There is a boy who is good at math and science. He can play with numbers and understand technical concepts with ease so he scores well and is the topper of the class. He is not good at sports whatsoever and spends most of his time studying. There is another boy who is the sports captain and he plays a variety of sports. He takes pride in the trophies and medals that he has won in several sports fests. Now there is a third boy who plays piano so well his concerts are attended by famous people. Out of all three boys, you might say that the first boy is the intelligent one but Mr. Gardner will disagree with you.
Howard Gardner authored a book called ‘Frames of the Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’ in 1983 in which he has pointed out that the intellect and cognitive abilities are not the only qualities that should make a person get called intelligent and that there are 8 different types of smarts a person can exhibit. This theory is useful as people can now work on their intelligences and understand their capabilities better now. Educators can segregate children according to their smarts and direct them towards complementary careers.
Following are the eight types of intelligences defined by Howard Gardner are explained briefly-
- Visual-Spatial Intelligence “Picture Smart”
The individuals that have an exceptional vision and their capabilities include memorising what they have seen and making a visual in their head when something is described to them. This type of intelligence can be seen in graphic designers, architects, artists and map readers.
- Musical Intelligence “Music Smart”
Like the name, the music smart are sensitive to tunes and rhythm in nature and oftentimes these people learn how to play an instrument with ease. Music attracts them and they learn it by heart just from hearing it once. People who play an instrument or make music show this type of intelligence.
- Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence “Body Smart”
These people have a very strong control on the movements of their body and they can easily use their body to communicate like when a dancer’s moves express the message that he tries to convey or simply the gestures that serve as non verbal cues. Dancers, athletes, mimicry artists and doctors are body smart.
- Interpersonal Intelligence “People Smart”
The individuals that are people smart always have their way around with people and this intelligence is also called social intelligence. They are efficient in conveying their message and understanding the other person and their message so they are excellent communicators with empathising capabilities. People like politicians, managers and psychologists have this intelligence.
Read about Emotional Intelligence here.
- Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence “Word Smart”
The word smarts are good at playing with words and they have a deep understanding of whatever is read by them. The can even read between the lines. They make a great use of words to convey their thoughts and are good at writing composition and oral communication. Writers, poets and anyone who is good with words have good verbal intelligence.
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence “Number Smart”
Finally, the people who are good at math and logical reasoning are number smart. These people also exhibit analytical thinking, deduction skills, making strategies and reasoning capability. This intelligence can be seen in anyone who effectively deals with numbers on a regular basis.
- Naturalistic Intelligence “Nature Smart”
Nature attracts the people who are eager to understand all the living organisms present in their environment, be it a plant or an animal, and their interpretation is accurate. Being out there, in the greens, energises them and they enjoy learning the workings of mother nature. Botanists and people who are passionate about gardening show this intelligence.
- Intrapersonal Intelligence “Self Smart”
The individuals that know their own self inside out exhibit intrapersonal intelligence. They know their strengths and weaknesses and can predict the results of whatever happens to them. Whatever they want to do, they know if they can do it or not deep inside so they take calculated steps and achieve success.