in turn enables us to make the right decisions. 

Spatial intelligence

Spatial intelligence also known as visual thinking refers to a person’s ability to mentally generate, retain, retrieve, and transform well-structured visual images. The word spatial comes from the Latin “spatium” meaning “occupying space.” Spatial intelligence involves understanding and remembering the relative locations of objects in the mind. We use spatial ability most of the time.  For instance when you drive to work. You know that if you don’t watch the road and surrounding cars and objects carefully, you might hit one of them so you use spatial ability to carefully drive around obstacles, between cars, and stay on the road in general. People who develop spatial intelligence are good at solving spatial problems such as reading maps, looking at pictures, drawing and painting. According to Howard Gardner, Engineers, scientists, architects, and artists have high spatial intelligence.

Linguistic intelligence 

Linguistic intelligence refers to the intelligence of words. People with linguistic intelligence  are skilled and have preferences for reading, writing, story telling, playing word games, speaking, languages, learning, and listening. They thrive as journalists, authors, copy editors, teachers, actors, public speakers, lawyers, and broadcasters.

Musical intelligence 

Musical intelligence is a person’s ability to perform, compose, and appreciate music and musical patterns. Or the ability to enjoy, observe, differentiate, create, form and express musical forms.  People who excel in this intelligence typically are able to use rhythms and patterns to assist in learning. According to Howard Gardner, musicians, composers, band directors, disc jockeys and music critics have high musical intelligence. People with musical intelligence are able to play a musical instrument, sing in high and low keys, and remember a rhythm after simply hearing it a few times.

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