Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences

We often typecast intelligence into the ability to solve problems or engineer some kind of solution, whether material or abstract. At other times, intelligence is also often confused with the ability to memorize or the ease of learning.

However, this creates a stigma because, if someone doesn´t fit into this pattern, then it is insinuated that that person isn´t intelligent, and if he isn´t intelligent then perhaps he is lerate or has some learning deficit, which is an abrupt and polarized generalization.

However, for psychologist Howard Gardner the situation is diametrically opposed and has proposed that intelligence is not exclusively reduced to academic issues and that it is not a fixed capacity, but a developable capacity that combines various types of intelligences, so one person might not have developed some specific kind of intelligence, but have great potential in another. The eight types of intelligence for Gardner are:

  1. Linguistic intelligence. It allows you to understand the words, what they imply in a given context, their meaning and scope, whether in writing, reading or at the oral level. Such intelligence is typical of writers or speakers.
  2. Musical intelligence. Even though a person could be born with this intelligence, he needs stimuli to empower him. It allows the generation of musicians, singers, dancers, composers and related.
  3. Logical or mathematical intelligence. This intelligence is closest to the traditional sense of intelligence, however, it only makes use of the logical hemisphere of the brain. It is typical of people who are dedicated to the exact sciences and who make both inductive and deductive reasoning.
  4. Spatial intelligence. It basically allows you to position yourself in space and project on it. Very purposely for sailors, architects, engineers, sculptors, decorators and designers and photographers among others.
  5. Body intelligence, also called kinesthetic intelligence. This type of intelligence allows to operate with the body in activities that require movement, flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, very purposely for athletes, contortionists, repairers or for the execution of manual activities.
  6. Intrapersonal intelligence. It allows us to understand ourselves, to understand the needs we have as a person, to see our characteristics, how we act, among others. This intelligence serves us when making decisions that involve us as a person, evaluating ourselves and even meditating.
  7. Interpersonal intelligence. Previous intelligence allows us to relate to ourselves, while interpersonal intelligence allows us to relate to others, understand them, understand the point of view of others, manage human relationships, etc., something very profitable for motivators, people involved in conflict resolution, psychologists, diplomatic relations, teachers, administrators or, even, therapists.
  8. Naturalistic intelligence. This type of intelligence allows to have a special acuity to observe the environment and capture its characteristics, changes or behavior, own for sociologists or anthropologists, although biologists are the ones who have developed the most this type of intelligence.

As we see, the matter of intelligence or not of a person does not consist in their ability to solve problems of logic or mathematics, and goes further, and surely we all have more marked some kind of intelligence, a skill, a talent that allows us to solve some specific kind of problem, innovating or developing something.

This is more than enough reason not to say that one person is intelligent and another is not, that one child is intelligent and another is not, for intelligence is but the sum of a series of intelligences where one is more empowered than another , where maybe someone can solve the mathematical exercises, but maybe he’s not very smart to compose a symphony.

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Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
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Bibliography ► (August 28, 2019). Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. Bogotá: E-Cultura Group. Recovered from