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The 9 Types of Intelligence

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The 9 Types of Intelligence

One of the smartest people I know can’t spell worth beans (or, benes as I am pretty sure she would write) and has a particular way of pronouncing foreign-based words (sorbet is soibert; café au lait is coffee oh loddy). Meanwhile, my friend who can speak five languages is entirely flummoxed when it comes time to calculate the tip for a waiter.

So what’s going on with these two brainiacs—am I, simply, surrounded by idiot savants?  Not according to Dr. Howard Gardener who developed the theory of multiple intelligences, going beyond the IQ test to discover the many ways humans are smart.  He identified intelligent abilities including language, music, spatial reference, kinesthesia, naturalistic, and possibly existential intelligence. Gardner’s definitions include ways to improve your weaker areas—strengthening your brain. Learning—even about learning—reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s says the American Academy of Neurology.

These are Gardner’s nine types of intelligence, as described in A Better Brain at Any Age (Conari, 2009) by Sondra Kornblatt.:

1. Linguistic intelligence reflects the ability to read, write, tell stories, and learn languages, grammar, and syntax. Strengthen this ability by studying a new language, improving vocabulary, and writing.

2. Your friendly computer programmer has logical-mathematical intelligence. She’s comfortable with numbers, logic, reasoning, and abstractions. To increase logical ability, get a book of logic games, knit a sweater, and learn computer programming. Or watch a movie on video, and stop it to predict what will happen.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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5:05PM PST on Jan 15, 2014


8:24AM PST on Jan 8, 2014


3:56PM PST on Jan 7, 2014


10:39PM PST on Dec 18, 2013

my spacial intelligence is lacking

11:40AM PST on Nov 23, 2013

I found this out the hard way when several of our kids were diagnosed with dyslexia. They were deemed "stupid" when they couldn't pass certain tests or do things in the "right" way. Imagine how stupid teachers felt when they found they had photographic memories, could calculate advanced trig in their minds, or were supremely artistic naturally. We are all unique and individual and should be celebrated, not corralled. It's been fun tutoring and helping adult learners get over their reading problems and bloom.

7:51AM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

Interesting ... thanks

7:53PM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Thank You :)

4:16AM PST on Feb 6, 2013


3:57AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

interesting, will re-post!

3:54AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

thanks, appreciate it!

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