Multiple intelligences theory
By the 123test team. Updated September 2023
In his theory of multiple intelligences, scientist Howard Gardner distinguishes nine types:
- Linguistic intelligence: the ability to read, write, listen and speak;
- Spatial intelligence: the ability to orient yourself in space;
- Logic-mathematical intelligence: the ability to calculate, solve logical puzzles, reason and think scientifically;
- Musical intelligence: the ability to sing, play a musical instrument, analyze music and compose music;
- Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: the ability to move your body in a coordinated way, for example in dance, sports or surgery.
- Interpersonal intelligence: the ability to understand and interpret verbal and nonverbal behavior of others;
- Intrapersonal intelligence: the ability to reflect on your own actions and to understand them.
- Naturalist intelligence: the ability to recognize and categorize objects in the natural world;
- Existential intelligence: the ability to determine your own position with regards to existential features of the human existence, such as death and the meaning of life.
Overlap between multiple intelligences and IQ
Only the first three intelligence types in Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences overlap with what is normally defined as intelligence and what is measured in an IQ test. Thinking in terms of multiple intelligences is at odds with the idea of the G factor, which assumes that there is only one general underlying factor.