For most people, being intelligent is perceived as having a lot of useful knowledge and skills (and sometimes non-useful knowledge and skills) and being able to apply such knowledge and skills.
Most people believe that being knowledgeable and skilled at general and random information is a sign of being intelligent. There is however more to being intelligent than simply being proficient in languages or being good in math.
Let us go over the 9 types of intelligence identified in Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligence and try to find the one that best suits you.
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
This type of intelligence describes superior inductive, deductive reasoning and calculating ability. Individuals with logical-mathematical intelligence possess the ability to think analytically and conceptually.
You know you have high logical-mathematical intelligence if:
- You are good with numbers and various tasks that involve quantifying things, such as mathematical operations and arithmetic problems.
- You enjoy performing experiments and conducting investigations in order to prove the hypotheses that you’ve formulated earlier.
- You enjoy playing logic and strategy games, and you do it often to further hone your intelligence.
- You enjoy the challenge of unraveling mysteries and solving puzzles.
People with high logical-mathematical intelligence work best as mathematicians, analysts, detectives, investigative journalists, and scientists.
2. Linguistic Intelligence
This intelligence refers to a person’s ability to use words effectively.
You know you are linguistically intelligent if:
- You have a way with words, and can use it to persuade or convince someone to act in a certain manner.
- You have a rich vocabulary, and you know which words to use, how and when to use them.
- You like to read a lot, and you may also want to write a lot.
- You enjoy playing word games, or other similar games that involve the use of words.
- You have an easy grasp of other languages or dialects, even if fluency is not required.
People who demonstrate high linguistic intelligence include authors, novelists, poets, journalists, public speakers, and motivational speakers. To a great extent, politicians are also deemed to be linguistically intelligent.
3. Visual-Spatial Intelligence
This intelligence is being able to think in 3D. Having a very active imagination. Most of the time, you will be drawing on your imagination when putting this intelligence to use.
You have high visual-spatial intelligence if:
- You have a high awareness of your surrounding environments.
- You have very good navigation skills and a sharp sense of direction.
- You enjoy playing with jigsaw puzzles and games that involve maps and mazes.
- You like to draw and work with pictures and images.
- You tend to daydream a lot, creating scenarios in your head.
A person with visual-spatial intelligence will function best as a painter, a sculptor, architect, designers, pilots and seafarers.
- Naturalist Intelligence
This type of intelligence involves being able to ”read” and understand nature. People with this type of intelligence have a high sensitivity for all living and non-living elements in nature.
You have high naturalist intelligence if:
- You love nature, and enjoy spending time outdoors.
- You are able to connect easily with animals.
- You have a knack for raising animals or making plants grow (what people call “green thumb”)
People with naturalist intelligence work best as botanists, agriculturists, forest and park rangers.
5. Musical Intelligence
Do you have a talent for dissecting the elements and details of sound? Then you should count yourself as one of the intelligence ones when it comes to musicality. If you are very sensitive to rhythm and sound, then you possess this type of intelligence.
You have high musical intelligence if:
- You can discern sounds and break them down – their pitch, rhythm, tone and timber – easily.
- You love – and can recognize, create, and/or reflect – on music.
- You are comfortable with music or sound playing in the background even when you are doing other things.
- You are highly sensitive to even the smallest sound, so that you can hear sounds that others miss.
People with musical intelligence function best as musicians, composers, vocalists, composers, conductors, sound mixers and sound engineers.
- Existential Intelligence
This may sound too deep for some people, but tackling existentialism issues and questions is also a form of intelligence. This denotes a deep sensitivity and a high capacity to tackle very serious questions, combined with a passion to pursue the answers to these questions.
You have high existential intelligence if:
- You are genuine in your curiosity to answer questions like “why do we live?”, “why do we die?” and “what happens to us after death?”, etc.
- You demonstrate high sensitivity when it comes to matters related to human existence.
People with existential intelligence are most suited in jobs in psychology and theology. Motivational speakers are also expected to possess this type of intelligence in great amounts.
7. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Usually, people who have superior hand-eye coordination do very well in sports.
You have a high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence if:
- You have a keen sense of body awareness, knowing what you are capable of and recognizing your physical limits.
- You can communicate well using body language, with gestures and actions that can convey the message you intend to deliver to the recipients.
- You have no issues with physical contact, since you are comfortable touching other people or being touched.
- You have, at least, a very good sense of timing when it comes to performing physical tasks and activities.
- You are good with your hands, such that you can handle tools and machines with a high degree of deftness, combined with an economy of movement.
- You like making or creating something with your hands
People who possess bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are usually athletes, dancers, acrobats and stage performers. Craftsmen, or those who create highly detailed crafts and products, are also known to demonstrate impressive mind and body union. But perhaps the best example of somebody who is good with their hands is a surgeon, whose every action – no matter how small – inside the operating room, will dictate how a patient’s life will go.
8. Interpersonal Intelligence
Interpersonal intelligence refers to your ability to sense other people’s feelings, as well as read their motives. They say that you have above average interpersonal skills if you possess good communication skills – both verbal and non-verbal. That is usually the first thing that you will notice in a person with high interpersonal intelligence.
You have high interpersonal intelligence if:
- You can easily spot distinctions or differences among people, and you also find it easy to recognize them even in a large crowd.
- You have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, and you are comfortable spending time with other people.
- You are sensitive to the moods and temperament of other people.
- You are able to look at things from various points of view or perspectives, instead of just sticking to your own angle.
People with high interpersonal intelligence will do great as teachers, social workers, and politicians. Stage and film actors also use their interpersonal intelligence portray any character.
- Intra-personal Intelligence
Self-awareness is also a form of intelligence. Intra-personal intelligence involves knowing what you feeling and why you are feeling it. It also involves knowing exactly what you want and need. Intra-personal intelligence also involves possessing an appreciation and respect for human condition.
You have high intra-personal intelligence if:
- You are self-motivated, meaning you tend to put yourself first when assessing various situations you come across.
- You are strong-willed and independent, and have no issue learning by yourself.
- You are fully aware of your feelings, and you take action to planning and directing your life, without primarily depending on others to dictate what you should do.
- You tend to be shy and introverted, preferring to keep to yourself and have solo moments for self-reflection
People with high intra-personal intelligence are those who would be most comfortable as spiritual leaders, psychologists, guidance counselors, and even philosophers.
Is it possible to possess all nine? Yes, there is definitely a high probability of that. In fact, some even claim that we all have to a certain degree, all of the nine types of intelligence. It’s just a matter of some types of intelligence being higher or more apparent than others.
Have you found your most prominent type of intelligence?