Exploring The  Different Types of Intelligence

Types of Intelligence

There are certainly legitimate arguments on both sides: people who believe in Types of Intelligence, and those who do not. In my opinion, while we cannot say that the traditional conception of intelligence is inaccurate or wrong, I feel that we have to admit that something is missing from this definition and conception.

Intelligence is not just book-smarts

For most of human history, the idea that there were different kinds of intelligence was an unfamiliar one. People knew they had different abilities, but they didn’t have a good word to describe them. For example, after the Industrial Revolution, people began to notice that some people were particularly good at inventing machines. But the word “smart” had been around for several centuries, and it was always used in contrast to “stupid.” So for a while, people talked about “mechanical smarts,” until finally a new word was coined to describe this particular kind of intelligence: “cleverness”, which soon got shortened to “smart”.

The next big category to get its own new word was social intelligence. For a long time, people were aware of two kinds of intelligence: book-smarts and street-smarts. But the latter wasn’t called anything in particular. Then psychologists began noticing that some people who were good at moving up in the world weren’t necessarily all that book-smart. So they gave this ability a name: “social intelligence“, which later got abbreviated to “social smarts”.

Some abilities resisted categorization for a while longer. Psychologists observed that some people have great willpower and determination; they’re good at imposing their will on others.

Types of Intelligence are the way to solve problems

For most of human history, it has not even been an interesting question. There have been people who could run faster, jump higher, throw farther, or memorize more than other people, but no one in any culture has ever thought to make a list of these abilities and propose that there were a small number of basic abilities that were relevant to all domains of life.

It is only in the last few decades that we have figured out how to measure differences between individuals with enough precision to see that there are indeed a small number of basic abilities relevant to every kind of problem humans face. It took a long time to discover this because the differences between individuals are so much smaller than the variation within individuals. A person who is highly intelligent relative to others can still be incompetent at many things.

We now know about three types of intelligence: physical, logical/mathematical, and social intelligence; with each intelligence comprising a cluster of more specific abilities. We also know that each type of intelligence has its own set of strengths and weaknesses its own profile of cognitive talents and disabilities and may manifest itself differently in different cultures.

Three types of intelligence

There are three types of intelligence:

1. Muscular Types of Intelligence:

This is the most basic type of intelligence, which is common to all living beings. A person with high muscular intelligence possesses physical strength and agility. This strength can be used for construction, self-defence, etc.

2. Emotional Types of Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is related to the emotions of a person. People with high emotional intelligence are able to control their emotions and also use them to maximum effect in difficult situations. They are better able to understand the emotions of other people and help them in dealing with their problems.

3. Mental Types of Intelligence:

This is the intelligence most people refer to when they talk about being intelligent or smart. A person with high mental intelligence has the ability to think clearly, solve complex problems and make good decisions.

Most people are naturally good at one form of intelligence

Everyone knows that a high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until recently, it was unclear why. In 1994, however, psychologist David Perkins released a book called “Smart Schools” that explained what was going wrong. High IQ, is a bit like money: useful as a starter, but much more so when combined with other resources. If you have enough money and people skills you can get by without the other kinds of intelligence, but most people are naturally good at one form of intelligence and need all the others to compensate. And unlike money, where people (investors) get paid to help others with theirs (consumers), there is no similar reward for helping with other peoples’ intelligence.

Perkins’s model has since been extended and popularized by Howard Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences. These days everyone in education seems to know about them: they are the canonical example of how not all students learn best by reading and listening to lectures. The most common list is linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic (physical dexterity), musical-rhythmic (a sense of meter and pitch), interpersonal (understanding other people), intrapersonal (understanding

Creative Problem Solving is not a new concept

The concept of creative problem solving is not new. A good problem-solver needs a combination of many different types of intelligence. In fact, a person needs to have all types of intelligence to be able to solve problems effectively and creatively. However, the degree and strength of each intelligence will vary from person to person and change over time.

The first type of intelligence is logical-mathematical intelligence. This includes the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions, and carry out complete mathematical operations. The second type is linguistic intelligence. This involves having a mastery of language and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals.

The third type is musical intelligence. This involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. Interpersonal intelligence is the fourth type. It involves the capacity to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work, and how to work cooperatively with them. Intrapersonal intelligence is the fifth type; it is a corollary of interpersonal intelligence. Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears and motivations

Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences

However, the theory of multiple intelligences is a theory of intelligence, not a theory of learning. Good intelligence will get you to the right answer, but there are other factors that determine how fast you can get there.

The general problem with Gardner’s list is that it includes “talents” as well as intelligence. For example, I’m pretty sure that most people could learn to draw or paint without much difficulty if they practised a lot. So drawing is not intelligence; it’s something that can be learned by most intelligence.

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The same goes for athletic ability: I think everyone could learn to play basketball at least decently if they practised enough. Yet I’ve never seen a theory of multiple intelligences that didn’t include athletic ability on its list of intelligence.

Similarly, knowing how to juggle is partly an intelligence (you need spatial reasoning), and partly something you can just learn (knowing how to throw and catch). So we have to be very careful in making the transition from learning rates to innate abilities. I think the right way to look at this is as follows: anything you can learn in 30 hours is not intelligence unless it’s really hard for some people.

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