The Components of MI

For something to qualify as an intelligence, it has to satisfy Howard Gardner’s eight “signs” of intelligence. After extensive research, Gardner identified eight, distinct intelligences. These are what comprise his theory of Multiple Intelligences:

SpencerWateringPlants People Smart (Interpersonal) learner -The ability to interact effectively with others. Sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations (e.g. negotiator). Your People Smart learner will always try to keep the peace and encourage cooperation. Sometimes called social intelligence.


Nature Smart (Naturalist) Student– The ability to make consequential distinctions in the world of nature as, for example, between one plant and another, or one cloud formation and another (e.g. taxonomist). Sometimes called nature intelligence.




Self Smart (Intrapersonal) learner –Sensitivity to one’s own feelings, goals, and anxieties, and the capacity to plan and act in light of one’s own traits. Intrapersonal intelligence is not particular to specific careers; rather, it is a goal for every individual in a complex modern society, where one has to make consequential decisions for oneself.  Sometimes called self intelligence.



Picture Smart (Visual Spatial) Student -The ability to conceptualize and manipulate large-scale spatial arrays (e.g. airplane pilot, sailor), or more local forms of space (e.g. architect, chess player).




Music Smart (Musical Rhythmic) Learner –  Sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody and timbre. May entail the ability to sing, play musical instruments, and/or compose music (e.g. musical conductor).




SpencerPlayingSoccerBody Smart (Bodily Kinesthetic) learner – The ability to use one’s whole body, or parts of the body (like the hands or the mouth), to solve problems or create products (e.g. dancer).




SpencerReadingaBookWord Smart (Verbal Linguistic) Student -Sensitivity to the meaning of words, the order among words, and the sound, rhythms, inflections, and meter of words (e.g. poet).Sometimes called language intelligence.




SpencerScienceExperimentLogic Smart (Logical Mathematical) Student -The capacity to conceptualize the logical relations among actions or symbols (e.g. mathematicians, scientists). Famed psychologist Jean Piaget believed he was studying the range of intelligences, but he was actually studying logical-mathematical intelligence.