Naturalistic intelligence


The naturalist spatial intelligence is the eighth intelligence Gardner added in 1995, his theory of multiple intelligences. In the beginning, this type of intelligence was part of logic – mathematical and spatial; however, by meeting all the requirements to be an independent guy, Gardner gave him the recognition he deserved.


What is naturalistic intelligence?

The naturalist intelligence is linked to the understanding of human capability nature either by direct or indirect contact, using perceptual channels such as vision, touch and hearing, in order to classify the elements of the environment ; For its execution the right hemisphere is used and its contribution is generally to the development of science, however, it also contributes to the arts that involve aspects of nature.


Definition of naturalistic intelligence

It is the ability to perceive the environment to categorize its elements, recognizing their differences and the relationships that exist between them; with the aim of using that information to improve interaction with the environment.


Naturalistic intelligence is observed in a person capable of identifying flora and fauna, making important distinctions in nature, and properly employing their skills in biological sciences and other activities that involve manipulation and / or relationship with the environment.

It should be noted that all people are naturalists in essence, from the beginning of human development the exploration of the world occurs through the senses and throughout life, the analysis of the environment is carried out through sensory perception, active observation and reflection and questioning of perceptions.

Just as the development of this intelligence does not depend on direct contact with nature , nor is it due to the sense of vision, blind people can have a high naturalistic intelligence when using their senses of touch and hearing to know, classify and reach conclusions. about the world around them.


  • It is related to the right cerebral hemisphere .
  • When conceptualized, it has more to do with external elements than with mental processes.
  • Tendency to explore human and natural spaces.
  • Interest in observing, identifying, interacting with animals, plants or objects; as well as caring for them.
  • Make classifications of the elements that are known, according to their characteristics .
  • Identify members of different species.
  • Predilection for learning the life cycle of flora and / or fauna, also for the stages of production of objects created by humans .
  • Motivation to use microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, notebooks, or computers to analyze organisms or systems.
  • Children show their interest in discovering how things work, growth processes, exploring natural environments, taking care of species and classifying objects and determining patterns.

What is naturalistic intelligence for?

It allows identifying members of each species, recognizing the existence of other species and finding relationships between them.

It stimulates scientific thinking through the identification of cause – effect relationships and predicting events such as the consequences of the greenhouse effect on the planet.

It favors the application of the scientific method by involving the observation of the environment, describing it, comparing the data obtained, establishing characteristics, formulating and testing hypotheses and reaching conclusions.

His contribution to science is verified in disciplines such as biology , botany, zoology or entomology (these disciplines make exclusive use of naturalistic intelligence).

In everyday life , it is useful for anyone to recognize people, plants, animals and other aspects of the environment that surrounds them; even in artistic activities and spiritual practices, the perceptual abilities linked to this intelligence are necessary.

Types / Factors

 Naturalistic intelligence is made up of the following factors:


Necessary to know the environment that surrounds the person, it is an attentive and contemplative observation, in order to characterize the elements of the environment.

Identification of relationships

Necessary to establish cause – effect relationships between the elements that we observe in nature .

Hypothesis formulation

Based on the two previous factors, possible responses to the phenomena observed in the environment will be developed.


Recreation of the processes that we observe in the environment to know if the same effects can be reproduced or under what conditions the environment can be altered and / or improved.

Activities to develop naturalistic intelligence

Although the highest concentration of population is established in cities and there may be difficult access to natural spaces , it is not decisive to grow up in a natural environment to develop this type of intelligence ; Activities such as observing , classifying, and serializing can be done for artificial purposes.

The activities proposed for adults are:

  • Take blind walks to improve observation skills.
  • Identify objects only by touch.
  • Make drawings that almost exactly replicate reality, with the aim of improving attentive observation.
  • Make field notebooks to keep a record of the observations.

The activities proposed for children are:

  • Fill and collect naturalist-themed albums.
  • Caring for plants and animals at home.
  • Take family walks to the field, beach, jungle.
  • Stimulate the collection of snails, insects, rocks, etc.
  • Make visits to natural history museums .

The activities that can be carried out in the classroom are:

  • The teacher shows an image of the earth taken from space to show that the planet is a unique and interconnected system.
  • Create museums within the classroom, distributing roles to students as collectors, researchers and curators.
  • Create a collective garden.
  • Associate fruits and plants with the seasons of the year.
  • Experiment with water.
  • Take walks outside.
  • Encourage the use of field notebooks to record the items seen when guided visits abroad are made.

Professions associated with naturalistic intelligence

  • Biologist
  • Botanical
  • Zoologist
  • Entomologist
  • Paleontologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Chemical
  • Physical
  • Forestal engineer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Fisheries engineer
  • Agricultural engineer
  • Agronomist
  • Gardener
  • Farmer
  • Hunter


Naturalistic intelligence has allowed the development of the human being since the beginning of our era, because survival was subject to the identification of animals and other human groups based on the benefit or harm they could cause, the understanding of climatic conditions and their prediction, in addition to making better use of available food resources.

At present there are still discoveries of species that are now classified, in addition to this, naturalistic intelligence contributes to the conservation of the planet , taking into account the climatic changes that the earth is going through; also in the conservation and distribution of existing resources.


  • Scientist dedicated to discovering new species and classifying them.
  • People who enjoy contact with nature and its care.
  • People who like the care and protection of species (animals and plants).
  • Curator of natural history museums.

People with naturalistic intelligence

  • Charles Darwin
  • George Washington
  • Rachel Carson
  • Luther burbank
  • Jane goodall
  • Humboldt
  • Burle marx
  • Wallace
  • Antonio Raymondi

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