Howard Gardner on “Intelligence Isn’t Black-and-White. There Are Actually 8 Different Kinds.”

Gardner, HWhat does it mean when someone calls you smart or intelligent? According to developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, it could mean one or more of eight possibilities.

In this video interview, Gardner addresses his eight classifications for intelligence: writing, mathematics, music, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.

As he explains, “Currently I think there are eight intelligences that I’m very confident about and a few more that I’ve been thinking about. I’ll share that with our audience. The first two intelligences are the ones which IQ tests and other kind of standardized tests valorize and as long as we know there are only two out of eight, it’s perfectly fine to look at them. Linguistic intelligence is how well you’re able to use language. It’s a kind of skill that poets have, other kinds of writers; journalists tend to have linguistic intelligence, orators. The second intelligence is logical mathematical intelligence. As the name implies logicians, mathematicians, scientists have that kind of intelligence. They’re able to do mathematical proofs. They’re able to do scientific reasoning and experimentation. And it’s great to have language and logical intelligence because most tests really focus on that. And if you do well in those tests as long as you stay in school, you think you’re smart. But if you ever walk out into Broadway or the highway or into the woods or into a farm, you then find out that other intelligences are at least this important.”

To watch a video and/or check out a transcript, please click here.

To learn more about Big Think and its programs, please click here.

Howard Gardner is a developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

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