What Is The Gardner Multiple Intelligence Test And How Is It Used?

By Nicola Kirkpatrick|Updated August 17, 2022

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All of us want to know how intelligent we are. Whether it’s for bragging rights, to get a good measure of our abilities, or to find the areas we need to improve, we may look for multiple intelligences tests that can measure just how smart we are. There are thousands of tests scattered across the internet that can give test scores that can determine intelligence. Some are scientific, while others are just for fun using word games or visual puzzles. One such test you can take is the Gardner Multiple Intelligence Test.

What Is The Gardner Multiple Intelligence Test?

Howard Gardner, a psychologist, first developed the theory of multiple intelligence in 1983. He first published this theory in his book Frames of Mind.

The theory says that intelligence isn't one single unit of measurement, but instead, multiple. For many, this makes sense. There aren't too many people who are masters of all subjects. Some may be math wizards but have never been good with the arts. Just because you're not good at one subject, it doesn't mean you're not intelligent.

Gardner proposed that everyone has eight types of intelligence. He and other psychologists even consider there to be more forms of intelligence out there.

Gardner's Intelligences

It should be noted that Gardner believes that just because you excel in one intelligence, it doesn't mean that you should focus on that intelligence alone, especially if you enjoy learning about other things. You should strive to improve your other forms of intelligence, but also focus on what makes you perform your best.

Gardner's definition of intelligence is a bit different. He believes that intelligence is the ability to process information or learn best and which you can then use to accomplish some activity. For instance, one who excels in science can make discoveries, while someone who is good with the arts can create a product everyone can enjoy.

Here are the forms of intelligence Gardner identified.

Musical

As you probably guessed, someone that has a high musical-harmonic intelligence type can compose music excellently and may have many musical accomplishments. This covers all forms of musical theory. A person high in musical intelligence may be able to sing, play instruments, read music, identify the key and mode in a song, or more. You probably know someone who excelled in band. That person probably has a high musical intelligence. Even if you just listen to music and can pick it apart, you may be good in this department as well.

Visual-Spatial

This intelligence deals with your ability to paint a picture in your mind. Those who are bestselling fiction authors may have great spatial judgment since they can paint a picture in their mind and translate it to paper very well. Also, inventors can see their invention in their mind's eye, and this helps them to develop it further.

Verbal-Linguistic

Those who have high verbal intelligence are great with words. Any writer will usually be high in verbal-linguistic intelligence. They know which words to use at the right time, and they can also memorize words too. Ever had a friend who never forgets what you've said? They may be good in the verbal-linguistic category. Pick your words wisely.

Logical-Mathematical

This intelligence involves more than just being good at math. Those who have high critical thinking, logic, and reasoning skills have a high logical-mathematical intelligence. Ever met someone who is good at debating and able to stay logical while experiencing intense emotions? They may be good in this category. In many ways, logic is quite like math. You'll need certain types of logic to solve different types of problems. It may not be long division, but in the end, life is all numbers.

Bodily-Kinesthetic

Those who have high levels of bodily intelligence are good at anything physical. They may enjoy team sports. The sports superstar would probably break the scale if they took Gardner's test. However, you don't have to be great at sports. If you're good at handling objects, great at dancing, or even good at acting, you probably have high bodily intelligence.

In fact, this intelligence overlaps with many other forms of intelligence. An artist who makes art with their hands has a bodily intelligence that's high. People high in musical intelligence may have a high bodily intelligence if they sing or play an instrument. From the bodybuilder to the police officer, these people know how to use their bodies well.

Interpersonal

These are the extroverts, the people who can work well in a group. If the following statements describes you, you may be have high interpersonal intelligence. They can read the moods and feelings of others, and they are the people persons we all know. However, you don't have to be extroverted to have a high interpersonal intelligence. If you're just good at discussing things, enjoy sharing your ideas, excel in group activities, and can learn to like people, you may be good at interpersonal intelligence. Public figures usually have a high rating when it comes to this particular intelligence. Teachers, salespeople, counselors, social workers, and anyone else who has to deal with people are also contenders.

Intrapersonal

If inter means between other people, intra means within yourself. Those who have high levels of intrapersonal intelligence are mindful and have high self-awareness. They can recognize their weaknesses, know how they're going to react to a situation, and reflect on their actions. Being self-aware is a lost art to some people, but if you have high intrapersonal intelligence, you can be self-correcting. This quality can help you excel in life. Mindfulness can also help you to live in the present and forget about all the past mistakes you have made.

Naturalistic

The first seven are Gardner's original intelligence, while the naturalist intelligence was proposed later on. Those who have high naturalist intelligence are good in any situation involving nature. If this statement describes you, you may have a naturalistic intelligence. This person may enjoy camping and spending time in nature. The hunter knows where to find their prey, is aware of the environment at all times, and excels at survival. The botanist can tell apart all the different plants and know how to classify all of them. The farmer knows how to reap a good harvest in the middle of changing conditions. Even someone such as a chef may be good in naturalist intelligence. If you're an environmentalist who is sensitive to how humans are changing the world around them, you may have high naturalist intelligence.

Gardner's Other Intelligences

Gardner is still alive, and to this day, he is still working on his theory. He is still considering adding new intelligences to his theory, but none have been officially included yet. He has considered an existential intelligence, where someone thrives on questioning the role humanity has and the purpose of life. Have you ever known someone who frequently wonders why we are here or where we go when we die? They may have a high existential intelligence. Gardner has also looked into teaching intelligence. This is where someone has a good ability to teach other people.

Taking the Gardner Multiple Intelligence Test

You probably want to know where you stack up in terms of all these intelligences. The odds are that you know which option applies to you. But sometimes, you may be surprised at what the test’s accurate results reveal about your strongest intelligence. For example, you may be closer to nature than you thought or have a good sense of self awareness.

If you look up the Gardner test, you can find various tests you can take. One of them you'll find is a quick one. The test at Edutopia is 24 questions, making it fast and easy, but maybe there are other tests with more accurate results. You can find many different kinds of tests that have double the questions and may take more effort. While they may take more time to complete, they may be more accurate, giving full results. Most of these tests are free to do.

Your results will be displayed, usually in percentages. You may be good in multiple areas, have none of one area, or be well-rounded in all categories. It all depends. Also, you may find yourself realizing that your intelligences are fluid. For example, you may be interested in the arts during one period of your life, and you may be interested in gardening in another. Your results represent a snapshot of a moment, not a referendum on your life.

Is It Reliable?

Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence indeed provides interesting insights. But in the scientific community, many of its suppositions have not yet been verified. Many scientists argue that the results can be unreliable, or that someone's skill set does not necessarily reflect their intelligence. As such, you should not use Gardner's intelligence test as the only way of measuring your intelligence. But it can provide one one out of many sources that give you insight into who you are.

Figuring out the measure of one's intelligence is difficult. Gardner's test can give you a good idea of what you excel in, or what you should improve on.

Overall, Gardner's theory is worth looking into if you enjoy learning about a multiple intelligences test. Despite many of its claims not being verifiable, the idea that everyone has at least one thing they're good in is true for the most part. Think about your peers. They all have at least one area of intelligence in which they excel. Your bumbling friend may be a good speaker. Your quiet friend may be good in the arts. And know that these theories can change with time. If you're interested, it's worth it to take the intelligence test today and see how you stack up in the end.

If, on the other hand, challenges with your personality or intelligence are causing you recurring issues, you may want to seek advice from an online mental health professional. Online counseling has revolutionized mental health treatment. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it provided psychologists a reliable means to continue reaching their patients. But beyond the coronavirus, many public health researchers see online counseling as a way to make the same treatments available to a wider community of people at more affordable rates.

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