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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.

197 comments

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10:00PM PST on Nov 7, 2014

Noted

3:53AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

We anteaters are the greatest LINGUISTS among the animals!

5:31AM PDT on May 27, 2014

interesting thank you

9:47PM PDT on May 21, 2014

Good article.

2:53PM PDT on May 21, 2014

Ty

10:58AM PDT on May 21, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

10:19AM PDT on May 20, 2014

My favorite kind of intelligence? Common sense. It seems to be lacking in so many these days.

6:39AM PDT on May 19, 2014

very interesting. I am definetly of the spatial type. But I am really bad at dealing with people.

11:29PM PDT on May 18, 2014

I think there are many more than nine.

8:34PM PDT on May 14, 2014

Thank you!

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