Don’t we have just too many relatives and neighbours who keep judging one’s intelligence based only on the academic achievements one has, or based on one’s grades in school or college? Most of us end up getting annoyed or even depressed by the baseless conclusions and comparisons people make on us. Well, here’s something heartening.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which was proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983 basically divides intelligence into seven types of more innate capabilities. Let us have a brief glimpse at what each type is.
- Logical – Mathematical Intelligence: This one takes into account logical ability, critical thinking, reasoning and working with numbers. It is closely associated with cognition and intellect. Highly sought out in India, this type could very well be the only area where young students are tested. No wonder, having good logical – mathematical intelligence will make you popular among your relatives!
Besides this, the other six are:
- Musical Intelligence: This intelligence relates to the general sensitivity a person has towards sounds, rhythms, and tones. So, if one is blessed with musical intelligence, they will have the capacity to sing, play instruments, and compose music with much more ease than others.
- Visual – Spatial Intelligence: It is the intelligence associated with the spatial judgment of a person, that is, the power of visualising things. It is most useful in areas involving realistic analysis and in investigative occupations.
- Verbal – Linguistic Intelligence: This relates to a person’s ability with regards to words and language (spoken and written). People with this intelligence are good at writing, reading, story-telling and memorising words.
- Bodily – Kinesthetic Intelligence: The main elements here are a general ability to control one’s bodily motions and handle physical objects skilfully. In addition, it also includes timing your actions, and the ability to train responses. Needless to say, people with this are generally good at physical activities like sports, dance, acting and craft.
- Interpersonal: This is characterised by empathy and sensitivity towards others’ moods, feelings, motivations, and temperaments. It also oversees how one coordinates with others in group activities. It should be noted that being extroverted or introverted has nothing to do with this type of intelligence. Anyone can develop the above skills required.
- Intrapersonal: This deals with an individual’s self-introspection. This would mean that one has a deep understanding of oneself, one can identify one’s weaknesses and strengths, and being able to identify what makes one unique. In today’s world of hectic competitive exams where many people are ending their own lives owing to pressure, this one would help people a lot.
We should realise that while all of us are blessed naturally with at least one of the above, many of us also have the capability to expand our skill set and knowledge in areas corresponding to the various types of intelligence. We should also realise that judging a person by what he/she doesn’t have is not a good thing. It is always the strengths of a person that matter most. There are also numerous other types of intelligence which cannot be defined explicitly, or belong to a different categorization, and we should accept the fact that every one of us is unique in our own ways, and a system of age-old classifications does not completely define an individual.
Ultimately, it is who you are and what you can do that define you, not what you cannot do.
(Do bear in mind that this system of classification is one of the many that exist. These are the types Gardner had formulated. Some scientists liked it, some did not. Also, this system is only to show the various types of intelligence, but no method of measuring the different types of intelligence objectively. This is because Gardner did not define the term ‘intelligence’ and proceeded in an ad-hoc manner. Yet, The wonderful thing is, hundreds of schools across the world are already using this philosophy to give education to each individual in a proper way.)