Do you know your IQ?  Do you even care?  Howard Gardner at Harvard University says that IQ is far too limited a measure of a person’s human potential.  In his renowned theory of multiple intelligences, he came up with 8 and possibly even 9 intelligences that give a greater range of human accomplishment.  What are the 8 (or 9) intelligences in his model?

  • Word Smart (linguistic intelligence)
  • Number/Logic Smart (logical-mathematical intelligence)
  • Picture Smart (visual-spatial intelligence)
  • Body Smart (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
  • Music Smart (musical intelligence)
  • Nature Smart (naturalist intelligence)
  • People Smart (interpersonal intelligence)
  • Self Smart (intrapersonal intelligence)

The possible ninth intelligence Gardner calls ”existential intelligence” (I call it “Life Smart).  It’s the intelligence of concern with ultimate life issues.  He says there’s insufficient data for him to call this an official intelligence.

How do you assess these intelligences in yourself?  The important thing is to notice what you do in your life that fills you with excitement and passion, and those things that you get really good feedback about from others.  You could be really good at something but not care very much about it (e.g. a lot of high achievers in school).  You could care very much about something, but not be good at it (practice makes perfect!).  To get a sense of where you’re at with respect to these 8 intelligences, check out this mini-quiz I created.

For more information about Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, get my practical guides to multiple intelligences for:

This blog post was brought to you by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. and

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Cover of book 7 Kinds of SmartBook cover of Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 4th edition by Thomas ArmstrongCover of book In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences

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I’m the author of 20 books including my latest, a novel called Childless, which you can order from Amazon.

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