18 types of intelligence: visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, linguistic, …

Types of intelligence are the different abilities to solve problems. They are governed or regulated by specific regions of the brain.

The concept of multiple intelligences was developed by psychologist Howard Gardner as a series of biological and psychological potentialities and capabilities of the human being to process certain kinds of information in certain ways.

1. Visual-spatial intelligence

Spatial visual intelligence understands the potential for recognizing and manipulating patterns in space. We can achieve this in pilots, sculptors, architects and visual artists.

One way to measure visual-spatial intelligence is to allow the person to explore terrain and see if they can find the way out or put together a puzzle.

2. Logico-mathematical intelligence

Logico-mathematical intelligence surrounds the ability to analyze problems and perform mathematical operations logically. Examples of people with high levels of this intelligence are mathematicians, statisticians, and engineers.

3. Linguistic intelligence

Linguistic intelligence refers to sensitivity to spoken and written language, ease of learning languages, and the ability to use language to achieve goals. Examples of people with high language intelligence are lawyers, writers, and translators.

Linguistic intelligence is activated when we encounter the sound of language or when we wish to communicate verbally with others.

4. Musical intelligence

Musical intelligence involves the ability to compose and appreciate musical patterns. We use it when composing songs or other musical creations, playing instruments or appreciating the structure of a piece of music. This intelligence is highly developed in musicians, songwriters and singers.

5. Body-kinesthetic intelligence

Body or kinesthetic intelligence involves the potential to use the body or part of it (such as the hands or mouth) to solve problems. Dancers, actors and athletes have this kind of intelligence. It also occurs in people who do crafts or require handling such as surgeons and mechanics.

6. Interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence denotes a person’s ability to understand other people’s intentions, motivations, and desires and, as a result, to relate and work effectively with others. This intelligence is valued in sectors that interact with the public, such as salespeople, teachers, doctors, actors, and politicians.

Mahatma Gandhi and Nicholas Machiavelli are characters who showed a high degree of interpersonal intelligence.

7. Intrapersonal intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence involves lthe ability to understand oneself. We use it to know who we are: our strengths, weaknesses, and personal goals. Intrapersonal intelligence is often misunderstood as the development of self-esteem or the intelligence of introverts.

A tragic example of high intrapersonal intelligence is found in Anne Frank (1929-1945), who described in great detail her hopes, desires, and fears in her diary during World War II.

8. Naturalistic intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence is related to ability to categorize and recognize differences between organisms. A naturalist demonstrates knowledge in recognizing and classifying the many species in his environment. This intelligence is important for hunters, fishermen, farmers, meteorologists and biologists.

9. Spiritual-existential intelligence

This is the last of Gardner’s multiple intelligences, which is still controversial. It is the ability to position oneself in relation to the cosmos and existential issues of the human condition, such as the meaning of life and death, the final destiny of the physical and psychological worlds.

It also has to do with such profound experiences as love for another person or total immersion in a work of art. Mysticists, yogis, gurus and meditators are credited with a high degree of this intelligence. Examples of characters who manifested this kind of intelligence can be found in Buddha, Christ, and Confucius.

10. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence encompasses a set of abilities that allows the individual andinterpret and respond to one’s own and others’ emotional states, adapting agreed thoughts and behaviors. The concept of emotional intelligence was introduced by Daniel Goleman in 1995.

Among the brain centers involved in controlling emotional intelligence are:

  • right amygdala
  • right somatosensory cortex,
  • the island,
  • the anterior cingulate i
  • a portion in the prefrontal cortex.

Each of these centers controls reactions related to emotions and empathy.

11. Collective intelligence

Collective intelligence is the intelligence attributed to the systems of societies formed by relatively simple agents, such as ants, termites, and bees, capable of performing complex cognitive actions at the collective level.

Social insects reach a high level of complexity capable of making decisions about their internal states, available environmental resources, protection from damage, and food collection strategies.

12. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI (for the acronym in English) is defined as:

“The interdisciplinary approach to understanding, modeling, and replicating intelligence and other human cognitive processes through computational, mathematical, logical, and mechanical principles and devices.”

The goal of AI is to develop machines capable of performing tasks that require human intelligence. We have examples of AI in facial recognition systems, robots or androids.

13. Fluid intelligence

Fluid intelligence is defined as the ability to analyze and solve new problems without prior knowledge. Fluid intelligence is part of general intelligence according to Raymond Cattell (1943), and is a critical factor in solving logic problems, identifying patterns, and relationships.

14. Crystallized intelligence

Crystallized intelligence is the part of general intelligence that understands what has been learned. It is reflected in knowledge tests, general information and vocabulary.

15. Successful intelligence

The term “successful intelligence” was implemented by Robert J. Stenberg as:

“The ability to achieve our goals in life, according to our sociocultural context, capitalizing on strengths while correcting or compensating for weaknesses, to adapt, manipulate and select environments, through a combination of analytical skills, creative and practical “.

In this sense, intelligence is not what a test or test of intelligence measures and is different for each individual. For example, someone with a high IQ may be a failure in life.

16. Practical intelligence

Practical intelligence refers to knowing how to do things. For example, mechanics in their workshops who repair a car without the help of diagnostic methods, street vendors who do math without the need for calculators, or navigators from the Polynesian islands who cross the Pacific without the help of compasses or GPS. .

17. Social intelligence

Social intelligence refers to the ability to “get along well with others.” It is the intelligence that is demonstrated in the relationships with the people around us. They understand social sensitivity, social perception and communication. Individuals on the autism spectrum have difficulty behaving and maintaining social relationships effectively.

18. Cultural intelligence

The concept of cultural intelligence was introduced by PC Earley and S. Ang as the “ability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversityThis concept arises from the globalization we are experiencing in the 21st century, the increase in cultural interrelationships and the likelihood of misunderstandings, tensions and intercultural conflicts.

You may also be interested in:


  • Gardner, HE (1999) Intelligence reframed. Basic Books.
  • Solé, R. Amor, D., Duran-Nebreda, S. et al. (2016) Synthetic collective intelligence. BioSystems, 148, 47-61. DOI: 10.1016 / j.biosystems.2016.01.002
  • Stenberg, RJ, Kaufman, SB (editors) (2011) The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge University Press.
  • Wasserman, T, Wasserman, LD (2017) Touching the elephant: the search for fluid intelligence. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 6, 228-236. DOI: 10.1080 / 21622965.2017.1317489
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