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The theory of multiple intelligences proposes the differentiation of human intelligence into specific “modalities of intelligence”, rather than defining intelligence as a single, general ability. The theory has been criticized by mainstream psychology for its lack of empirical evidence, and its dependence on subjective judgement.

Howard Gardner’s Eight Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences challenges the idea of a single IQ, where human beings have one central “computer” where intelligence is housed. Howard Gardner, the Harvard professor who originally proposed the theory, says that there are multiple types of human intelligence, each representing different ways of processing information:

  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to analyze information and produce work that involves oral and written language, such as speeches, books, and emails.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence describes the ability to develop equations and proofs, make calculations, and solve abstract problems.
  • Visual-spatial intelligence allows people to comprehend maps and other types of graphical information.
  • Musical intelligence enables individuals to produce and make meaning of different types of sound.
  • Naturalistic intelligence refers to the ability to identify and distinguish among different types of plants, animals, and weather formations found in the natural world.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails using one’s own body to create products or solve problems.
  • Interpersonal intelligence reflects an ability to recognize and understand other people’s moods, desires, motivations, and intentions.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence refers to people’s ability to recognize and assess those same characteristics within themselves.

The Benefits of MI Theories

  • Multiple Intelligences is not rote learning or knowledge reproduction, but the use of other intelligences, skills, which you do not yet know, that you are smart at.
  • MI’s give different perspectives for problem solving.
  • MI’s bring your hobby into your work and enrich your range of reaching others. For example drawing or illustrating a financial story
  • MI’s can be valuable in work and life coaching.
  • MI’s help you to gain more understanding for more intelligences and therefore more and different people.
  • MI’s help you to get rid of your internet addiction. For example: make informed choices and reduce the chatter of social media and advertising
  • MI’s give more substance and support you to work with to the continuous (contemporary) demand for creativity and social skills.
  • You can develop yourself and appreciate your talents with MI For example with help of the MIDASTM instrument.
  • You understand more about, IQ, EQ and MI’s.
  • Use more non-verbal intelligences to explain and do (complex) matters For example use a game to explain something.
  • Develop naturalistic intelligence to find balance, order and regularity (life forces) in your life.
  • You remember what you (in earlier times) could do and can rekindle this intelligences.
  • MI’s come in handy when enhancing and tuning into your team’s strengths.
  • MI’s support you when presenting and helps you lose your stage-fright. For example learning to breathe more deeply, singing, listening and having fun together
  • You gain awareness of overuse of one of your strong intelligences to compensate for a weaker one.
  • You become more creative in your solutions when you use your Multiple Intelligences.


Multiple Intelligences: What Does the Research Say?

The Benefits of Multiple Intelligences