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Theory of Multiple Intelligences

By BEN-1379 Apr 28, 2014 1075 Words

Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Ben Thiel
American Military University
Professor Corey Tutor
Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences is comprised of eight intelligences. A further analysis will be concentrated on three specific areas and the impact each has on an individual’s overall personal success. These intelligences include: linguistic intelligence which refers to verbal intelligence, interpersonal intelligence is being able to appreciate and identify what others require, and intrapersonal intelligence refers to one’s self and their abilities (Smith, 2002, 2008). An overview to Gardner’s Theory is best represented by the creator, “Intelligence is multifaceted; that is, aspects of it can be expressed in many domains.” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p. 271) “We can thus define intelligence as the application of cognitive skills and knowledge to learn, solve problems, and obtain ends that are valued by an individual or Culture” (see Gardner, 1983, p. ?). “It is also to some extent culturally shaped and culturally defined, since cultural practices support and recognize intellectual qualities that are useful in the social and ecological context.” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p.274). Gardner’s Theory was developed due to his belief in the existence of only one inventory for intelligence. He used many criteria to come up with these eight intelligences. These criteria dealt with damage to the brain indicating how a portion of the brain could be affected while the other portion still worked fine. Another criteria area was savants and prodigies. Savants are people possessing an astonishing intelligence in a particular area and little intelligence when it comes to additional areas. Prodigies are people possessing above average intelligence, “early- developing genius,” in a particular area, and normal intelligence when it comes to additional areas. (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p. 290). Other criteria include how fast an individual is able to retain information in one area but demonstrates a lower retention in other categories, “identifiable core operation or set of operations, evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility, support from experimental psychological tasks and psychometric findings, and susceptibility to encoding in a symbol system.” (Smith, 2002, 2008, pp. 3-4). Hereditary factors do affect intelligence, particularly when a child is really young, such as if the mother did not have much schooling, the mother is being mentally sick, how large the family is, and socioeconomic status. The increased amount of factors, the less of an IQ the child will have. Adoption plays a hereditary factor amongst the IQ’s being diverse (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Race is another factor that affects intelligence. There is a notable increase in the “IQ scores of White Americans and African Americans.” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p. 295) Studies have shown that, African Americans children who that were adopted by white foster parents, had greater IQ scores than African Americans children who that were being raised by African Americans families in their own communities (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Linguistic intelligence has to do with “spoken and written language, the ability to learn language, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals.” (Smith, 2002, 2008, p. 4). It is a way for an individual to express their beliefs, as well as remember information. (Smith, 2002, 2008). This intelligence is of high importance in all areas of society; possessing the ability to communicate effectively with all levels of personale increases one’s ability to increase efforts. This intelligence allows an individual to transcribe information accurately, make necessary notations allowing other parties to correctly process the information being communicated. When investigating a business setting an individual with high linguistic skills will be most successful in stimulating interest in one’s cause. Another intelligence which directly impacts an individual’s overall success is interpersonal intelligence. “It is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to effectively work with others” (Smith, 2002, 2008, p.4). An individual’s ability to understand others is a highly marketable tool in any setting. Individual’s personal characteristics differ tremendously, an individual maximizing on their ability to understand how others feel, their motivations, and the things most desires allows one to identify with the individual on a level other intelligences cannot fathom. This intelligence can be implemented in almost any setting from business owner and salesperson setting to a health care provider and patient. The ability to understand, empathize, and pacify an individual are not skills one is able to “learn” these are characteristics one possesses but may further develop with culture. The final intelligence that will impact my personal success is intrapersonal intelligence. This one “entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears, and motivations. In Howard Gardner’s view, it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.” (Smith, 2002, 2008, p.4). An individual must utilize this skill to evaluate oneself in a situation the ability to be self-aware allows the individual to determine if the efforts are subject to mend any defects which might hinder one’s success. Most individuals are aware of personal strengths, allowing one to implement their self-awareness allows for self-reflection in situations when results expected do not occur. An individual’s personal organization skills, ability to work well with others, and results-oriented thinking further impact one’s personal success as well as their ability to recalculate when results are not obtained. Furthermore these personal characteristics will further assist in maintaining order, communicating and interacting with others, and being able to respond correctly in the event a tough situation or conversation occurs. An individual’s ability to control their own personal emotions/reactions around others, even if they are speaking or acting in an uncomfortable manner makes an individual effective when resolving conflict. An individual possesses the ability to be self-aware will enhance their ability to succeed; individuals commonly search undesirable outcomes in others and very seldom look within their selves for a solution for failure. An individual possessing the ability to investigate solutions within their selves will have a higher success level overall. (Smith, 2002, 2008). The Theory of Multiple Intelligences developed by Howard Gardner presents eight intelligences to support his belief in the existence of multiple facets in explaining intelligence in an individual. The analysis presented investigates three of the intelligences most impacting an individual’s overall success. (Smith, 2002, 2008).

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York,: Basic Books. Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Smith, M.K. (2002, 2008). Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences. The Encyclopedia of Informal Education, (), 1-12. Retrieved from

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