Multiple Intelligence


Better known as the “theory of multiple intelligences” is a unitary model which exposes the different specific capacities that make up the development of a human being , and which in turn are based on three fundamental factors, which are: f cultural and biological actors, personal and historical life.


What is multiple intelligence?

By multiple intelligence , we mean the concept or model of intelligence established by Howard Gardner, which establishes that there are several fields that human intellection addresses. It would be, then, a theory that conceives the mind as a set of modules aimed at the intellection of areas such as mathematics, linguistics or the social.



The mind has long been a mystery to most researchers . Since the nineteenth century, many neurologists created models of the mind based on the physical-positivist paradigm of the time. The mind was seen as a place in which a series of energies moved seeking their discharge. Over the years, that conception of the psyche was being abandoned or put aside, but the interest in knowing it has continued there.


One could say that among the researchers most prolific and most experience and contribution in this field, howard gardner was one of the most important. And why do we hold this? Well, basically, because of his theory of multiple intelligences.

But what is multiple intelligence (or im for short)? It is a concept that tries to separate itself from the monistic model of intelligence that had prevailed until then. The model gardner calls into question the idea that intelligence is only one, saying that instead started tackling only problem solving logical-mathematical, intelligence encompasses a lot of different areas such as the arts, music , linguistics, spatial, among many others.

Next we will talk a little more about this topic.

Characteristics of multiple intelligence

Among the essential characteristics of multiple intelligence, we can name:

  • It is a theoretical model on intelligence created by Howard Gardner in 1963 .
  • It establishes that intelligence as a construct is not a monadic concept , but polysemic and multiple.
  • For the development of each of these forms of intellection , they depend on individual , biological and sociocultural factors .
  • It states that each individual is the result of the combination of these styles of intelligence .
  • The development of each style of intelligence may influence the other types in some way.

What is multiple intelligence for?

This concept has been widely used in pedagogy and other areas of the human sciences . Its usefulness is that it allows specialists to detect and exploit the potential of each person. Considering that intelligence is not a univocal concept, it is thought that each subject possesses some type of strength that may not have been sufficiently exploited , and that the investment of resources in eliminating a weakness can be transferred to the exploitation of a strength . It would be treated, from this perspective , in a model based on competencies.

Types of multiple intelligence

Next, we will name and describe some of the intelligences nominated by gardner at the time.


It focuses on the mastery of linguistic skills , the use we make of words and the handling we do with them.

Mathematical logician

It refers us to the ability to detect logical links between elements of the system.


Which takes us back to the ability to recognize objects or elements in the order of what is captured by sight.


Which is focused on the ability of melodic interpretation.


Which focuses on the ability to coordinate physical movements.


The type of intelligence aimed at developing social skills and interpersonal contact.


The counterpart of the previous one, that is, that type of intelligence doomed to the phrase “know yourself . 

Activities to develop multiple intelligence

Developing the IM is a task that depends on the purposes to be achieved. As it is a model that tells us about different types of intelligence, each one will depend on its own activities to be developed. For example: to develop intelligence aimed at the social , it is recommended that the person devote himself to dealing a little more with others, to listen to them and to tune in with them. The increase in this type of intelligence may, in turn, facilitate the development of others, such as intrapersonal (knowing others, the subject comes into contact with internal content more easily) orKinesthetic (the subject can develop a greater capacity for observation, by concentrating on the gestures or body mobility of the other).


Its importance lies in the extension that this concept gave to psychology and the knowledge we have about intelligence . It has its theoretical value , by amplifying the field and granting new topics on which to investigate, but it also has its pragmatic or practical value . The latter is due, of course, to the possibilities that are discovered when understanding that intelligence is varied, multifaceted .


An example that we can describe of multiple intelligence could be that of a student in an ordinary school.

This is a 9-year-old boy who has just entered this educational institution. He has very good skills in subjects like math and music , in which he always averages at the top of his class. But, and this is a reality observed by the teachers, they have a very poor integration in their peer group. He does not socialize , or socializes little, and at times, he is irritable with peers who pester him when he performs an activity.

The diagnosis of the specialists is that the child has poor interpersonal and emotional intelligence , and that what is indicated is to strengthen their weaknesses. To do this, they decide to build on their strengths in music and mathematics by incorporating it into related groups in order for this child to be better integrated.

The results take time to see, but they are successful. The child is more cheerful and outgoing in his environment, and of course, much more integrated into his peer group.

People with multiple intelligence

We could mention the following names and their respective talents:

  • Linguistics: Abraham Lincoln .
  • Logical-mathematical: Isaac Newton .
  • Viso-spatial: Pablo Picasso .
  • Musical: Beethoven.
  • Interpersonal: Mother Teresa of Calcutta .
  • Intrapersonal: Plato.

Leave a Comment