YOU’RE A NATURAL-BUT AT WHAT?
For centuries, psychologists and educators have been trying to measure intelligence by the typical IQ test. If you read and write well and are logical, you are a genius. If you do poorly in linguistics and logics, you are an imbecile. Only over the past couple of decades have theories emerged showing that intelligence should be based on your natural abilities and not on the score of a typical IQ test (which measures only two types of intelligences: Linguistics and logics.)
One theory that arose is the theory of Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking. Under the Right Brain/Left Brain Theory, we were told that our left hemispheres controlled our analytical, logical, linear and verbal abilities, while our right hemispheres controlled our creative, spatial, and musical abilities. While there is some truth to this, today we now know that both sides of the brain interact with each other in a very complex way where we cannot measure our abilities by saying that we tend to be a right brain learner or a left brain learner.
Another theory that has surpassed the now outdated theory of Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking is the theory of Multiple Intelligences. This theory is sweeping the country today – with tremendous empirical support. Multiple Intelligences was first described by Howard Gardner in his book Frames of Mind and has been more narrowly discussed by Gardner, Thomas Armstrong and many others in subsequent works.
The theory of Multiple Intelligences states that people have at least seven intelligences (or natural abilities) worth measuring:
Linguistic Intelligence (the knack for words)
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (the knack for logic or numbers)
Spatial Intelligence (the ability to think in pictures)
Musical Intelligence (the ability to pick up rhythm and rhyme easily)
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (the art of being graceful with yourself or in handling objects)
Interpersonal Intelligence (the art of understanding others and being understood by them)
Intrapersonal Intelligence (the art of accessing your own feelings to guide you)
You may have the natural ability to do well as an athlete, artist, or musician, or you may find that you’d make a better surgeon, lawyer or architect. This assessment is designed to help you determine where your natural abilities lie. It could save your pursuit of a career as a navy pilot when you would have been better suited for a career as a counselor. Thus, it can assist in improving your overall success of your life as well as your happiness.
Before you complete the following exercises keep in mind that you may be good in areas where your natural abilities are not reflected. This is because you have learned by cognitive ways to be good in those areas. This assessment will not deny that you can learn anything. Rather, it will indicate where you have strong natural ability toward certain intelligences and where you can perform in that area naturally.
With that in mind, let’s get started. All you have to do is answer “yes” for each question asked or statement made that you agree with and “no” if you disagree.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: THE 7 NATURAL ABILITIES.
When you have finished answering all questions, go back to the seven areas of intelligence, starting with the linguistics intelligence assessment. Add up the marks in the “yes” column, placing the total where designated below. Then, add up the marks in the “no” columns, placing the totals where designated below. Then go to the logistics-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal assessments and follow the same directions.
Now, look at your completed scores in all seven categories. High numbers of yes’s in any category indicates that you may have the natural ability of intelligence in that category. Whatever your scores are, you can benefit from reading tips on how to learn in your natural ways.
LEARNING WITH YOUR NATURAL ABILITIES.
Now that you know where your natural abilities lie, you can determine how to go about learning so you can use what comes easy to you to your advantage. The following will provide a general rule of thumb.
Linguistic Intelligence. Those with linguistic natural abilities learn best by seeing, hearing and working with words. They read a lot, enjoy the spoken word and have developed their auditory skills both by using and listening to the spoken word. They enjoy bookstores and libraries and would do well in the occupations of writers, secretaries, editors, social scientists, humanities, teachers, and politicians.
Logic-Mathematical Intelligence. Those with logical-mathematical natural abilities learn best by thinking critically or conceptualizing. They ask a lot of questions, analyze everything according to logical principles, and love strategic games like chess and brainteasers. They would enjoy being a scientist, engineer, computer programmer, lawyer or accountant.
Spatial Intelligence. Those with spatial natural abilities learn best by visualizing or thinking in pictures. They love colors and easily draw, sketch or doodle. They may be inventors of machines, contraptions or any thing else that they can build or design. They would enjoy an occupation as an architect, artist, engineer, mechanic, construction worker, or builder.
Musical Intelligence. Those with musical natural abilities learn best through auditory means or through musical adaptations of things. They may sing, hum, tap or whistle to themselves or out loud. They may even enjoy learning when background music is on. They enjoy playing musical instruments and of course would love an occupation involving music, like being a singer, songwriter, music teacher, composer or a clerk in a music store.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence. Those with bodily-kinesthetic natural abilities learn best by doing or with a hands-on approach. They excel at motor activities, enjoy fixing things, may communicate with gestures and generally, listen to their “gut” feelings. They are great imitators and cam mimic almost anything about you from your best to your worst attributes. They would enjoy being an actor, dancer, or comedian.
Interpersonal Intelligence. Those with interpersonal natural abilities learn best when relating to and working with others. They are socialites who know everyone and what’s going on in everyone’s life. They are generally dynamic and thus, would make a good leader. They would enjoy an occupation as a counselor, teacher or community organizer.
Intrapersonal Intelligence. Those with intrapersonal natural abilities learn best when left alone to think about their innermost thoughts. They learn by relating to their personal feelings or experiences and may be intuitive and have almost a psychic nature about them. They would enjoy being a writer, entrepreneur, or other occupation where they can use their natural creativity.
A STORY TO ILLUSTRATE.
If you are stuck on an island without a pen, paper or other mode of writing down a Morse code, but must remember the code overnight in order to flag down a vessel that will pass by in the morning, you would best remember the code:
|If your linguistic intelligence is high
||repeat the code out loud or create a story with the code;
|If your logic-mathematical intelligence is high
||look for abstract patterns in the code and break it down;
|If your spatial intelligence is high
||visualize the code in your head;
|If your musical intelligence is high
||sing the code to a known tune or make up a tune out of it;
|If your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is high
||turn the code into an obstacle course with sea materials;
|If your interpersonal intelligence is high
||pretend that a friend is testing you on the code;
|If your intrapersonal intelligence is high
||become immersed in you solitude and think about the code.
SPOTTING YOU WEAKEST INTELLIGENCE.
You can determine which areas are more difficult for you. The following will provide a general rule of thumb.
Linguistic Intelligence. Those with low linguistic natural abilities may have trouble comprehending what they read or may find it difficult in saying or writing what they mean. They may mispronounce more words than they care to admit and often have a hard time choosing the right word.
Logic-Mathematical Intelligence. Those with low logical-mathematical natural abilities may have trouble balancing their checkbooks or may choose not to balance it because it takes too much of their time. They may have trouble reading financial statements no matter how hard they try and they may avoid business, economic or financial sections of the newspaper.
Spatial Intelligence. Those with low spatial natural abilities have a difficult time visualizing things. They have trouble drawing even the simplest of shapes and usually draw in stick figures. They may be color-blind and are the ones who will become lost in a new city or part of town despite excellent directions.
Musical Intelligence. Those with low musical natural abilities have a difficult time carrying a tune and do not know when a melody moves higher or lower on the scale. They cannot hear when a wrong note is being played and probably do not know a lot of songs.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence. Those with low bodily-kinesthetic natural abilities are clumsy and may be uncoordinated in sports. They have difficulty learning anything that takes a lot of coordination like dancing and have a hard time doing something that requires fine-motor coordination, like crafts.
Interpersonal Intelligence. Those with low interpersonal natural abilities may go through life as being shy, misunderstood, or generally unaware of what is going on around them. They may have a hard time empathizing with others and may even feel hostile toward or defensive of others.
Intrapersonal Intelligence. Those with Low intrapersonal natural abilities may have a low opinion of themselves and may not know where they are going in life. They dislike being alone and may even be afraid of being abandoned.
TIPS ON DEVELOPING YOUR NATURAL ABILITIES AS WELL AS IMPROVING YOUR WEAKEST INTELLIGENCES. Regardless of whether things come natural or you have to learn how to do certain things, you can improve yourself in any situation. The following are some suggestions.
Linguistic Intelligence. Pay attention to words and how others use them; play word games; look up words that you come across that you don’t already know; write them down and keep a running list of those words and their meanings and look them up at least once per day for a week; read stories to your children; pick up the newspaper, magazine or a book on your favorite topics; record yourself and listen to how you sound.
Logic-Mathematical Intelligence. Play with logic puzzles and brainteasers; visit a science center, planetarium, aquarium or other science center; purchase a telescope or microscope and try experimenting with it; try to figure in your head how much to tip a waiter, bellman, doorman, hair stylist or anyone else who works on tips; try to calculate simple math numbers in your head; read the business section of you newspaper; keep a calculator handy and use it to determine difficult math problems.
Spatial Intelligence. Take a map with you and try following it as you travel to know places; create objects, designs, and drawings by using a graphics software program on your computer; try your hand at drawing, sketching, photography, or some other way of creating something visual; teach yourself how to use a flow chart; study optical illusions until you can see their optic effect; develop your own visual way of taking notes.
Musical Intelligence. Try to guess the name of a song as soon as you hear it; listen to music as much as you can; try listening to different types of music, learn to play a musical instrument and if you know how to play one try learning another; sing in the car or in the shower; teach yourself how to read music; create your own lyrics and melodies; read about famous composers and performers.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence. Play video games or take formal dance, ballet or martial arts lessons; join a sports team like softball or basketball; learn golf, tennis, gymnastics or yoga; take up aerobics or weight training; try typing or learning to play a musical instrument; take up massage and engage in activities that put you in touch with your body.
Interpersonal Intelligence. Plan to introduce yourself to one new person a week and stick to your plan; attend a party where you do not know most of the people; invite new acquaintances or new friends to lunch or to a social event; communicate with others over the internet; join a club or take a class in something that you enjoy; in public places watch how people interact with each other; study the lives of well known politicians or philanthropists.
Intrapersonal Intelligence. Take up yoga or learn to meditate; get involved in a project; listen to motivation or inspirational tapes; take a class in starting your own business; read books on developing your self-esteem, look at yourself in the mirror when you are happy and remember how your looked; do the same when you are angry or sad; set goals for yourself, write them down and look back to see if you have followed through on them.
You can actualize your abilities and develop to your truest potential. All you have to do is:
- unblock your potential and say you can when you think you can’t;
- expose yourself to experiences that will help you learn your true abilities; and
- commit to learning to be the best tat you are capable of becoming.