Types of Intelligence
This part of our website will be concentrating on trying to define or
As you can imagine, this is potentially a very difficult process since
the world is not constituted of one aspect
of life. That is to say that if everyone in the world worked for one
thing, let’s just say being the world’s
lifter, there would only be one type of person in the world. We could
either categorize an individual as
being a good weight lifter or a bad weightlifter. Fortunately
that is not how the world works; so you see, this is what makes today’s
categorizing of intellect so
difficult. One person may be a carpenter and be excellent at working
with wood; another person may be a physics
professor and be excellent at remembering formulas, and figuring out
mathematical relationships. I would say
that both of these people are intelligent, in their own way. But what
does “in their own way” mean, and
how can we catagorize someone’s intelligence?
Left vs. Right
Let’s start out by
one category of intelligence into two; Left and Right brain. You may have heard someone tell you that they
are more “left-brained” than “right-brained”. What
does this mean?
structurally/physically split into two separate halves by the corpus
callosum. This physical boundary sets up a
nice way to
describe the brain; left versus right side. It
is known that the differing sides of the brain
functions. For example, for 95% of right
handed people, the area in the brain that is in charge of speech is
the left half of the brain.
Compiling all of the
specilized functions to their respective hemisphere (right and left),
we are able to catagagorize and individual as “right-brained” or
depending on what features show up as dominant in that individual.
Here is a list of common features that show up on the respective
- looks at parts
- Looks at wholes
However, it was not good
have two different types of people (i.e. left-brained or
right-brained). This is still too vague and most everyone has
strong-points in the right half and left half both, so it is hard to
half is the dominant.
The Seven Types of Intelligence
Photo from http://www.kurzweilai.net/bios/images/gardner.jpg
1983, in a publication
“Frames of Mind”, Psychologist Howard
(pictured below) created seven types of individual strengths to help
teachers and students understand the strengths of individuals that span
spectrum. They are listed here with
gifted or talented children:
1. Verbal – the ability to use words
2. Visual – the ability to imagine things in your
3. Physical – the ability to use your body in
4. Musical - the ability to use and understand
5. Mathematical – the ability to apply logic to
6. Introspective – the ability to understand your
7. Interpersonal – the ability to understand other
people, and relate well to them
*In other sources, there
different types of intelligence. The other two that are not
included on the list above are:
Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”) – Sensitive
to living things. Gardner added this to his original list of seven
Intelligence – the ability
to tackle deep questions about human existence such as the meaning of
life, how did we
get here, and what happens when we die.
What is your strongest type of intelligence?
easy questions to answer
for each category:
you good at doing crossword puzzles? Do
you like to read and write? Do you like expanding your vocabulary?
you see colorful images in your mind? Do you use charts and visuals to
points across? Can you get a sense of what something will look like?
– Do you work well with numbers? Do you like putting things in
you good at planning?
– Do you like hands on stuff? Do you need to involve movement in
you have a favorite pastime that involves physical activity or moving?
you always moving to or thinking of a rhythm? Do you remember tunes and
easily? Are you easily distracted by sounds? Do you enjoy sounds of all
– Do you enjoy solitude? Are you reflective? Do you like to
feelings and thoughts?
– Are you good with others/people smart? Can you mediate
sensitive to others? Do you like teams, meetings, committees, and