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Understanding the different types of intelligence

Eight years ago, we were in the process of hiring two programmers to write our SLE e-tutoring software, useful for the next twenty years. The test was given in two parts. The first part involved how in-depth the applicant’s knowledge was of the seven different kinds of programming languages. The second part involved how well he/she understood him/herself. One question that each applicant was asked was how many types of intelligence he/she possessed from the list created by Harvard professor Howard Gardner. ( 


In general, most of the applicants knew their programming languages very well, but the types of intelligence that they possessed were minimal. This is extremely important as it will affect how well one works within a


Howard Gardner has identified eight different types of intelligence that each individual has the capacity to possess. The idea of owning multiple intelligences is important because it allows for educators to identify differing strengths and weaknesses in students. In researching about intellectual brilliance, it was found that Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) provides a greater alternative to the more popular IQ method.  

Summaries of the eight types of intelligence: 

1. Visual/Spatial - Involves visual perception of the environment, the ability to create and manipulate mental images, and the orientation of the body in space. 

2. Verbal/Linguistic - Involves reading, writing, speaking, and conversing in one's own or foreign languages. 


3. Logical/Mathematical - Involves number and computing skills, recognizing patterns and relationships, timeliness and order, and the ability to solve different kinds of problems through logic.


4. Bodily/Kinaesthetic - Involves physical coordination and dexterity, using fine and gross motor skills, and expressing oneself or learning through physical activities. 


5. Musical - Involves understanding and expressing oneself through music and rhythmic movements or dance, or composing, playing, or conducting music.  


6. Interpersonal - Involves understanding how to communicate with and understand other people and how to work collaboratively. 


7. Intrapersonal - Involves understanding one's inner world of emotions and thoughts, and growing in the ability to control them and work with them consciously. 


8. Naturalist - Involves understanding the natural world of plants and animals, noticing their characteristics, and categorizing them; it generally involves keen observation and the ability to classify other things as well. 


Nowadays, there are another eight types of intelligence adapted by MBA programs and psychologists as described below:

 1. EQ -Emotional quotient is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. 


2. AQ – Dr. Paul Stoltz defines adversity quotient as “the capacity of the person to deal with the adversities of his life. As such, it is the science of human resilience.” It tells how well one withstands adversity and his ability to triumph over it. 


3. CQ –Creativity quotient or design intelligence. Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created (such as an idea, a joke, a literary work, a painting or musical composition, a solution or an invention). 


4. CI – Communication intelligence. CI can be described as the bridge between IQ and EQ and was defined by Alistair Gordon and Steve Kimmens in 2011 as "saying the right thing in the right way to the right people at the right time in a such a way that the message is received and understood as it was intended.”


5. CQ – Curiosity quotient is a term put forth by author and journalist Thomas L. Friedman as part of an illustrative formula to explain how individuals can be powerfully motivated to learn about a personally interesting subject, whether or not they possess a particularly high intelligence quotient (IQ). 


6. PQ – Passion quotient. According to Friedman, passion and curiosity are key components for education in a world where information is readily available to everyone and where global markets reward those who have learned how to learn and are self-motivated to learn. 


7. BI - Business intelligence is a set of theories, methodologies, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes. BI can handle large amounts of information to help identify and develop new opportunities. 

8. CQ – Cultural quotient refers to cultural intelligence, and a simple definition is as follows: “The ability to adapt successfully to different national, organizational, and professional cultures.” 


Therefore, despite traditional thinking that having a high IQ is extremely important, more and more factors are being considered in the hiring process today. In the next article, we will provide students with the chance to test their intelligence, to know more about themselves and their gifts such that they may figure out what kind of major or career they would like to pursue in the future. 


If more and more factors are being considered into the hiring process today, how valuable do you think having a high IQ is?

Which are the different types of intelligence that you have?

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