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10 Intelligence Types: Howard Gardner’s Theory

There are different ways to be smart.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

According to research, there are sev­er­al intel­li­gence types.

Traditionally, intel­li­gence was viewed nar­rowly, often lim­ited to lin­guist­ic and logic­al-math­em­at­ic­al abilities. 

However, Howard Gardner’s the­ory of mul­tiple intel­li­gences broadens this per­spect­ive, intro­du­cing a more hol­ist­ic and diverse under­stand­ing of human cap­ab­il­ity. 1Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Basic Books.

Here we go:

10 Intelligence Types

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Howard Gardner: 10 Intelligence Types

Howard Gardner’s the­ory of mul­tiple intel­li­gences expands the tra­di­tion­al view of intel­li­gence bey­ond logic­al and lin­guist­ic cap­ab­il­it­ies. 2Theory of mul­tiple intel­li­gences. (2023, November 28). In Wikipedia. https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​T​h​e​o​r​y​_​o​f​_​m​u​l​t​i​p​l​e​_​i​n​t​e​l​l​i​g​e​n​ces

Here’s a descrip­tion of each type of intel­li­gence as out­lined in his theory:

  • Linguistic intel­li­gence. This intel­li­gence involves effect­ively using words and lan­guage. It includes skills in read­ing, writ­ing, speak­ing, and com­mu­nic­a­tion. People with high lin­guist­ic intel­li­gence are typ­ic­ally good at telling stor­ies, mem­or­iz­ing words, and reading.
  • Logical-math­em­at­ic­al intel­li­gence. This form of intel­li­gence is about the capa­city to ana­lyze prob­lems logic­ally, carry out math­em­at­ic­al oper­a­tions, and invest­ig­ate issues sci­en­tific­ally. It involves strong reas­on­ing skills, pat­tern recog­ni­tion, and abstract thinking.
  • Musical intel­li­gence. This intel­li­gence rep­res­ents skill in per­form­ing, com­pos­ing, and appre­ci­at­ing music­al pat­terns. It encom­passes recog­nising and com­pos­ing music­al pitches, tones, and rhythms.
  • Spatial intel­li­gence. Spatial intel­li­gence involves the poten­tial to recog­nize and manip­u­late the pat­terns of wide spaces (like nav­ig­at­ors and pilots) and more con­fined areas (like chess play­ers and sur­geons). It includes skills like visu­al­iz­ing objects, cre­at­ing men­tal images, and think­ing in three dimensions.
  • Bodily-kin­es­thet­ic intel­li­gence. This type refers to using one’s whole body or parts of the body (like the hands or the mouth). It’s the abil­ity to manip­u­late objects and use vari­ous phys­ic­al skills. This intel­li­gence also involves a sense of tim­ing and the per­fec­tion of skills through hand-eye coördination.
  • Interpersonal intel­li­gence. This is about under­stand­ing and inter­act­ing effect­ively with oth­ers. It involves effect­ive verbal and non­verbal com­mu­nic­a­tion, the abil­ity to note dis­tinc­tions among oth­ers, sens­it­iv­ity to the moods and tem­pera­ments of oth­ers, and the abil­ity to enter­tain mul­tiple per­spect­ives. 3See also: Silfwer, J. (2023, April 25). Theory of Mind: A Superpower for PR Professionals. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​t​h​e​o​r​y​-​o​f​-​m​i​n​d​-​a​-​s​u​p​e​r​p​o​w​e​r​-​f​o​r​-​p​r​-​p​r​o​f​e​s​s​i​o​n​a​ls/
  • Intrapersonal intel­li­gence. Intrapersonal intel­li­gence is the capa­city to under­stand one­self and to appre­ci­ate one’s feel­ings, fears, and motiv­a­tions. This intel­li­gence involves hav­ing a deep under­stand­ing of the self, what one’s strengths/​weaknesses are, what makes one unique, and being able to pre­dict one’s own reactions/​emotions.
  • Naturalist intel­li­gence. This intel­li­gence refers to identi­fy­ing and clas­si­fy­ing nat­ur­al pat­terns. It involves under­stand­ing liv­ing creatures and bot­any and the abil­ity to observe nat­ur­al phenomena.
  • Teaching intel­li­gence. This form of intel­li­gence is evid­ent when indi­vidu­als, includ­ing very young chil­dren, suc­cess­fully teach oth­ers. It involves break­ing down com­plex con­cepts into sim­pler, teach­able parts and under­stand­ing how dif­fer­ent people learn.
  • Existential intel­li­gence. This type refers to the abil­ity to use intu­ition, thought, and meta-cog­ni­tion to ask (and con­sider) deep ques­tions about human exist­ence, such as the mean­ing of life, why we die, and how we got here.

Each intel­li­gence type rep­res­ents dif­fer­ent ways of pro­cessing inform­a­tion and sug­gests every­one has a unique blend of these bits of intel­li­gence. 4Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Basic Books.

Gardner’s the­ory of mul­tiple intel­li­gences has revo­lu­tion­ized edu­ca­tion, chal­len­ging the notion of a single, fixed intel­li­gence and pro­mot­ing a more diverse approach to teach­ing and learn­ing.”
Source: 5Checkley, K. (1997). The First Seven…and the Eighth: A Conversation with Howard Gardner. Educational Leadership, 55, 8 – 13.

Learn more: 10 Intelligence Types: Howard Gardner’s Theory

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Please sup­port my PR blog by shar­ing it with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

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ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1, 4 Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Basic Books.
2 Theory of mul­tiple intel­li­gences. (2023, November 28). In Wikipedia. https://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​T​h​e​o​r​y​_​o​f​_​m​u​l​t​i​p​l​e​_​i​n​t​e​l​l​i​g​e​n​ces
3 See also: Silfwer, J. (2023, April 25). Theory of Mind: A Superpower for PR Professionals. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​t​h​e​o​r​y​-​o​f​-​m​i​n​d​-​a​-​s​u​p​e​r​p​o​w​e​r​-​f​o​r​-​p​r​-​p​r​o​f​e​s​s​i​o​n​a​ls/
5 Checkley, K. (1997). The First Seven…and the Eighth: A Conversation with Howard Gardner. Educational Leadership, 55, 8 – 13.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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