Harvard Professor Howard Gardner measures intelligence in eight areas. These probably
measure your smarts ability better than an I.Q. test. Read the description of each
intelligence. As you read, consider how you would rate your skill in that area: Weak,
moderate, or strong. Shade the line from 1 to the number that you assess yourself
for each intelligence.
- Bodily - Kinesthetic Intelligence is the ability to use the whole body or parts of it to develop products and solve
problems: Athletes, dancers, construction workers, actors, physical laborers, and
surgeons have strong bodily - kinesthetic intelligence. (Famous examples: Jose Canseco,
Roberto Clemente, Tom Hanks, Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, Mark McGwire, Shaquille
O'Neal, Julia Roberts, Tiger Woods)
- Interpersonal Intelligence is the ability to understand motivations and inner workings of other people and to
work cooperatively with them. Teachers, mediators, negotiators, politicians, leaders,
salespeople, and psychotherapists are good at this intelligence. (Famous examples:
Cesar Chavez, Henry Cisneros, Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Martin
Luther King Jr., Gold Meir, Ronald Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa)
- Intrapersonal Intelligence is the ability in knowing and understanding one's own inner mental processes reflecting
on thought, dreams, spiritual life, and motivations. Philosophers, authors, artists,
psychotherapists, and many solitary individuals in all vocations have this intelligence.
(Famous examples: Teilhard de Chardin, Milton Ehrichson, Karen Horney, Carl Jung,
Thomas Merton, Claude Monet)
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to think mathematically and logically, as well as to analyze and reason
scientifically. Accountants, inventors, or repairment, teachers, and engineers all
put information together symbolically or practically using this type of intelligence.
(Famous examples: Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Isaac
Newton, Emmy Noether, Chien-Shiung Wu)
- Musical Intelligence is the ability in interpreting, performing, and composing music using melody, rhythm,
and harmony. Composers, conductors, jazz musicians, music teachers, rappers, and cheerleaders
exercise this ability as they create or use music in their work. (Famous examples:
The Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, Julio Iglesias, Beethoven, Mozart, Tito Puente, Linda
Ronstadt, Poncho Sanchez, Barbara Streisand, Ritchie Valens, Irving Berlin, Ira and
- Naturalist Intelligence is the ability to see patterns and relationships in the natural world, classifying
and discovering order. Scientists, biologists, botanists, and environmentalists exemplify
this intelligence. (Famous examples: Rachel Carson, Jacques Cousteau, Charles Darwin,
Albert Einstein, Rosalind Franklin, Barbara McClintock, Maria Mitchell)
- Spatial Intelligence is the ability to form an abstract model of the three dimensional world and then
solve problems using that model. People who do this well include astronauts, sailors,
muralists, engineers, architects, surgeons, sculptors, and painters. (Famous examples:
Judith Baca, Franklin Chang-Diaz, Leonardo da Vinci, Sam Maloof, Michelangelo, Ellen
Ochoa, Auguste Rodin, Helen Rodriguez, Vincent Van Gogh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Picasso)
- Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence is the ability with words in writing, story telling, discussing, interpreting, and
talking. Poets, writers, lawyers, talk show hosts, teachers, secretaries, and editors
who form thoughts and use words skillfully in their work are example of people strong
in this intelligence. (Famous examples: Julia Alvarez, Maya Angelou, Agatha Christie,
J.K. Rowling, Alex Haley, Edward Rivera, Oprah Winfrey)
Write down your top three intelligences:
How to Use Your Smarts
- If you are strong in Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, you should find movement in studying. Memory is triggered by location, so moving
helps you learn and remember new concepts. This intelligence will help you as you
lay out or act out problems physically using your muscles and movements. Try moving
around randomly as you think over, discuss, and work on math problems, plan essays,
or figure out assignments. Working on a large chalk or whiteboard will also help.
Walking a large figure-eight shape as you go over notes, work out problems, study
for tests will help you remember the content, because this movement changes your state
of mind thus involving more functions in your brain.
- If your Interpersonal Intelligence is strong, you do well organizing study groups and facilitating others, working together
to discuss problems, assignments, or study for tests. Taking a leadership role, you
will feel more comfortable and find that you will learn more. The teacher always learns
the most. You may wish to volunteer to tutor students.
- Strong Intrapersonal Intelligence means you may enjoy contemplating subjects on your own at least part of the time.
If you are studying math, systems of thought and systems of social organization can
be described in mathematical terms. Use your own thought processes to make notes,
draw mind maps, anything that may help you remember the concepts you need to know.
- If you are strong in Musical Intelligence, you may find the mathematical descriptions of what happens in music very fascinating
and revealing. Putting formulas or important bits of information to music will help
you remember. Some people can learn by listening to music. Be careful what you choose
to listen to. It should be background music, and not something that takes away from
- Having strong Naturalist Intelligence means you notice patterns and relationships. Use this in what you are studying by
noticing similarities, differences, and categories. Beginning with the whole and working
down into the parts may benefit you. It will be extremely important for you to have
a working knowledge of the "big picture."
- If your Spatial Intelligence is strong, you learn well by making models of problems - models that you can manipulate
and move in order to understand symbolic meaning. Use clay or plastic straws to create
geometric shapes. Use model cars or airplanes to simulate the action in motion problems
involving distance, rates, and times. Use models or pictures to help remember history
- If you are strong in Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence, use the ability to read a textbook to learn and understand the course you are studying.
You may with to write symbols in words to make sense of them. If you are studying
math you may want to write down the reasons for each step - so that you can see it
in the language of words as well as the language of mathematics.
Use your intelligences! Find out how you learn, adapt if you need to, but make it
work for you.
Adapted from Managing the Mean Math Blues by Cheryl Ooten