Many of us have heard of the word ‘IQ’ often enough. As you may know, IQ refers to your intelligence quotient, or in other words, gives an indication of how intelligent you are. However, do you also know that there are many different kinds of intelligence, and each of us possesses at least one of those? Not all these intelligences are measured by the IQ tests, which focus more on academics. Let us look at what these types of intelligence are, and try and understand what category you belong to.

The psychologist Howard Gardner initially formulated a list of seven intelligences. The first two are ones that have been typically valued in schools; the next three are usually associated with the arts; and the final two are what Howard Gardner called ‘personal intelligences’

Multiple Intelligence

Verbal or Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”):

One of the heavily emphasized intelligences in the classroom. It has been valued because it matches the way we have taught traditionally: lecture, recitation, textbooks, and board work. It includes the ability to express oneself orally and in writing, as well as the ability to master foreign languages.

Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”):

This too, is highly valued in school. It is not the intelligence only of Mathematics, but of logic and reasoning. This intelligence allows us to be problem solvers. It seeks structure in the learning environment and thrives on sequenced, orderly lessons.

Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”):

Provides for spatial reasoning through the use of charts, graphs, maps, tables, illustrations, art, puzzles, costumes and many other materials. If you are a student who finds it easier to remember concepts that are presented in graphcal or pictorial ways, then chances are that you possess spatial or visual intelligence.

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”):

This is the intelligence of interacting with your physical environment. If you enjoy physical activities, sports, experimenting in the lab, “doing” thinks rather than reading about them, it indicates that perhaps your kinesthic intelligence is better developed.

Musical intelligence (“music smart”):

This is the intelligence of understanding patterns, including songs, poetry, instruments, environmental sounds, and response to rhythms. By picking up the patterns in different situations, learners are able to make sense of their environment and adapt successfully. Those who have a natural “gift” for music, writing poetry, singing, dancing possesses a good musical intelligence.

Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”):

Refers to the intelligence of interacting well with others. Those of you who have the knack of getting along well with others, understanding and perceiving the feelings of others possess more of this.

Interpersonal intelligence (“self smart”):

Is the intelligence of feelings, values and attitudes. The intrapersonal intelligence helps the student connect emotionally with the subject. If you often tend to ask why you need to learn something or try to understand how something affects you, then you are exercising your intrapersonal intelligence.

Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”):

Is the intelligence of classification. While the naturalist intelligence can include biology, botany, zoology, archaeology and geology, consider the processes that these disciplines utilize: classification, categorization, and hierarchical frameworks.

So which of the above describes you best? Once you know what your strength is, you will be able to make the best use of your abilities.

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Author's Bio: 

As a clinical psychologist, Ms. Samindara Sawant specialises in psycho-diagnostics and clinical assessments and has considerable experience in child, adolescent, marriage as well as family psychotherapy. She is also a certified hypnotherapist from the California Hypnotherapy Institution of India (CHII), a Reiki practitioner and a crystal healer. She uses an integrated and holistic approach toward healing people in distress.