8 types of intelligence

Updated: Aug 23, 2020

The word intelligence has become a very narrow term in the sense that, a common man identifies intelligence with a high IQ(Intelligence Quotient). It is believed that amongst the ancient civilizations, Indian Civilization was one of the most prosperous civilizations. There are various Indian scriptures which explain highly technical knowledge in different fields that one could ever imagine. For instance, surgery was said to have been performed by Sushruta, one of the pioneers of the medical systems in ancient India. Advanced researches are also mentioned to have been made about the astronomical precision.

The reason for this was, one could choose one's mode of occupation according to one's interest and inclination. This meant that a physician's son could have talent in the field of farming and he would specialize and obtain complete expertise in farming, as against the expectation of the physician's son to be a physician.

Mr. Howard Gardner a developmental psychologist identified eight different kinds of intelligence. They are:

  • Visual-spatial intelligence: People with visual-spatial intelligence are good at understanding and interpreting visual images. They have a good understanding of the visual maps. Usually, people with this kind of intelligence become very good artists and sculptors. Anything with a high sense of visuality appeals to them more than anything else.

  • Linguistic-verbal intelligence: People with a high degree of linguistic-verbal intelligence love reading and writing. They are extremely gifted at learning multiple languages and deciphering complex sentences and word formations and structures. People with this kind of intelligence may generally become good poets, authors, speakers, etc.

  • Mathematical intelligence: As the name suggests, people with a high degree of this intelligence have a high understanding of mathematical, scientific, and logical based processes. People possessing this kind of intelligence can be successful in engineering-based and technical careers.

  • Kinesthetic intelligence: People with this kind of intelligence understand and use their physicality in an optimum manner. They like to do activities that involve their bodily strengths. Wrestling, army, and sports-based careers attract them the most.

  • Musical intelligence: People with this kind of intelligence have a penchant towards musical tonalities and rhythm. People with this kind of intelligence often turn out to be prodigies, acquiring and understanding this intelligence from a very young age.

  • Interpersonal intelligence: People having this intelligence have an uncanny ability to establish rapport with strangers. They are the people having a gift of gab and often engage in interaction and lively discussions. They are masters at collaboration. People with this intelligence also become good businessmen/businesswomen. People having interpersonal skills become good marketers, relationship builders, etc.

  • Intrapersonal intelligence: They are adept at looking inwards and understanding about themselves and the complexities of life. People with intrapersonal intelligence are highly intuitive and are also good at helping others understand themselves. Philosophy and spirituality are often the areas where people with intrapersonal skills find solace in. They generally become good personal coaches, psychologists, etc.

  • Naturalistic intelligence: Naturalists have a high degree of understanding of nature. They are good at discovering the secrets of nature and also have an intrinsic understanding of animals. Biologists and environmentalists usually possess this intelligence.

It should be understood that a person may possess one or more than one form of intelligence mentioned above and in very few instances, almost all of the above intelligence.

The main reason for writing this article is to help people understand themselves and grow to their maximum potential.

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