I am always intrigued by people who are described as ‘intelligent.’
What does this mean and why is it so valued. That’s why I was so interested in the studies of Howard Gardener, a psychologist at Harvard University. Gardner’s Theory of multiple intelligences states that not only do human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, but that these are independent of each other; leading to multiple intelligences as opposed to a general intelligence among correlated abilities. In 1999 Gardner listed seven intelligences:
This concerns language and how we use it. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
This is associated with calculation and logical reasoning. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
To do with musical appreciation as well as performing and composing music.
Associated with physical skills like sport, dancing and other aspects of movement.
To do with art and design, as well as finding your way around
To with interacting with people socially and sensitively. It’s concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.
To do with understanding yourself, to appreciate your feelings, fears, motivations and abilities.
So the next time some tells you about a so called intelligent person, ask what they know about design, or the ability to deal with other people, or what musical instrument do they play?
Always remember that you have qualities and skills that other people do not have and you should be proud of these and believe in yourself. When you look at this list, you may realise that you are much more intelligent than you think.
There is no such thing as Intelligence; one has intelligence of this or that. One must have intelligence only for what one is doing – Edgar Degas