Theory of multiple intelligence
Child HealthPositive Psychology

The 9 Types of Intelligence You Didn’t Know Existed

Research says grades are not the only markers of a man’s intelligence. American Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner introduced the theory of multiple intelligence. Read on to know more about your 9 types of intelligence!

Intelligence is a complex concept. How do you judge a person’s intelligence? How do you weigh his brain? Someone may excel in academics. Another one may have a thing for music. Someone is a great novelist. Then there is another who may make a great politician. And they all are intelligent in their own right. 

Parents want their child to be ‘the special one’, the gifted gem of a generation. The nourishment for the baby’s brain starts right from the womb. Feeding the mother with walnuts and berries. The quest continues with Brahmi and Chyawanprash

I often meet anxious parents asking for the best brain supplements or Yoga to boost the brain. They all want their child to be the record-breaker, the topper, the doctor or the engineer. The pressure is high but is it worth it?

You must have heard this many times – You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree!

That’s why I thought of writing this blog. Have a look at these 9 different types of intelligence. This will help you understand the theory of multiple intelligence. I bet it will change the way you see intelligence!

Also Read: Vacha Churna for memory, intelligence and cognition

Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Previous researches said that there is only one type of intelligence. They thought those who are intelligent are the master of many arts. And that explains a parent’s obsession with the report card!

But new researches dissed out these old theories. They believe intelligence can be of different types. American Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner introduced the theory of multiple intelligence.

Multiple Intelligence – 9 types of Intelligence

1. Visual-spatial intelligence

Visual-spatial intelligence is the ability to see, imagine and create the world in 3D. 

These people have very high mental imagery. Also, they are great with 3D picturization and image manipulation. These people have graphic and artistic skills. In addition, they tend to have a very active imagination. 

They have a very strong sense of imagination and creation in the frame of their mind. Therefore, they can become very good sailor, pilot, sculptor, painter, designer or architect.

People with this intelligence can assemble or create things. They can work by seeing a picture in the instruction manual.

How to know your child has visual-spatial intelligence?

Give your child mazes and jigsaw puzzles. See if structures and shapes facinates the child. Check if the child spends a lot of time drawing or daydreaming. These children might have this visual-spatial intelligence.

2. Linguistic-verbal intelligence

I am sure you have met people who surprise you with their linguistic skills. We all know Shashi Tharoor, right! Such people have an innate ability to understand and use verbal and written languages. 

Hence, these people often rise as poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.They have strong emotions and are very expressive with their words. These people are also fond of learning different languages.

People with this intelligence work very well with written instructions. They can assemble or create a piece without seeing the picture just by following the written instructions.

How to know if your child has Linguistic-verbal intelligence?

Young children with this kind of intelligence enjoy reading and writing. They are also fond of listening and telling stories. Their hobbies include reading, writing or solving crossword puzzles.

3. Mathematical intelligence

Unlike it sounds, mathematical intelligence is not only about numbers. It is rather the ability to calculate, quantify. They can see the world with reasoning and logic. They are more efficient in using symbolic thoughts. These people also excels in sequential reasoning, inductive reasoning and deductive thinking.

Thus, people with mathematical intelligence rise as mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Moreover, they are very good at understanding the relationships and connections between abstract things.

People with mathematical intelligence do not need a set of visual or written instructions to function. They can brainstorm and find out a way even with the least information.

How to know if your child has mathematical intelligence?

Children with mathematical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are intrigued by arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments. These are the kids who break their toys and try to reconstruct them!

4. Kinesthetic intelligence

Some learn by seeing, some by listening and some by doing. This is the kind of intelligence where a person learns by doing things. They have very good hand-eye and mind-body coordination

People with kinesthetic intelligence make very good athletes, dancers, acrobats and stage performers. They also fit well as craftsmen, creating highly detailed crafts. These people demonstrate an impressive mind and body union.

How to know if your child has kinesthetic intelligence?

Children with kinesthetic intelligence enjoy their time on the field playing. They are highly energetic and communicate animatedly. These people use body language, gestures and actions. They also like making and creating things with their hands.

5. Musical intelligence

Musical intelligence is the ability to listen to what others miss. They can understand every note and key in a song. They can discern the pitch, rhythm, timbre and tone of a song. 

Needless to say, people with musical intelligence can play one or more instruments. They can recognize, create and reproduce good music. These people enjoy the crowd and are born performers.

How to know if your child has musical intelligence?

Children with musical intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They show a keen interest in musical beats and natural sounds. Further, they have a heightened awareness of the sounds that others miss. 

6. Interpersonal intelligence

One of the most important skills needed in every profession is interpersonal skills. It’s the ability to work with others with agility. Further, people with great interpersonal skills can easily negotiate, persuade. Also, they have an innate ability to empathize even with strangers.

People with interpersonal intelligence possess great verbal and non-verbal communication. They make great teachers, social workers, and salesmen. Some also go on to become psychologists, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.

How to know if your child has interpersonal intelligence?

Children with interpersonal intelligence show great leadership qualities. They are very good at communicating and they have a great understanding of other’s feelings and motives.

7. Intrapersonal intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand the self. They know their own strengths, weaknesses, needs, and desires very well. They are very good at making accomplishable goals and managing their feelings well.

People with intrapersonal intelligence can become great philosophers, counsellors and daydreamers. They like to reflect on their thoughts and actions. These spent most of their time introspecting their life.

How to know if your child has intrapersonal intelligence?

These children are very confident about their capabilities. They can make accurate self-assessments. They are self-motivated and exhibit strong will and independence. Children with intrapersonal intelligence tend to be shy and introverted.

8. Naturalistic intelligence

This is a very peculiar kind of intelligence. In this type the person has an innate ability to understand and interact with the natural world. They have a special sensitivity for all living and non-living elements. 

People with naturalistic intelligence love to have a lot of plants in their surroundings. Moreover, they have a knack to raise and train animals and grow plants. Such people often shine as botanists, agriculturists, forest and park rangers.

How to know if your child has naturalistic intelligence?

Children with naturalistic intelligence love nature. They enjoy spending time in the outdoors. Also, they make a special bond with animals and even plants. Needless to say, the zoo is their favourite spot. 

9. Existential intelligence

This is the ability to connect to the supernatural or spiritual world. They have a special awareness of their own existence in the spiritual world. And they can even communicate with the supernatural world. 

They make great psychics, spiritual mediums, astrologists, and religious leaders. These children have very strong mental manifestations.  Often they can manifest things into their life!

How to know if your child has existential intelligence?

Firstly, they love to read books and watch movies about the supernatural world. Secondly, these children have a special affinity to the unknowns. Thirdly, they tend to spend time alone, interacting with the other world.

Theory of multiple Intelligence: My verdict!

Thus, the theory of multiple intelligence is proven by scientific research!

In conclusion, the belief that intelligence is only connected to academics is busted. There are many types of intelligence and each one has a unique trait. So, even if your child is different, he or she is intelligent in a special way!

Thus, we can say every child is intelligent in their own spectrum. The important thing is to be able to see and identify their spectrum of intelligence. Sometimes it’s very prominent and sometimes it needs a little digging!

Also, you and your child can have more than one type of intelligence. That’s why it’s very important to understand this whole spectrum of intelligence. Rather than focusing on the grade’s aspect. 

I hope this blog helped you in seeing the broad spectrum of intelligence. It’s time to take a step back and introspect and measure your strengths and weaknesses with a new yardstick!

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Srinivas Raitha February 18, 2021 at 2:23 pm

Great subject!

This will help us to identify our strength, weakness as well as our children.

I read it 3 times. Still it requires more understanding and thinking!

Thanks for your great article.

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Prof. V. R. Vernekar March 16, 2021 at 6:12 am

The article sounds like a research paper. Quite informative and nicely presented. Should be of assistance to quite a number of people. Congratulations.

Dr. Brahmanand Nayak March 16, 2021 at 6:16 am

Thank you so much sir

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