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Dr. Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory

intelligance theory


Dr. Howard Gardner, a psychologist and professor of neuroscience from Harvard University, developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) in 1983. The theory challenged traditional beliefs in the fields of education and cognitive science. Unlike the established understanding of intelligence -- people are born with a uniform cognitive capacity that can be easily measured by short-answer tests -- MI reconsiders our educational practice of the last century and provides an alternative.

According to Howard Gardner, human beings have 8 different kinds of intelligence that reflect different ways of interacting with the world. Each person has a unique combination, or profile. Although we each have all nine intelligences, no two individuals have them in the same exact configuration -- similar to our fingerprints.

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Dr. Harvard Garner,
Project Director,
Harvard University - Project Zero

Linguistic Intelligence

There are various areas of brain associated for language; for example an area called The Broca's Area is a specific area of the brain that is responsible for the production of grammatical sentences. People with high linguistic intelligence & verbal abilities display ease and comfort and have a way with words. They are very good at memorizing words, reading, and writing, telling stories and communicating effectively. This Intelligence is also called Verbal Intelligence and such people are generally tends to be Word Smart.

People with higher linguistic & verbal intelligence abilities are usually capable of :-

  • Expressive Sensitivity :- Patience in listening and grasping essentials and judgment formulation by listening.
  • Rhetoric Sensitivity :- Use of language as a tool to tell stories, making presentations, and give speeches.
  • Literature Sensitivity :- The ability to leverage reading and the ability to simplify and give examples by writing extensively.

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Musical Intelligence

Musical skills is said to be not just localized, but neurons responsible are characteristically found in the right hemisphere of the brain and are responsible for the perception and production of music. People with high Musical Intelligence& Emotional abilities have high degree of sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music.

People with higher Musical Intelligence are usually capable of :

  • Vocal abilities :- Beautiful Voice, fine tunes.
  • Composing abilities :- They have the ability to create tunes and rhythms and write music.
  • Instrument Playing Abilities :- They have the ability to play one or more instruments right from a very young age.

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Kinesthetic Intelligence

Control of bodily movement is, localized in the motor cortex, with each hemisphere dominant or controlling bodily movements on the contra-lateral side. That is, in right handed individuals, the dominance for such movement is ordinarily found in the left hemisphere and in left handed individuals the dominance for such movement is ordinarily found in the right hemisphere. People with Kinesthetic Intelligence generally tend to be Body Smart.

They display higher skill levels in :-

  • Athletic skills :- involving whole body movements.
  • Physical dexterity :- they touch; feel with their hands and like doing and learning things using their physical abilities.

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Intrapersonal Intelligence

Our Frontal lobes again play an important role in determining the extent of our Intrapersonal (Cognitive / Self Smart) Intelligence Abilities. These are those individuals who have an in depth knowledge of oneself. It refers to the ability of harnessing introspection and self-reflection at will. Strong Intrapersonal (Cognitive / Self Smart) Intelligence Abilities makes these individuals self-absorbed and Introverts as they prefer to work alone. They are usually highly aware of themselves and have a good understanding of their emotions, goals and motives. People with Intrapersonal Ability tend to be Cognitive or Self Smart.

They display higher skill levels in :-

  • Perfection in personal pursuits :- strong awareness on self and strong hold on their actions.
  • Strong in pursuits : they actively pursue and can achieve personal goals with interest and determination.

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Interpersonal Intelligence

Our Frontal lobes play a prominent role in defining this form of intelligence. Individuals that are found to possess a high degree of Interpersonal Intelligence Abilities usually have very good communication skills and enjoy person to person interaction. They can build rapport with people easily and can understand others emotions, feeling and body language. People with Intrapersonal Intelligence tend to be People Centric or People smart.

They display higher skill levels in :-

  • Social Sensitivity :- They are often those who are very Understanding, Supportive and Show Concern for others.
  • Socially Influential :- These are individuals that are very persuasive, confident and self assured.
  • Interpersonal Activity :- Great Team players, and often make Excellent Managers.

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Logical Intelligence

Certain areas of the brain are more prominent in mathematical calculation than others, for instance the linguistic areas in the front temporal lobes are more important for logical deduction, the Visio-spatial areas in bilateral prieto-frontal lobes for numerical calculation. This area is associated with logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers and critical thinking. People with Logical Intelligence are generally considered to be Number smart.

They display higher skill levels in :-

  • Mathematical Skills :- The ability to solve mathematical problems, by applying mathematics to -day-to-day life.
  • Everyday Problem Solving Skills :- By using Common Sense, Curiosity and fundamental logic as an approach to solving problems.
  • Logical reasoning skills :- The ability to rationalize and apply logic to any given situation with a degree of effectiveness.

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Visual & Spatial Intelligence

The brain has localized portions for Spatial Intelligence, which is the middle region of the left cerebral cortex in the case of right-handed persons; and is located in the posterior regions of the right cerebral cortex in the case of left-handed persons. People with Visual Intelligence generally tend to be Picture Smart.

They display higher skill levels in :-

  • Spatial awareness :- The ability to accurately understand distance, dimensions, and movements.
  • Working with Objects :- They enjoy working with objects and leverage their perfect hand & eye movements and coordination abilities.
  • Artistic design :- They often demonstrate a high aesthetic sensibility, as well as are known to have strong envisions, that are also capable of formulation abstract judgments when required.

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Naturalist (Real life & Science Issues) Intelligence Ability

To recognize Flora & Fauna, Communion with the natural world and it's Phenomenon. It generally involves keen observation of environment and surrounding and the ability to classify things as well. Have a profound love for the outdoors, animals, plants, and almost any natural object. Fascinated by and noticeably affected by such things as the weather, changing leaves in the fall, the sound of the wind, the warm sun or lack of , or an insect in the room . People with Naturalist Intelligence tend to be more inclined towards life science issues.

They display higher skill levels in :-

  • Understanding nature.
  • Making distinction.
  • Identifying flora and fauna.

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