The 9 Intelligence Types You Need to Succeed

The 9 Intelligence Types You Need to Succeed Inc.

Most educational systems in the world focus primarily on math and linguistic, ignoring other types of intelligence. Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, proposed a new model of human intelligence that includes a set of softer skills besides linguistics and logical-mathematical intelligence.

While the mathematical-logical intelligence implies an ability to quantify things, making hypotheses and proving them, the linguistic intelligence, on the other hand, involves the ability to find the right words to express what you mean.

If you are neither good at math nor language, don’t worry! It doesn’t mean you are not an intelligent person. You might still be good at any of the other 7 intelligence types that Gardner proposes:


Image source: Funders and Founders


Bodily-Kinesthetic: Coordinating your mind with your body

Musical: Discerning sounds, their pitch, tone, rhythm and timbre

Naturalist: Understanding living things and reading nature

Interpersonal: Sensing people’s feelings and motives

Intra-personal: Understanding yourself, what you feel and what you want

Spatial: Visualising the world in 3D

Existential: Tackling the questions of why we live and why we die

Human Beings Could Have 7 to 10 distinct intelligences

According to Gardner, each of us has a number of relatively independent mental faculties, which are known as our “multiple intelligences”. What the Professor highlights is that we have a number of relatively autonomous computers, each of which computes a different kind of information (e.g. musical information, spatial information about other people etc).

We all have multiple intelligences – Gardner reckons humans can have seven to ten different intelligence types, but we tend to discern a strong intelligence, an area where we have significant computational capability. Our ability to win a game that requires spatial thinking indicates spatial intelligence. Our ability to speak a foreign language well after a few months, of “going native”, demonstrates strong linguistic intelligence.  

Still some people question Gardner’s 9 types of intelligence arguing that these are not representing natural abilities or aptitudes, they are rather deemed soft skills – things that can be learned.

Do you have any of these intelligence types? If so, in what ways do you demonstrate your intelligence?