What is multiple intelligence

Are you good at math or do you prefer writing? And in sports, do you do well? The differences between the skills that each person has come to be recognized as a kind of intelligence only from the 1980s onwards. These are called multiple intelligences.

It all started when a team of Harvard University scholars, led by psychologist Howard Gardner, coined these terms and went on to disclose that traditional IQ tests were not enough to assess all human cognitive skills .

What are multiple intelligences?

The theory of multiple intelligence states that there are eight types and that they complement each other. Get to know each one.

In total there are 8 cognitive skills of the human being (Photo: depositphotos)

Mathematical logic

This is perhaps the most recognized multiple intelligence, as it has long been attributed as one of the only types of intelligence. A person good at math, physics or chemistry was always seen as a highlight .


This is also a type of knowledge that has always been valued. Philosophers and thinkers of old knew this well and were considered wise for making good use of linguistics to communicate their ideas .


Composing and performing musical patterns in terms of rhythm and timbre were not always seen as intelligence , but as special talent. With Gardner’s theory, conductors, musicians and specialists came to be considered holders of musical intelligence.

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Have you ever thought that there is a type of intelligence aimed at those who read maps? And more: chess players, navigators, architects and geographers are part of the group of people who have spatial intelligence. Therefore, if you are lost when faced with cartographic signs, you certainly do not have this intelligence .


Sportsmen can be called geniuses ! Especially after the theory of Multiple Intelligence gained strength in everyone. This is because controlling your own body and determining your movements are considered a bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.


According to Gardner’s theory, intrapersonal intelligence is the rarest that a human being can develop. Because it is based on the ability to recognize and, through this, understand our limits, concerns, habits, preferences and transform all of these into personal gains.


As the name implies, interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand others , whether with regard to their needs or intentions. Great religious, politicians, communicators and even teachers have interpersonal intelligence and can use it very well.


Charles Darwin was perhaps the greatest exponent of naturalistic intelligence . He managed to classify plants, animals, minerals, rocks and other types of varieties of flora and fauna. For this reason, having dominance in this area is also considered a type of intelligence.

Multiple intelligence example

Da Vinci is considered one of the smartest men in the world (Photo: depositphotos)

According to the Ibc Coaching website, the Italian Leonardo da Vinci is considered a rare example of developing several skills at the same time and can be considered one of the most intelligent men in the world.

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“In this sense, the development of his multiple intelligences made it possible for Da Vinci to really be differentiated, noticed and recognized today as an expert: scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, poet and also musician”, he says the IBC Portal, the Brazilian Coaching Institute.

How to develop multiple intelligence

Howard Gardner’s theory states that all people in principle have the same possibility to develop any of the multiple intelligences : Mathematical, Linguistic, Musical, Spatial, Corporal-kinesthetic, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal or Naturalistic logic.

This is because each individual brings with them the basic genetic characteristics to develop any of these intelligences.

However, over time, the development of one of them becomes influenced by both genetic factors, as well as environmental and neurobiological conditions.

Symbolic systems also play an important role in the development of intelligences. In practice, this means that cultural functions and social roles are also very influential . See the phases:

First stage

The first stage in the development of multiple intelligences is when the person is still a baby . At this stage, children begin to process different information. It is the first contact with the symbols.

Second stage

Between two and five years is the second stage of the development of multiple intelligences. Just look at the ability of practically all children to recognize sounds, draw and talk a lot.

Third stage

In this stage, the child already develops the ability to write and add and that is when culture already has a considerable weight. It is from this, that the person in the second order called by Gardner. Decisive stage to improve a specific intelligence or several.

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Fourth and fifth stages

When they reach adolescence and adulthood , people identify with their vocation, that is, what gives them pleasure. Generally, this activity may or may not coincide with the multiple intelligences developed throughout life. However, it is very interesting that the individual unites both interests.

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