There are multiple types of intelligence

Michael Wilson

While surfing the Web one day I stumbled upon a graphic organizing the nine different types of intelligences. I’ve always resonated with the idea that everyone is smart in their own ways, but this was still a slightly new concept to me. I was intrigued enough by the information in the graphic that I did follow-up research on the topic.

I learned that the theory of multiple intelligences was pioneered by Howard Gardner in his book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”.

In his book, Gardner breaks up the theory into nine different classifications of intelligence in which any given person can exhibit strengths or weaknesses in.

The classifications are as follows: spatial (visualizing the world in 3D), naturalistic (understanding living things and nature), musical (distinguishing sounds and their different qualities), logical-mathematical (quantifying things and proving hypotheses), existential (tackling the questions of why we live and die), interpersonal (sensing people’s feelings and motives), bodily-kinesthetic (coordinating your mind with your body), linguistic (being able to express your feelings in words) and intrapersonal (understanding yourself and your own feelings).

During my research I found various websites that provide tests you can take to evaluate yourself and discover what kind of intelligences are your strengths. To not much of my surprise I consistently received highest results for intrapersonal intelligence with musical intelligence as a close second (sometimes equal).

As an intrapersonally intelligent person I find myself constantly evaluating my own feelings and emotions in regard to nearly all aspects of my life. Throughout my life I have mostly enjoyed spending time by myself or with people I can relate to on a deep emotional level. The few people I have surrounded myself with have almost always been romantic or intimate in other ways.

Since I was young, I always had a girlfriend and few girl-friends. I’ve always had a few best friends, and I never belonged to a large group of acquaintances or any cliques.

As for my musical intelligence, a day never goes by when I don’t listen to music.  I love discovering new, unique music and expanding my tastes. In fact, last year as part of a new year’s resolution challenge for myself, I listened to an album I’d never heard before every day for the entire year.

Because of this, I can find merit and value in every genre of music. As a musician I try and draw influence from all of them to create the most original sound I can.

Both of these strengths work in tandem to influence my emotions and personality. Possibly because of my strong sense of self, I rarely find myself crying or sulking during sad events in my life.

However, there have been many times I have put on one of my favorite records and experienced more powerful emotions than I ever experience without music. Most music that has had significance in my life has left me in tears as I relate to the artists through their melodies and rhythms.

I urge everyone to figure out what kind of intelligences they are strong in so that they can analyze their life and hopefully shape their studies and personal life around their strengths. I believe the more we understand these different intelligences the more successful and happy we will all be with our lives and the decisions we make.

Either way, whether you’re aware of this theory or not, most likely your intelligence has already shaped your life dramatically if not entirely, but if you have not found your place yet and feel as if you don’t have purpose or are unintelligent, just know that your unique personality and intellect is going to take you wherever you go once you harness it.