Understanding Multiple Types Of Intelligences

IQ (Intelligence Quotient) Testing was invented by Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon. The first Intelligence scale was created in 1905. At that time, the French government commissioned a test to assess which student was more likely to succeed and which students were more likely to fail in the French school system.

Lewis Terman made some revisions to this assessment in 1930 and renamed it the Intelligence Test. During this time, intelligence quotient tests were used to measure children’s mental age against their chronological age.

Our school systems have come to rely on IQ and other standardized tests. This kind of testing puts a great deal of focus on verbal-linguistic and math-logical intelligences, but they have left out other types of intelligences.

In 1983, Dr. Howard Gardner stated that intelligence consists of three key components:

1. The ability to create an effective service or product that is of value to one’s community or culture.

2. A set of skills that enable a person to find solutions to problems encountered in life.

3. Having the potential for creating solutions for problems, and setting up systematic methods to enable people to acquire new knowledge.

Dr. Gardner has become a world-renowned authority on what is known as Multiple Intelligences. This theory has its roots on research that is based on extensive brain research, tests, interviews, and studies of hundreds of individuals.

Dr. Gardner studied the cognitive abilities of individuals who were accident victims, autistic, had strokes, were child prodigies, and some who had learning disabilities.

He came to the conclusion that intelligence is not an inborn, fixed trait that dominates a person’s problem solving abilities. It is each person’s different part of their brains that are more developed than other parts of their brain.

While these parts of the brain are interconnected, they can work independent of each other or they can work in synchronicity with each other to help that person learn, depending on the environment and the person’s preferences.

Having this in mind, Dr. Gardner pin-pointed eight different Intelligences that every person has, to varying extents. These intelligences are;


Eight Intelligences Defined

Linguistic/Verbal- these are individuals who will have sensitivity to the nuances of the spoken word. They love to read, write, and also tell stories. They are good at remembering places, dates, and names. Professionals with a strong verbal/linguistic intelligence are public speakers, teachers, actors, radio broadcasters, and writers.

Some examples are Charlton Heston and Abraham Lincoln.

Math-Logical –

These are individuals with a strong ability to reason. They are able to recognize and manipulate abstract relationships and patterns. People who have strong reasoning skills and problem-solving skills are especially strong in the math/logical intelligence. Professionals with this intelligence are computer programmers, lawyers, scientists, mathematicians, and accountants.

Some historical examples are Alexander Graham Bell and Albert Einstein.

Spatial –

Individuals with a strong spatial intelligence have the ability to create visual-spatial models and are able to transfer them mentally. They usually need a mental or physical “picture” to help them understand the ideas and concepts being presented. Professionals with this spatial intelligence are graphic artists, cartographers, sculptors, and architects.

Some historical figures include Pablo Picasso and Bobby Fischer.

Musical –

Individuals with a highly developed musical intelligence are sensitive to the rhythm, itch, timbre, and composition of sound. They enjoy listening to music and may work as songwriters, vocalists, composers, or music teachers.

Some Historical examples include Mozart, Beethoven, and J.S. Bach.

Bodily-Kinesthetic –

Individuals with strong kinesthetic intelligence are drawn to the athletic field. They may also use their physical bodies to convey ideas, thoughts, and emotions and solve problems. They have good hand-eye coordination and usually have a tendency to move around a lot while expressing them.

Professionals with a high kinesthetic intelligence are dancers, inventors, athletes, and surgeons.
Some historical figures include Tiger Woods and Andre Agassi.


These individuals work effectively in group settings and are able to understand and recognize motivations, goals, and intentions of others. People with this intelligence thrive in group work situations and are very skilled at mediating, communicating and negotiating.

Professionals with interpersonal intelligence are therapists, social workers, counselors, teachers, and salespeople.

Historical examples include Ghandi and Mother Theresa.


Individuals with a strong intrapersonal intelligence possess the ability to understand their own goals, emotions and motivations. These people have very good instincts about their abilities and strengths. In the professional settings, these persons will be psychiatrists, philosophers, or religious leaders.

An historical example of this is Sigmund Freud.

Naturalist –

These individuals are “earth lovers”, who have a strong affinity for nature. They enjoy learning about flora, fauna, and other nature topics. Professionals with this intelligence are farmers, botanists, biologists, and forest rangers.

Historical figures include John Muir and Charles Darwin.

Remember, that although this report has outlined specific traits, everyone has some level of ability in every intelligence. It is important that we learn how to cultivate each and every single one of these intelligences.

You Don’t Have To Be Smart To Be A Genius

Many of the most influential iconoclasts suffered from their own misalignment with the “status quo” of their times. Among them were;

Beethoven – whose music teacher said of him, “As a composer, he’s hopeless”

Walt Disney – a newspaper editor fired him because he had “no good ideas.”

Albert Einstein – he was four years old before he was able to speak and seven before he was able to read

Thomas Edison – his teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything

With the Information Age being upon us, now is the time you can dig and soak up as much valuable information as possible on the Internet to help you develop all of your Multiple Intelligences.