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You Might Be More Intelligent Than You Think

I had my IQ tested a long time ago and the results stated I had below average intelligence.  I have a couple of Masters degrees but I don’t believe I ever finished in the top half of my class for either of those.

I never really paid much attention to those classical definitions of intelligence because I considered both of them flawed as ways in which to measure intelligence.  To me anyway, a person scoring highly in an IQ test is only demonstrating and ability to do an IQ test – how often do you have to count the number of triangles in a mass of lines in real life?!  Regarding the university exams, I viewed them as little more than memory tests and I don’t have a brilliant memory.

As an aside, but interestingly, I am studying for a Masters in Digital Marketing in the Smurfit Business School at the moment and because of the practical nature of the material we don’t have to sit a single exam.  My grades to date have been the highest I have ever recorded as a result.

So, what other types of intelligence could there be?  A Harvard developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner, believes intelligence comes in an incredible eight different varieties.  In addition to the two kinds of intelligence captured by IQ tests, namely language and logical, he lists another six types of intelligence that these tests fail to measure at all, as follows:

1. Musical Intelligence – People who are good with tones, rhythms and timbres have a form of intelligence that is comparable to people who are good with words.

2. Spatial Intelligence – This is a type of ‘big picture’ intelligence that airline pilots or chess masters have.

3. Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence – This type of intelligence centres around the use of the body and comes in two forms.  The first refers to the use of the whole body to solve a problem or perform well at something.  Think athletes or dancers here.  The second refers to the use of your hands or other parts of your body to solve problems or make things.  Think of a craftsperson here.

4. Interpersonal Intelligence – This refers to how you understand other people, how you motivate them, how you lead them, how you work with them, according to Gardner.

5. Intrapersonal Intelligence – This refers to a person’s self-knowledge and their ability to have a good understanding of their own goals and motivations, in both a professional and a personal context.

6. Naturalist Intelligence – This refers to “the capacity to make important, relevant discriminations in the world of nature between one plant and another, or between one animal and another.  It’s the intelligence of the naturalist, the intelligence of Charles Darwin”, according to Gardner.  He goes on to say that “everything we do in the commercial world uses our naturalist intelligence, from deciding which jacket to buy over another one, or determining the difference between a tasty small animal and a poisonous one.”

Modesty prevents me from saying how well I think I score on each of these.  Could someone pass me that guitar?

Conor Foley

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