When I was just 11 years of age, I had to take an educational exam. There were lots of puzzles and logical (but to me not so logical) problem solving exercises. It was part of the process for choosing who would go to the grammar school (mainly a place for students perceived as having academic potential and professional career opportunities). The rest were sent to the school where the focus was more on education for the technical trades and other mainly office or labouring type work.
In effect, it was a form of so called intelligence test. At that time, the academics believed in something called General Intelligence. In 1983, Howard Gardner wrote a book called, Frames of Mind. His work smashed the thinking on intelligence. Indeed, he said the so called intelligent people had not been very intelligent because there were many forms of intelligence.
These are linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. So, rather than taking other people’s definitions of your intelligence, you can work on the ones that appeal to you. Evidence would suggest that you can improve your abilities and, in the process, your intelligence scores.
I have had a go at this – in effect trying to make myself more intelligent by taking action to improve my abilities through training, practice and performance. Here are my self ratings, and you can do the same.
Linguistic – by nature, I am fairly extroverted and enjoy conversation, so I have spent a lot of time developing my linguistic skills.
Logic-mathematical – not one of my favourite areas and I do not enjoy doing maths, but I improved my skills by working for 2 years where I had to do mental arithmetic each day.
Musical – I did not know, until I was 34 years of age, that I had any musical intelligence or talent. At that time, I bought a keyboard for my children and took lessons with them. Over 30 years later, I have written and recorded over 150 songs and have played the piano in casinos, clubs and piano bar cafes. So, my intelligence has developed with my experience.
Spatial – This is another area that can improve with practice as repetition leads to improvement.
Kinesthetic – People who enjoy moving to the beat whether it be in dance or other activity have abilities in this area. I enjoy playing golf and the swing of the club has to be rhythmic to gain distance. But, it is not a topic that I have concentrated upon.
Interpersonal– To me, this goes with the Linguistic category. Maybe it is the difference between talking and listening. I try to do both and others can judge my ability and intelligence.
Intrapersonal – I take this to be ones internal thinking skills. No doubt, introverts spend more time in this mode. They tend to think before they speak. I often speak and, in the process, develop my thoughts.
Naturalistic – I do not spend much time communing with nature. So, my intelligence in this area is probably low.
However, one can be intelligent but not achieve as much as other people. It is necessary to have both intelligence and achieve outputs with it. That brings in play skills like the ability to organize yourself and others.
In my research on the lives of amazing people, I note that they focused on areas where they could achieve and excel. In effect, they developed an understanding of their own intelligence and how to apply it effectively to get results. These are reflected in my book called Amazing Careers, published by the The Amazing People Club.
How do you rate yourself on the above factors?