Self

There Are 9 Different Types Of Intelligence — Which Type Do You Have?

Photo: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock  
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When you think of someone who is "smart," you probably imagine that person in your class who always managed to get every answer right and got straight A's throughout their educational career. 

If you weren't that person, you might feel down on yourself. But we have good news — that's only one type of intelligence. But there are eight more different types of intelligence out there, and everyone has at least one! 

Whether you're a musical genius or know yourself inside and out, here are all of the different types of intelligence and what you can do with each.

Here are the 9 different types of intelligence, and the amazing things you can do with each:

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1. Logical Reasoning — Logic smart

Calculating, classifying, and finding patterns are all your strong suits. You like to experiment, solve puzzles, and identify relationships. You light up at the idea of a “deductive reasoning” exercise. This is the other most highly regarded intelligence in traditional education, so you’ve probably done well in school.

Logical-Reasoning careers: Scientists, computer programmers, inventors

To cultivate Logical-Reasoning intelligence: Play logic and pattern games like Sudoku, organize a collection, develop and prove a hypothesis, find the pattern in a poem

Famous people with Logical-Reasoning intelligence: Nicola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates

2. Verbal-Linguistic — Word smart

You learn best through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You probably enjoy writing poetry and stories. You’re good at identifying grammar errors and you may have a talent for learning foreign languages. This is traditionally one of the most highly-prized intelligence in education systems worldwide, meaning it’s likely that you’ve been successful in your scholarly pursuits.

Verbal-Linguistic careers: Writers, public speakers, lawyers

To cultivate Verbal-Linguistic intelligence: Write in a journal, play word games (like Scrabble and crossword puzzles), read more books, and debate issues more often

Famous people with Verbal-Linguistic intelligence: JK Rowling, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, and Junot Diaz

3. Visual-Spatial — Picture smart

You have an excellent ability to draw, visualize, and design. You benefit greatly from having access to pictures, diagrams, and other visual aids. You enjoy puzzles and mazes and you can visualize and manipulate objects with your mind’s eye.

Visual-Spatial careers: Architect, computer scientist, designer

To cultivate Visual-Spatial intelligence: Take a photography or drawing class, draw mind maps of your plans or ideas, and do puzzles and mazes for fun

Famous people with Visual-Spatial intelligence: Galileo Galilei, Salvador Dali, and Steve Jobs

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4. Bodily-Kinesthetic — Body smart

You learn best through touch and movement. You process information through the body and may have fine-tuned motor skills. People probably say that you’re “well-coordinated” and “athletic.” You usually need to do something to remember it and you may have a hard time working at a desk all day.

Bodily-Kinesthetic careers: Dancer, actor, construction worker, sculptor

To cultivate Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence: Physical activities, manipulating objects, using fine and gross motor skills, building things

Famous people with Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence: Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Mary Lou Retton

5. Auditory-Musical — Sound smart

You understand and appreciate the art of music. You do well at listening, composing, and performing music. You use rhythms and patterns to understand things. You can probably remember and even replicate a sound or listening passage you’ve only heard once.

Auditory-Musical careers: Composer, DJ, Band Director, Singer

To cultivate Auditory-Musical intelligence: Listen to music while studying, connect music to a lesson, write a short song

Famous people with Auditory-Musical intelligence: Mozart, Yo-Yo Ma, Alicia Keys

6. Interpersonal — People smart

You enjoy socializing, sharing, conducting interviews, and cooperating. People may consider you extroverted and/or empathetic to others. You’re an excellent group leader and a team player.

Interpersonal careers: Politician, teacher, social worker, counselor

To cultivate Interpersonal intelligence: Engage in group activities, volunteer for community service, teach a class or a friend something

Famous people with interpersonal intelligence: Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, Mother Teresa

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7. Intrapersonal — Self smart

Intrapersonal-intelligent people are highly skilled at understanding themselves. You are introspective, independent, and self-motivated. You learn best by working alone and setting individual goals.

Interpersonal careers: Psychologist, poet, therapist

To cultivate Intrapersonal intelligence: Keep a daily journal, read self-help books, and imagine yourself in other people’s shoes

Famous people with intrapersonal intelligence: Anne Frank, Aristotle, Gandhi, Hellen Keller

8. Naturalistic — Nature smart

Naturalistic learners feel a connection to the earth. You learn by working with nature. People may say you have a green thumb or that you’re an animal whisperer. In school, you always loved having class outside and you may have engaged in hobbies such as bird watching or rock collecting.

Naturalistic careers: Zookeeper, veterinarian, conservationist

To cultivate Naturalistic intelligence: Keep a nature journal, start a small garden, go outside for everyday activities, take care of a pet

Famous people with naturalistic intelligence: Steve Irwin (“The Crocodile Hunter”), Jane Goodall, Gregor Mendel

9. Existential — Spirit smart

This intelligence has only recently been identified. It is the ability to deal with the big questions of human existence and metaphysics. People may say you have a “sixth sense,” a “strong aura,” or an “old soul.” No matter your age, you give off a feeling of inner peace and wisdom. U.S. scholars have been hesitant to include this intelligence in the context of child education in an effort to avoid mixing church with state.

Existential careers: Shaman, yogi, clergyman, psychic, philosopher

To cultivate existential intelligence: practice meditation, write down some “big” questions, and write down the answers that come to you

Famous people with existential intelligence: Buddha, Lao Tzu, Joan of Arc, Simone de Beauvoir

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Milen Raychev writes on the intersection of love and intelligence for I Heart Intelligence.

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This article was originally published at The Mind's Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.