In today's society, we refer to some people as being intelligent. When you are described in this manner, it means that those around you have faith in your mental capability. Intelligence can be described as the ability to solve problems by using your cognitive skills. It allows you to reason, identify relationships, decipher analogies, perform calculations and learn new material. It can also be described as the quality that enables us to learn from our experiences and adapt to changing situations. Intelligence allows us to understand and apply concepts which are of an abstract nature. It also gives us the power to utilize our knowledge to manipulate the elements in our environment.

In early research efforts to understand intelligence, an expert known as Charles Spearman concluded that it was based on a single foundation of broad mental capability known as the g-factor. This theory was proposed in 1904 and the g-factor was also known as General Intelligence. However, further research in subsequent years indicated that intelligence is so wide that it cannot be based on a single foundation. Thus, over the years psychologists subdivided intelligence into categories. One of the foremost psychologists to do this is known as Howard Gardner. Here are 9 types of intelligence you should know about.

Somatic intelligence

This is a form of intelligence that is interpreted in body movements. Entertainers, dancers, actors, construction crew, surgeons and athletes display somatic intelligence. They have highly developed motor skills which allow them to move and contort their bodies in astonishing ways. Some notable examples of individuals who had lot of somatic intelligence are the late Michael Jackson and James Brown. If you desire to increase your somatic intelligence, perform activities such as yoga, arts and crafts as well as tai chi.

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Communicative intelligence

Some people seem to be gifted at interacting with other people and organizing them through verbal exchange. They are sensitive to the moods and motivations of crowds. Such people are often described as natural leaders. If you know anyone like this, they possess communicative intelligence. They have the ability to read, understand and reply to body language. In addition to that, they are great at acting and public speaking. Many of them end up in political positions as governors, prime ministers and presidents. They are also quite gifted in active listening. This is where they are able to concentrate fully on a conversation. They can understand, remember and respond to the speaker in a perfect manner.

Mathematical intelligence

As indicated in its name, this type of intelligence allows us to perform calculations, identify quantities, discern proportions, create hypotheses and carry out operations in mathematics. By relying on this type of intelligence, we can identify connections and relationships. Moreover, it allows us to utilize abstract thought and reason in a sequential way. Also known as logical intelligence, it allows us to infer and conduct deductive thinking too. Mathematicians, detectives and scientists have high levels of mathematical intelligence. Moreover, people who are gifted with high levels of this type of intelligence are attracted to games of strategy, patterns, mathematical problems and experiments.

Contextual intelligence

Also known as practical intelligence, this is the ability to match situations and respond to daily contexts. People who have contextual intelligence are described as having high levels of common sense and street smarts. They are able to respond to challenges in social settings and benefit from them. Leaders who have guided their nations through times of tribulation are regarded as having high levels of contextual intelligence. They were able to make decisions under the pressure of changing contexts and environments.

Spatial intelligence

Individuals who have high levels of spatial intelligence are capable of visualizing, comprehending and representing elements in the visual-spatial world. They exhibit exceptional hand-eye coordination, have a great sense of direction and experience visual memory. They can effortlessly match colors and arrange furniture in a room perfectly without having made prior measurements. You can actively increase your spatial intelligence by playing with jigsaws, Legos, completing visual puzzles and arranging things in your environment.

Musical intelligence

This is the ability to identify the characteristics of music such as tone, timbre, pitch and rhythm. Musical intelligence allows us to discern, create, copy and reflect on melodies and music. According to psychological research, there is a definite connection between music and emotion. Moreover, people with high levels of musical intelligence have many of the same thinking processes as mathematically gifted individuals. Musical intelligence allows us to experience the world of sound.

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Linguistic intelligence

Some people are just great with language and writing. They can read, write, narrate and learn languages with exceptional ease. Their grammar is always correct and they have perfect syntax too. Such individuals have linguistic intelligence. They often pursue careers in authorship, teaching language and translation. They are also great at negotiation due to their wide diction and deep understanding of the effect of words.

Naturalist intelligence

This is a type of intelligence that allows us to identify minute differences between living things such as animals and plants. In addition to that, naturalist intelligence allows us to be highly sensitive to other elements in the natural world. Examples of these are rock formations, soil composition and weather phenomena. Being nature smart comes from our evolutionary history as gatherers and hunters. People who have high levels of this form of intelligence pursue careers as adventurers, scientists, botanists, chefs and hikers.

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Intra-personal intelligence

This is the ability to understand yourself, your feelings and your thoughts. In addition to that, intra-personal intelligence allows you to utilize this knowledge in planning your life and creating some direction for it. In this type of intelligence, you are able to appreciate yourself and the human state too. Psychologists, philosophers and spiritual leaders have high levels of intra-personal intelligence. One characteristic of people who have high levels of this intelligence is that they are shy.

The Important Take Away

Contrary to previous thoughts, intelligence is broad and divided into many categories. Each one of us has one or more of these types of intelligence. It is up to us to identify which types we have and develop them further. This results in a better quality of life for us, our families and the society that we live in.