While it is commonly perceived that IQ tests provide the best measure of intelligence, some scientists disagree.
More than 20 years ago, a Harvard University scientist by the name of Dr. Howard Gardner argued that traditional IQ tests only favoured logical and mathematical people. He proposed that people were much more complex than standard testing suggested and grouped the different strengths of individuals into 8 intelligence types.
1. Linguistic and verbal intelligence (good with words)
2. Logical intelligence (good at math and solving logic problems)
3. Spatial intelligence (good with pictures)
4. Body/Movement intelligence (good at sports and movement)
5. Musical intelligence (good at music and rhythm)
6. Interpersonal intelligence (good with people and communication)
7. Intrapersonal intelligence (good at analyzing things)
8. Naturalist intelligence (good at understanding the natural world)
Here’s a more detailed explanation of each of the intelligent types. Which ones fit you best? Remember, you can be strong in several intelligence types!
Linguistic and verbal intelligence (good with words)
Do you keep a journal? Do you plan to write a novel one day? How many of the traits below fit your personality? Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well. If you count more than four, you score well on this type of personality.
- You are a good writer
- You’re good with crossword puzzles
- People say you “have a way with words”
- You tell good stories
- People say you’re funny
- You like to debate or argue
- You explain things well
- You have a great vocabulary or enjoy learning new words and their origins
Logical intelligence (good at math and solving logic problems)
Logical and mathematical intelligence represents the traditional concept of “intelligence”, and it is the type of intelligence that is measured on many standardized tests. Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well. If you count more than four, you score well on this type of personality.
- You enjoy solving mysteries
- You can solve logic problems
- You’re good at math
- You like to put things in their places
- You’ve always been interested in scientific discoveries
- You can be bossy
- You like to figure out how things work
- You’re good with computers
Spatial intelligence (good with pictures)
How many of these traits fit your personality? Do you have a knack for navigating? Are you the leader when it comes to find your way to a new location? If you count more than four of these traits as familiar to you, you might have spatial intelligence.
- You can put puzzles together
- You appreciate art or photography
- You prefer geometry over algebra
- You study with charts and pictures
- You can find your way with a map
- You make outlines when you write a paper
- You doodle or draw
- You notice details
Body/movement intelligence (good at sports and movement)
Are you a natural when it comes to gymnastics or dance? Do you have smooth moves? Body and movement intelligence is a trait of the world’s great athletes.
- You’re good at sports
- You can dance well
- You talk with your hands
- You’re interested in acting
- You like to build things
- You clown around in class
- You have great balance
- You can throw a ball accurately
Musical intelligence (good at music and rhythm)
Did you start dancing as soon as you started walking? Can you tap out a tune on the piano after hearing it once? People with musical intelligence “have an ear” for music. How many of these traits fit your personality? Count the characteristics that seem to describe you well. If you count more than four, you score well on this type of personality.
- You’d like to be a drummer
- You can read music
- You criticize a new song when others just accept it
- You enjoy a few types of music
- You can figure out how to play a tune on an instrument
- You’ve considered writing songs
- You notice patterns
- You remember old songs
Interpersonal intelligence (good with people and communication)
If you seem to know what other people are thinking, you probably have interpersonal intelligence. Do people come to you with their problems? Do you find yourself giving a lot of advice? People can sense if you have interpersonal intelligence and they tend to lean on you.
- You sometimes feel like a mind reader
- You hate injustice
- You’re a good listener
- You see through people who aren’t being honest
- You know how others feel
- You often lend a shoulder
- You find it hard to be mean
- You enjoy deep conversations
Intrapersonal intelligence (good at analyzing things)
Do you get lost in your own little world sometimes? That’s a trait of someone with intrapersonal intelligence. A person with strong intrapersonal intelligence might be accused of “thinking too much” about things. This type of intelligence comes in handy when it comes to analyzing essays, deconstructing arguments, and doing a critical analysis of an article.
- You think a lot
- People think you’re dreamy
- You can analyze dreams
- You are self-critical
- You second guess yourself
- You really get into a good book
- You can break down complicated ideas
- You judge people
Naturalist intelligence (good at understanding natural world)
Love bugs? Are you deeply concerned about the environment? These are a few of the traits of people with naturalist intelligence. If you dream about living in the wilderness, or if you love to grow plants, you might fit into this category. If you relate to the characteristics below, you score well on this type of personality. Remember you can be strong in several intelligence types!
- You like the wilderness
- You read about nature
- You stop to look at bugs
- You categorize things
- You read about explorers
- You collect things
- You enjoy studying plant parts
- You notice characteristics