18 types of intelligence

The types of intelligence are the different abilities to solve problems. They are governed or regulated by specific regions of the brain.

The concept of multiple intelligences was developed by the psychologist Howard Gardner as a series of biological and psychological potentialities and capacities of the human being to process certain kinds of information in certain ways.

1. Visual-spatial intelligence

Visual spatial intelligence understands the potential to recognize and manipulate patterns in space. We can achieve this in pilots, sculptors, architects and visual artists.

One way to measure visual-spatial intelligence is to allow the person to explore a terrain and see if they can find their way out or put together a puzzle.

2. Logical-mathematical intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence involves the ability to analyze problems and perform mathematical operations in a logical way. Examples of people with a high level of this intelligence are mathematicians, statisticians, and engineers.

3. Linguistic intelligence

Linguistic intelligence refers to sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the ability to use the language to achieve goals. Examples of people with high linguistic intelligence are lawyers, writers, and translators.

Linguistic intelligence is activated when we encounter the sound of language or when we wish to communicate verbally with others.

4. Musical intelligence

Musical intelligence involves the ability to compose and appreciate musical patterns. We use it when we compose songs or other musical creations, when playing instruments or appreciating the structure of a piece of music. This intelligence is highly developed in musicians, composers, and singers.

5. Body-kinesthetic intelligence

Bodily or kinesthetic intelligence implies the potential to use the body or part of it (such as the hands or the mouth) to solve problems. Dancers, actors, and athletes possess this type of intelligence. It also occurs in people who perform crafts or require manipulation such as surgeons and mechanics.

6. Interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence denotes the ability of a person to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people and, consequently, to relate and work effectively with others. This intelligence is valued in sectors that interact with the public, such as salespeople, teachers, doctors, actors, and politicians.

Mahatma Gandhi and Nicholas Machiavelli are characters who manifested a high degree of interpersonal intelligence.

7. Intrapersonal intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence involves the ability to understand oneself . We use it to find out who we are: our strengths, weaknesses, and personal goals. Intrapersonal intelligence is often misinterpreted as the development of self-esteem or the intelligence of introverts.

A tragic example of high intrapersonal intelligence is found in Anne Frank (1929-1945), who recorded in great detail her hopes, wishes and fears in her diary during the Second World War.

8. Naturalistic intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence is related to the ability to categorize and recognize differences between organisms. A naturalist demonstrates knowledge in recognizing and classifying the numerous species in their environment. This intelligence is of importance to hunters, fishermen, farmers, meteorologists and biologists.

9. Existential-spiritual intelligence

This is the last of Gardner’s multiple intelligences, which is still controversial. It is about the ability to position oneself with respect to the cosmos and existential questions of the human condition, such as the meaning of life and death, the final destination of the physical and psychological worlds.

It also has to do with experiences as deep as love for another person or total immersion in a work of art. A high degree of this intelligence is credited to mystics, yogis, gurus, and meditators. Examples of characters who manifested this type of intelligence are found in Buddha, Christ and Confucius.

10. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence encompasses a set of capacities that allows the individual to interpret and respond to their own and others’ emotional states , adapting thoughts and behaviors accordingly. The concept of emotional intelligence was introduced by Daniel Goleman in 1995.

Among the brain centers involved in the control of emotional intelligence we have:

  • the right tonsil,
  • the right somatosensory cortex,
  • the insula,
  • the anterior cingulate and
  • a portion in the prefrontal cortex.

Each of these centers controls reactions related to emotions and empathy.

11. Collective intelligence

Collective intelligence is the intelligence attributed to the systems of societies formed by relatively simple agents, such as ants, termites and bees, capable of carrying out complex cognitive actions at the collective level.

Social insects reach a high level of complexity capable of making decisions about their internal states, available environmental resources, protection against damage and food collection strategies.

12. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI is defined as:

“The interdisciplinary approach to understanding, modeling and replicating intelligence and other human cognitive processes by means of computational, mathematical, logical and mechanical principles and devices.”

The goal of AI is to develop machines capable of carrying out tasks that require human intelligence. Examples of AI we have in facial recognition systems, robots or androids.

13. Fluid intelligence

Fluid intelligence is defined as the ability to analyze and solve novel problems without relying on prior knowledge . Fluid intelligence is part of general intelligence according to Raymond Cattell (1943), and is a critical factor in solving logic problems, identifying patterns and relationships.

14. Crystallized intelligence

Crystallized intelligence is the part of general intelligence that understands what has been learned. It is reflected in the knowledge tests, in the general information and in the vocabulary.

15. Successful intelligence

The term “successful intelligence” was implemented by Robert J. Stenberg as:

“The ability to achieve our goals in life, according to our sociocultural context, capitalizing on strengths while correcting or compensating for weaknesses, to adapt, manipulate and select environments, through a combination of analytical, creative and practical capacities”.

In this sense, intelligence is not what a test or intelligence test measures and is different for each individual. For example, someone with a high IQ may be a failure in life.

16. Practical intelligence

Practical intelligence refers to knowing how to do things. For example, mechanics in their workshops who repair a car without the aid of diagnostic methods, street vendors who perform mathematical operations without the need for calculators, or sailors from the Polynesian islands who sail the Pacific without the help of compasses or GPS .

17. Social intelligence

Social intelligence refers to the ability to “get along with others.” It is the intelligence that is demonstrated in relationships with the people around us. Understand social sensitivity, social perception, and communication. Individuals on the autism spectrum have difficulty behaving and maintaining social relationships effectively.

18. Cultural intelligence

The concept of cultural intelligence was presented by PC Earley and S. Ang as the ” ability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity .” This concept arises as a result of the globalization that we are experiencing in the 21st century, the increase in cultural interrelationships and the probability of misunderstandings, intercultural tensions and conflicts.

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