Howard Gardner’s research on the seven types of human intelligence has added rich amounts of literature to the understanding of human personality. Introduced by Gardner in 1983, multiple intelligence is a theory about the brain that argues that human beings possess a single intelligence during their times of birth and that this intelligence cannot be changed. Gardner on the other hand believes that there are eight different types of intelligence in human beings. These include spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, and logical-mathematical. In addition to the above, there are musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and naturalist. This essay seeks to analyze the interpersonal, linguistic, and logic-mathematical types of intelligence and how they impact our success.
Gardner believes that all these types of intelligence are inquired by human beings in the course of their lives and are influenced by a variety of factors such as the environment and genetics. Interpersonal intelligence seeks to understand our levels of relations with other people. According to Gardner (1975) “Those who have strong interpersonal intelligence are good understanding and interacting with other people and these individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around them.” Such abilities have the potential benefits to an individual in that this group of individuals portray more strengths and weaknesses in dealing with their challenges regarding emotions and have the ability to stay calm in the face of adversity.
While this type of intelligence has long been associated with intellectual intelligence, these two types of intelligence differ in that many intellectually smart individuals lack interpersonal skills. According to Bruner (1960) “Basically, a person with high interpersonal intelligence knows how to get along with others, bring out the best in a team and work through conflicts or misunderstandings with minimal damage”. This demonstrates the fact that this type of intelligence has a profound impact on our success. The ability to effectively communicate forms one of the most critical factors in success. This fact is buttressed by Gardner, Csikszentmihaly &Damon (2001) in stating that “people who bear an interpersonal intelligence can easily communicate with others as they have an understanding of moods and emotions of other people, they can empathize with them, learn by working with others and take interest in discussions.”
In my struggle for personal success, interpersonal intelligence has played a pivotal role in enabling me to record improvements, especially in my classwork. My ability to communicate effectively has been enhanced by the capacity to be part of group discussions with my lecturers and fellow students. This has been necessitated by good relations that I have natured with these people and which has translated to positive thinking. In addition to that, the ability to understand and relate to others perfectly has given me the capacity to see situations from different perspectives and solve both my personal and group conflicts. I therefore strongly believe that my interpersonal intelligence has been one of my strong attributes that have played critical roles in ensuring that I become a successful student in my studies.
According to Smith (2002) “Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals.” This type of intelligence carries with it the important capacity in everyday life to make use of language techniques to express one’s thoughts and ideas. “This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information” (Smith, 2002). In this regard, this type of intelligence equips one with analytical skills to effectively achieve competitive advantages in their careers because of the inborn or natural ability to relay information in the best way possible. There is a general abidance in the fact that to achieve academic excellence, one has to appropriately make good use of language to communicate. This involves the preparation of our academic materials in the course of our studies. The inability to present thoughts, ideas, and findings with the use of language translates to poor performance no matter how detailed the paper appears.
While I must accept that my linguistic intelligence was its lowest level during my elementary school levels, my ability to ensure that I strengthened my linguistic skills has made me appreciate the importance of this type of intelligence and its impact on my success as a student. The ability to express myself effectively transformed me into an active student with an interest in word games, riddles, and poetry. This was because of my enhanced capacity in good memory for general knowledge, names and places, and fast response to stimuli. Furthermore, I could undertake my exercise at home without support and supervision due to my strengthened linguistic intelligence. I believe my linguistic skills formed the reason behind my success in speech giving and storytelling. While these strengths in language, words, and writing may seem more profound in elementary school, they play much bigger roles in the advanced levels of one’s study. The ability to remember written and spoken information plays a critical role in effectively analyzing live performances, debates, and lectures.
Smith (2002) defines this type of intelligence as that which “consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically and entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically.” This type of intelligence has been described by psychologists as one of the most critical types of intelligence and is the most securely documented form of intelligence. Its importance in advanced levels of study cannot be underestimated because it is “most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking” (Gardner, Csikszentmihaly &Damon, 2001). Logical-mathematical intelligence, therefore, enables one to reason precisely and note down proofs with much precision and accuracy.
The importance of this type of intelligence is perhaps best presented by Brualdi (1996) in stating that “The most successful application of the logical-mathematical intelligence involves the practice of making careful measurements, devising statements about how the universe works, and then subjecting these statements to systematic confirmation.” This type of intelligence has effectively enhanced my ability to scientifically and mathematically analyze complex academic problems and present the results precisely. It has therefore equipped me with the ability to focus on the various subjects of study, condense my materials around the theme of the study and organize my work in the best manner possible. This has positively impacted my academic achievement and personal success.
Brualdi, A, C. (1996). Multiple Intelligences: Gardner’s Theory. ERIC Digest’, Eric Digests.
Bruner, J (1960). The Process of Education, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Gardner, H. (1975). The Shattered Mind. New York: Knopf.
Gardner, H., Csikszentmihalyi, M. and Damon, W. (2001). Good Work: Where Excellence and Ethics Meet, New York: Basic Books.
Smith, M. K. (2002). Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences, the encyclopedia of informal education.