Multiple Intelligences

Hello, I’m Angela! As an eGirl Power volunteer, I recently learned about the Multiple intelligences and their definitions. Multiple intelligences were a concept coined by American psychologist Dr. Howard Gardner in order to group human intelligence into many different “modalities”, as opposed to just only one group. I learned that there were 9 different kinds: verbal linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical-rhythmic, bodily-kinesthetic, visual-spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existential. A little bit about each:

Verbal-linguistic intelligence is having an affinity for language and words. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence may be strong in storytelling, writing, writing, and speaking, and may be suited for jobs such as teachers, writing, publishers, journalism, and lawyers.

Those who are strong in working with numbers, computers, and science may have high logical-mathematical intelligence. It manifests itself in the form of reasoning, logic, calculating, analyzing, conducting experiments, working with computers, and exploring relationships. Jobs that involve logical-mathematical intelligence include scientists, physicians, programmers, video game designers, accountants, and investment analysts.

Individuals with high musical-rhythmic intelligence are typically strong in singing, playing instruments, listening to music, and have a good feel for tone, pitch, tempo, and singing. Jobs involving this intelligence would include musicians, singers, DJs, artists, and songwriters.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence presents itself in risk calculation, decision making, hand maneuverability, mental toughness, and physical strength. As a result, jobs that involve bodily-kinesthetic intelligence include athlete, martial artist, choreographer, physical therapist, construction worker, mechanic, and hair stylist.

As the name suggests, naturalistic intelligence includes the understanding of the natural environment, and enjoying outdoor activities. People with naturalistic intelligence may be strong in tending to the environment, and intelligence include gardeners, biologists, botanists, farmers, ecologists, and geologists.

Interpersonal intelligence is someone’s awareness of others’ emotions, capabilities, and personalities. They are able to effectively communicate and empathize with others. Potential jobs involving interpersonal intelligence includes politicians, managers, counselors, and social workers.

Though they sound similar, intrapersonal intelligence is nearly the opposite of interpersonal intelligence. Those with intrapersonal intelligence enjoy spending time by themselves to think and reflect on their characters, and are typically introspective and understanding of themselves. This personality type tends to work well in leadership positions. Jobs involving intrapersonal intelligence include politicians, activists, counselors, and life advisors.

The last of the nine multiple intelligences is existential intelligence, which involves a strong curiosity in life, death, and what goes beyond death. Those who are existentially intelligent may meditate and ponder what the “big question” is. Jobs involving existential intelligence may include theologists, psychologists, philosophers, cosmologists, and scientists.

Based on what I learned, the multiple intelligences theory is a very interesting explanation for why some people are stronger in certain areas than others. I would really like to see some further research and proof of the theory, though it does seem difficult to prove. Nonetheless, I agree with Gardner that intelligence should not just be limited to its typical definition of IQ.

I think that multiple intelligences can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as help you make more sense of them. Therefore, you can work on areas that you know you need to improve in. However, I don’t think that this theory should hinder anyone from trying anything new, or prevent you from working in a field that you are passionate about (even if you don’t necessarily have a high intelligence in that field).

Overall, the multiple intelligences are really interesting to learn about, and they can definitely be applied in the workforce, and in identifying your weaknesses and strengths! By doing something as simple as taking a quiz can help you better understand yourself as a person, and give you potential ideas on what you can do when you grow up.