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What is your intelligence?

You may fail an IQ test and yet possess the mind of a genius Chitra Jha reports

education Updated: Nov 25, 2009 09:24 IST
Chitra Jha

If someone asks you this question, you will consider it weird.

What do you mean by ‘what is my intelligence?’ Well, things were much simpler earlier (or should I say more archaic); your intelligence had only one parameter — your intelligence quotient, which measured your logical intelligence. It was more a measure of your left brain function.

Gradually, the importance of emotional quotient (a right brain function) was realised. And now we are told (very rightly so) that intelligence has many forms/types. People considered duds when measured on their IQ may be geniuses if their correct type of intelligence was to be discovered and appreciated.

The most encouraging aspect of this discovery is that it redeems all human beings. It tells us that each one of us possesses one or the other type of intelligence.

Educationists are factoring in this knowledge while creating curriculum, pedagogy, and evaluation patterns. This also proves that someone may not be good with spellings or calculations but may possess some other kind of intelligence. What are these different types of intelligent abilities?

Dr Howard Gardner, who has developed this theory of multiple intelligences, has so far identified these different abilities as:

Linguistic intelligence: This intelligence reflects your ability to read, write, tell stories, and learn languages, grammar and syntax. Many people can speak many languages with ease.

Some can learn new languages without any great effort on their part. Some are good with words. All these people exhibit literary intelligence. A sure-shot way to increase this intelligence is by reading; playing scrabbles and cross-words helps as well.

Logical-mathematical intelligence: People who possess this intelligence are comfortable with numbers, logic, reasoning, and abstract concepts. If you wish to increase this intelligence, you can play games of logic and lateral thinking, or learn computer programming.

Musical intelligence: People with this intelligence are sensitive to sounds, tones, rhythm, pitch, notes and structure of songs. Listening to music, singing or playing an instrument improves this intelligence.

Spatial intelligence: Such people have a good imagination. They can understand spaces.

They have a good sense of direction.

They have a good visual memory. If you want to improve this intelligence, play with jigsaw puzzles or Lego blocks.

Kinesthetic intelligence: Such people make good dancers, athletes, builders, actors, or surgeons. This ability can be enhanced by practising yoga, making crafts, riding a bike, dancing, playing sports etc.

Interpersonal intelligence: Such people are good at organising events. They are sensitive to people’s moods and motivations.

They make good human resource people. If you wish to develop this intelligence you must learn active listening.

Intrapersonal intelligence: This is the ability to be aware of one self, one’s emotions, goals and motivations. People with this intelligence make good writers, philosophers, psychologists and theologians. If you wish to improve this intelligence you must endeavour to ‘know’ yourself by writing and meditating.

Naturalistic intelligence: Such people possess a green thumb. They are sensitive to nature. If you wish to increase this intelligence, you must become an outdoor person.

Plant seeds and watch them grow, keep pets, read about animals.

Existential or spiritual intelligence: This intelligence involves the entire brain. Such people are curious about life, death, unseen realms and the mystery of creation. Prayer and meditation increases whole brain functions. Self-enquiry, reading and discussing enhance this intelligence.

Now tell me, “What is ‘your’ intelligence?”

The author is a life skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer. Contact: chitrajhaa@gmail.com