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Multiple Intelligences: Are Our Eight Smarts Real?
Kathy Koch, Ph.D.
Summary: Do you know what multiple intelligences are and how to recognize them in yourself and others? You will if you read this article. Every child and every adult has all eight intelligences. The smarts are born into each of us and they’re not hard to spot.
Multiple Intelligences are real. Here’s how I know:
Nature smart/naturalist intelligence. Do you know children who collect things based on their patterns? Who enjoy biology and earth science more than physical science or chemistry? Who love pets and being outdoors? Who remember the types of clouds and inspect plants and leaves for fun? What about those who pay attention to sneaker patterns and can recognize brands of cars from a distance? I do. They’re nature smart!
Body smart/bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Children who move well and express themselves through movement and touch are body smart. Do you know right-handers who can shoot left-handed lay-ups? Actors who can make their whole body look old as they walk? Children who can sculpt something beautiful from clay? Children who could cut on the line and color in the lines even when very young? I do. They’re body smart!
Word smart/linguistic intelligence. Do you know people who talk all the time and always have? Children who enjoy learning and using new words? People who enjoy reading in their spare time? Teens who listen carefully? People who learn foreign languages more easily than others? People who teach and encourage with their words? Others who might tease and tattle? I do. They’re word smart!
Self smart/intrapersonal intelligence. People who think deeply about their thoughts are self smart. They’re usually content being alone, as they enjoy quiet, peace, and privacy. Do you know children or adults who enjoy secrets? People who just like knowing what they know, even if they don’t tell anyone? Children who take a long time to answer questions that you think should be easier? I do. They’re self smart!
Picture smart/spatial intelligence. Do you know anyone who thinks with their eyes? They may remember what they see and they think in pictures. They may remember their dreams and they may have vivid imaginations. Do you know children who love to read fiction and teens who are inspired by history? They see the action so it’s enjoyable to them. Do you know kids or adults who laugh at times that you think are inappropriate? I do. They’re picture smart!
Logic smart/logical-mathematical intelligence. People who want everything to make sense are logic smart. They may struggle with illogical parents and teachers and things in the world they believe are unfair. Do you know teens who love discovering truth on their own? People who explore and sometimes get into trouble for it? Do you know kids who enjoy math and love asking questions? I do. They’re logic smart!
People smart/interpersonal intelligence. Do you know children and teens who can take one look at you and decide whether they should interrupt you and ask you for a favor? This ability to read and respond to body language is part of being people smart. These people also brainstorm well. They can motivate and, if they choose to use this ability with evil intent, they can manipulate people easily. Do you know kids who think well with others? I do. They’re people smart!
Music smart/musical intelligence. People who are music smart think with rhythms and melodies. They express themselves through music so you’ll hear or see it when they’re excited. Do you know kids who turn pencils into drumsticks and teens who whistle and hum almost constantly? These people may sing in tune and play musical instruments or they may simply enjoy music. Do you know them? I do. They’re music smart!