What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

What Does Theory of Multiple Intelligences Mean

We explain what the Theory of Multiple Intelligences is, and the characteristics of each of the skills it identifies.

According to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences there are various aspects of intelligence.

What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is a model for understanding the human mind proposed in 1983 by Howard Gardner (1943-), an American psychologist and professor at Harvard University.

According to his approach to intelligence, it can not be defined as a set fixed and certain specific capabilities that some people have and others do not. On the contrary, it understands intelligence as a network of autonomous but interrelated capacities that occur to one degree or another in individuals.

The development of each of these capacities depends on three main factors: your biological or genetic heritage, your personal life, and your cultural and historical heritage. That is, intelligence is for Gardner a combination of biopsychological potentials that allow us to process information in a creative and useful way, but within a cultural framework of needs and values .

For that reason, there are no intelligent and non-intelligent people, but people with one type or another of more developed intelligence , since being always a potential capacity, it may or may not be active.

Thus, in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Gardner starts from the fact that, since there are many types of problems and needs, there are also many types of intelligences, which are distinguished from each other according to their specific areas of application.

We all possess these twelve forms of reasoning at different levels of development ; Which does not mean that we cannot cultivate them, practice them. Although obviously some are more "natural" than others.

The following points explain the seven types of intelligences that Gardner originally identified, and naturalistic intelligence, which the same author added in 1995. Later, other types of intelligence were also identified: emotional, existential, creative and collaborative.

It can help you: Cognitive skills

Linguistic-verbal intelligence

The function of language in human beings is universal, and it is our main tool for understanding and interaction. However, there are individuals who have a greater command over it, whether in its spoken, written or creative aspects.

These people, then, have greater linguistic-verbal intelligence, which would translate into their ability to learn new languages, speak and write effectively and outstandingly , and generally have an understanding of verbal language that is beyond what common.

This type of intelligence is usually highly developed in writers, linguists, speakers, lawyers, poets, political or religious leaders , etc.

Logical-mathematical intelligence

This type of intelligence involves abstract non-verbal reasoning . They are, for example, those that involve calculation, geometric perception , the recognition of numerical or logical patterns, or the handling of formal reasoning mechanisms, such as mathematics , logic , physics , chemistry , among other exact sciences and applied.

This mode of intelligence has been valued throughout history for its capacity for the creation and manufacture of instruments or for the deduction of the natural laws of the universe, since it is closely associated with the capacity of inductive and deductive reasoning of the being. human.

It is common for this type of intelligence to be greater in scientists, engineers, inventors, mathematicians, accountants, etc.

Spatial or visual intelligence

In this category we find the ability to handle abstract spatial orders , using imagination and the sense of orientation or logic .

It is the intelligence that is applied when using maps, coordinates and orientations efficiently . In addition, it allows us to imagine an object from a different angle of perception than the one we have, or to create our own perspective, thus being able to create visual presentations, such as drawings , paintings , etc.

This type of intelligence is often cultivated in architects , visual artists , designers , photographers , publicists , etc.

Musical intelligence

Musicality is a universal aspect of diverse cultures , expressed in very different artistic, ritual or any other kind of achievements. This implies a certain perception of rhythm, as well as a close interrelation between the ear and the mind , which allows us to understand, distinguish and follow rhythmic patterns, or even create them.

Obviously, this type of intelligence is more cultivated in musicians, music critics, shamans, singers, etc.

Body-kinesthetic intelligence

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Body intelligence is part intuitive and part can be trained.

In this case, it is about intelligence applied to the coordination of body movements , which in the case of human beings also extends to the use of their tools.

In many ways, bodily intelligence is shown to be intuitive , characteristic of the nature of the species . On the other hand, in other cases it may be the result of learning , which will be more or less simple depending on the facilities of each individual.

This is the type of intelligence most cultivated by athletes , dancers , choreographers, models, actors, but also visual artists ( sculptors , for example) and in many ways, artisans and workers who use their hands and their body to solve problems.

Intrapersonal intelligence

This is a type of introspective intelligence, it tends to examine the interior aspects of the individual, of his internal world. This happens by recognizing your own emotions, your own feelings, the logic that govern your own behavior , and thus being able to organize, choose and apply what is popularly known as “ emotional intelligence ”.

This type of intelligence is developed especially by those who attend psychotherapy, or meditation and other introspective or emotional learning behaviors .

Interpersonal intelligence

Contrary to the previous one, this refers to aspects of dealing with others, that is, the ability to establish effective links with other human beings and recognize their emotions , their thoughts (even when they are actively hidden), and provide them with an proper response.

Interpersonal intelligence involves high levels of empathy , charisma, or manipulation. High levels of interpersonal intelligence are frequently found in political leaders, social workers, psychologists , lawyers, and therapists.

More in: Interpersonal intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence

This last category was added to Gardner's theory later, in 1995. It is defined as the ability to observe and understand the relationships of nature and the environment , or to recognize their patterns.

Such a capacity would have evolved in our species from the need to distinguish beneficial species from dangerous ones, safe from dangerous situations, etc., and thus guarantee the subsistence of primitive humanity .

High levels of naturalistic intelligence are frequently found in biologists , botanists , explorers, gardeners, climatologists, etc.

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