In recent years the concept of intelligence has been studied quite vigorously and some of the older concepts have been challenged. The older psychometric views of intelligence was based on limited functions, which were mostly cognitive, such as learning based on school performance. The definition of intelligence was based on what we learned, what we were born with, and how well we adapted to change. Then a calculation was made and and number called an intelligence quotient was given.
Harvard professor, Howard Gardner found the standard definition of intelligence too limiting. It did not take into consideration many other skills besides book learning. In 1983, Gardner suggested that there are eight kinds of intelligence and he has later since proposed a ninth, which he calls existentialist intelligence.
Gardner states that people not only have intellectual intelligence, they have intelligence for other things.
These people are great at socializing and interacting with others. They understand what motives other people and what makes them happy or sad. They seem to know the right things to say and are usually very popular. They are great communicators, they are great at solving problems and conflicts among different people and they can pick up on non-verbal communication. They have great relationships with others and they can see many sides of a situation. The jobs these people are well suited for include: psychologist, counselor, politician, sales person, philosopher, mediator, Director of human resources, and life coach. Intrapersonal intelligence
People who share this type of intelligence are very self-aware. They know who they are and what they want from life. They are good at understanding their own emotions, motivation, and behavior. They love to reflect and analysis what makes them tick. They enjoy analyzing theories and different ideas. The jobs suited for intrapersonal intelligence people include: life coach, writer, scientist, counselor/therapist, philosopher, teacher, and theorist.
People who possess these types of intelligences are good at problem solving, recognizing patterns, and analyzing things. They are great at solving complex problems and enjoy abstract ideas. They also like to perform scientific experiments. The types of jobs most suited for the logical/mathematical type include: accountant, engineer, mathematician, computer programer, and scientist.
Linguistic and verbal intelligence
People who excel in these kinds of intelligences are good writers and speakers. They are good at memorizing things and they love reading and absorbing information. They can debate well, and love to explain things to other people. The jobs that are well suited for these people include: lawyer, writer, teacher. Naturalistic intelligence
These people are in-tuned with the environment; very close to nature. They notice even subtle changes in the environment. They are concerned about wildlife and keeping the environment safe and clean. They enjoy learning about biology, botany, zoology, and sustaining the earth, “going green.” They are good with classifying and categorizing things. They may love camping, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. Jobs best suited for naturalistic intelligence types include: gardener, zoologist, birdwatcher, environmentalist, wilderness coach, camp counsellor, girl guides or boy scout leader, wildlife and Park Ranger, biologist, conservationist, and farmer.
People who exhibit musical intelligence are good at seeing patterns, sounds, and rhymes. They often play musical instruments. The jobs suited for people with musical intelligence include: conductor, musician, music teacher, composer and singer.
People who have this kind of intelligence see and understand road maps, graphs, and other sorts of diagrams. They are very good with direction and probably will never get lost. They enjoy reading and writing, they love doing puzzles, figuring out patterns, and they enjoy the visual arts. The types of jobs favorable for this group of people would be: engineer, artist and architect. Bodily/Kinesthetic intelligence
This type of intelligence is all about body movement, actions, and physical control. People who have this kind of intelligence have excellent eye and hand coordination. They love to create things with their hands, they love dancing and sports, and their memories are based on movement of some sort. The jobs for these people include: sculptor, builder, actor, and dancer.
Criticism of Gardner’s Intelligence Theory
There have been criticism in the psychological community stating that Gardner’s theory is too board and his different intelligences are just aptitudes, talents, and skills. They also find his work lacks empirical evidence to support his claims.
Gardner does have a following especially among teachers who support and apply his theory in the classroom.