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Multiple Intelligence

The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) "modalities", rather than seeing intelligence as dominated by a single general ability. This model was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner articulated seven criteria for a behavior to be considered an intelligence. These were that the intelligences showed: potential for brain isolation by brain damage, place in evolutionary history, presence of core operations, susceptibility to encoding (symbolic expression), a distinct developmental progression, the existence of savants, prodigies and other exceptional people, and support from experimental psychology and psychometric findings.


Gardner chose eight abilities that he held to meet these criteria:

Interpersonal : People Smart
Intrapersonal : Self Smart
Linguistic : Word Smart
Logical/ Mathematical : Logic/ Number Smart
Naturalist : Nature Smart
Spatial : Picture Smart
Bodily Kinesthetic : Body Smart
Musical : Music Smart

Each individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences. Gardner firmly maintains that his theory of multiple intelligences should "empower learners", not restrict them to one modality of learning.


Intelligence is categorized into three primary or overarching categories, those of which are formulated by the abilities. According to Gardner, intelligence is:


1. The ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture,

2. A set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life, and

3. The potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge.