Intelligence and Smarts

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid” ─ Einstein

 Many clients of mine have wondered about their own intelligence and “smarts.” They have asked themselves if they are intelligent enough. After learning about the 8 “signs” of intelligence I wanted to share this information for anyone interested to know their own MI Components. It is also a way to be able to understand one and their interests better. I recently attended an Adlerian Psychology workshop that was presented by Wes Wingett Ph.D. He gave the following information about MI (Multiple Intelligence) and the work of Howard Gardner.

The Components of MI

For something to qualify as intelligence, it has to satisfy Howard Gardner’s eight “signs” of intelligence. After extensive research, Gardner identified eight, distinct intelligences. These are what comprise his theory of Multiple Intelligences:


The ability to conceptualize and manipulate large-scale spatial arrays (e.g. airplane pilot, sailor), or more local forms of space (e.g. architect, chess player).


The ability to use one’s whole body, or parts of the body (like the hands or the mouth), to solve problems or create products (e.g. dancer).


Sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody and timbre. May entail the ability to sing, play musical instruments, and/or compose music (e.g. musical conductor).


Sensitivity to the meaning of words, the order among words, and the sound, rhythms, inflections, and meter of words (e.g. poet). (Sometimes called language intelligence.)


The capacity to conceptualize the logical relations among actions or symbols (e.g. mathematicians, scientists). Famed psychologist Jean Piaget believed he was studying the range of intelligences, but he was actually studying logical-mathematical intelligence.


The ability to interact effectively with others. Sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations (e.g. negotiator). (Sometimes called social intelligence.)


Sensitivity to one’s own feelings, goals, and anxieties, and the capacity to plan and act in light of one’s own traits. Intrapersonal intelligence is not particular to specific careers; rather, it is a goal for every individual in a complex modern society, where one has to make consequential decisions for oneself. (Sometimes called self intelligence.)


The ability to make consequential distinctions in the world of nature as, for example, between one plant and another, or one cloud formation and another (e.g. taxonomist). (Sometimes called nature intelligence.)

“Intelligence is really a kind or taste: taste in ideas” ─ Susan Sontag

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.