Traditionally, intelligence was measured by short aptitude tests that measures competence in core subjects such as reading and mathematics. And to a large extent, intelligence is still defined by how well you do on aptitude tests. However Howard Gardner, an academician from Harvard University, thinks that being intelligent doesn’t mean that you can easily comprehend what you read or can easily solve an equation. That is why he presented the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which states that there are actually multiple types of intelligences, 9 to be exact.
In this theory, Gardner explains that there should be no single ability that defines intelligence. The hypothesis, as printed in his 1983 book ‘Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences,’ proposed that several criteria should be looked upon in order to predict the intelligence of a person. Whatever you excel in makes you intelligent in your own right. But if you are looking for more ways to improve your multiple smarts, then read on below to find out how you can do so:
This type of intelligence is defined as the ability to distinguish and classify animals, plants and other naturally-occurring objects in the environment. As such, individuals who are touted as ‘nature smart’ excel in applying scientific theories to real-life scenarios. Landscape architects, naturalists and scientists are said to be ‘nature smart.’ Do you want to become just like them? Then here are ways on how you can improve your Naturalist Intelligence:
1) Experience the great outdoors.
In order to be one with nature, you must expose yourself to nature. Break away from the comfortable confines of your home. Trek, hike and bike your way through forests and mountains. These exhilarating activities will help you improve your skills in categorizing and recognizing plants, animals, even rock formations!
2) Do gardening.
Bring out the green thumb in you by transforming your home’s vacant spaces into a plant sanctuary. It is one of the best ways to connect you with your primal state, according to James Jiller of Urban GreenWorks. By tending to your garden on a regular basis, you can boost your knowledge of the environment.
Accurate and abstract visualization is just one of the many skills possessed by ‘picture smart’ persons. With their exceptional ability in thinking in pictures, visually-spatially intelligent people can paint, construct and design objects with relative ease.
If you want to hone this kind of smartness – then make sure to do the following mental workouts:
1) Play Puzzles.
Yes, you can have fun while you hone your visual-spatial intelligence. In fact, the most entertaining way to hike your IQ by a few notches is to play puzzles. Games such as Rubik’s Cube, Jigsaw puzzles and spatial puzzles that require you to maneuver items inside your head will do wonders for your visual-spatial skills.
2) Play Chess.
Another enjoyable way to improve your ‘picture smarts’ is to play chess. It cannot be denied that this game has multitudes of brain benefits. Apart from boosting memory and enhancing problem-solving skills, chess improves one’s creativity – one of the most important aspects for visual-spatial intelligence. With enhanced creativity, you will be able to create and design items just like picture-smart architects and painters.
3) Utilize Google Earth and Google Maps often.
Apart from helping you find your way in an unfamiliar place, Google Earth and Google Maps applications can help you boost your visual-spatial intelligence. These programs, after all, help develop your sense of direction. One of the best things about these tools is that they can transform you into a navigational pro, even without the need for a map.
However, it is important that you do not use GPS navigation to navigate though as that will turn you into a mindless drone. Instead, use maps and learn how to navigate from place to place on your own, with the assistance of a navigation system. Research has been done on this topic and it shows that navigating the city without the use of GPS is how you would improve your visual-spatial skills.
Word smart people – or those who possess verbal-linguistic intelligence – feature exceptional verbal skills. They are highly-sensitive to meanings, sounds and rhythms of words. In essence, they possess great capacities in writing, reading, teaching and listening. If you want to be smart in the verbal-linguistic aspect, take heed of the following tips:
1) Keep a journal of things that fascinate or interest you.
Go through the things you find noteworthy – a unique news article or a famous celebrity, perhaps. Write all the thoughts that draw you to this appealing event/entity.
2) Write about a country or city you want to visit.
Are you dreaming of visiting Paris or living in the United Kingdom? What if you were given the chance to live out your fantasy? Talk about what you plan on doing, if ever you are given the opportunity to live a life different from the one you have right now.
3) Write a literary masterpiece.
It can be a story, poem, novel or even a play. Let your imagination fly and allow the words from your mind to trickle down to your journal. Show your write-up to your English teacher or Literature professor and ask for some feedback. What parts are exceptional? What sections need improvement? While you might not write down an award-winning novel on your first try, your dedication and hard work might help you pen down the next Harry Potter series.
Defined as the skill to think abstractly and conceptually, this intelligence is often seen in number smart people such as engineers, scientists and mathematicians. If you want to develop exceptional skills in logical and mathematical problem solving, then these brain exercises can definitely help you out:
1) Play card games.
Contrary to popular beliefs, you need not engage in a boring activity just to improve your logical smarts. One of the most entertaining ways for you to increase your number IQ is to play card games that stimulate your brain to perform mental math. Fun pastimes such as Crazy Eight, Go Fish and Gin Rummy are perfect for the young ones, while matured players will benefit a lot from the addicting game of Black Jack.
3) Break secret codes.
Take the role of Sherlock Holmes by playing detective with your friends. Let your friends create secret codes – or lift some from the web – and try to break them without the help of anybody. Once you get the hang of cracking codes, you will find it easier to solve logical and mathematical problems along the way.
4) Join a math club.
If you are really determined to improve your mathematical smarts, a knowledgeable and fun way to do so is to join a math club. While this might sound boring – it is not! Such a club allows you to learn in a supportive yet sociable environment. Learning with your colleagues and participating in events and competitions will give you the math IQ boost you are looking for.
Singers, composers and musicians usually possess this kind of intelligence. Such ‘musical smart’ persons can appreciate and produce perfect timbre, rhythm and pitch. Become the musical virtuoso you aspire to be by training your mental faculties with these methods:
You might think singing doesn’t like you, but it does not mean that you should not sing to your heart’s content! Sing whenever you can: in the shower, in the car, even in the office pantry during break time! While you might not be able to hit the high notes just like your favorite singers, singing constantly is a great way for you to perfect your music smarts.
2) Learn how to play an instrument.
This is perhaps the best thing you can do in order to hone your musical intelligence. Studying an instrument – no matter how simple or complicated it might be – enables you to learn the basic tones, rhythms and pitches. And as you improve your instrument-playing capacities, you will be able to demonstrate the music smarts that your idols possess.
3) Listen to different types of music.
Musical intelligence is not just about singing well and playing a plethora of instruments, it is about appreciating the beauty of music – no matter how peculiar or weird it might be. Hone your music smarts by lending an ear to different kinds of symphonies – from classic to pop, even from native to eclectic. By immersing your ears in multitudes of melodies, you will be able to distinguish the different tones that govern the world of music.
Netflix enthusiast, horrible speller, jiujitsu hobbyist, weekend drinker, and occasional poker player. Favorite quote is “[o]ut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”