Intelligence - Is There More Than One Way to Be Smart?

Harvard professor and intelligence researcher Dr. Howard Gardner has suggested we consider at least seven different types of intelligence. These are: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, social-interpersonal, and intra-personal. See if you can discover which forms of intelligence are strongest in you.

People who have a strong linguistic intelligence will respond in a deep way to the construction and sound of language. They get meaning and pleasure in what many of us miss--the subtle shaping of a luscious phrase, the odd surprise engendered by the juxtaposition of unexpected words, the ability to tell a tale. Writers, poets, and editors excel in this form of intelligence. People who exhibit a strong need to correct errors in grammar are also very strong in this trait.

People with logical-mathematical intelligence can become successful lawyers, mathematicians, computer programmers, and scientists. They are able to logically analyze data and information and follow extremely complex chains of ideas.

Among those who are possessed of a very strong visual-spatial intelligence, some will have a glorious, passionate understanding of color. Others will very strongly respond to visual line, texture, or three-dimensional space. Artists, decorators, fashion designers, sculptors, photographers and architects must possess this form of intelligence to succeed in their fields.

Musical intelligence is an ability to understand and respond to music, not just as background noise, but with a capacity to get deep meaning from the interaction of aural melodies, textures and rhythms. A person with musical intelligence may not necessarily play or compose music, but will be a passionate listener, getting far more out of the experience than an average person.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is very high in those people who excel in sports and dance. It is also a great asset in actors. They are extremely attuned to where all parts of their body are located in space and are able to exert very subtle yet powerful control over all their muscles.

People with a high degree of interpersonal intelligence are good at picking up cues to the emotions of others and understanding the emotional states of those around them. They are particularly good at empathizing with others, and know how to comfort, inspire and lead people. This is a good trait to have in a political leader. It is also a desirable quality in teachers, therapists and salespeople.

Intra-personal intelligence is the ability to deeply and truly know and understand oneself. It is the ability to analyze and assess one