logical mathematical intelligenceIntelligence is defined in a variety of ways. The concept of intelligence encompasses the way many aspects of our mental processes happen, including our self-awareness, our level of understanding, our ability to think abstractly, our ability to learn new information, and our ability to interpret material that is presented to us. Intelligence involves problem solving, planning, memory, emotions, and much more. Due to intelligence’s broad definition, many different schools of though exist concerning human intelligence, each having developed theories about how intelligence is structured. Popular among these theories is the theory of multiple intelligences, one component of which is logical mathematical intelligence. Understanding multiple intelligences, including logical mathematical, can broaden your understanding of how you learn, think, solve problems, communicate, reason, and remember.

Multiple Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist from Pennsylvania. He wrote about his theory in a book titled, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” which was published in 1983. Gardner’s theory opposed the standard understanding of intelligence at the time, which claimed that varied kinds of intelligence were correlated with one another. Though the theory was met with some criticisms, including a claim that he was discussing abilities and aptitudes rather than intelligence, there are many people today who classify their intelligence according to Gardner’s structure. According to Gardner, not only do humans possess multiple types of intelligence, but these intelligences can be developed and function independently of each other. Before Gardner’s theory, intelligence was thought of in terms of a general mental capacity or ability, which differed from individual to individual. Gardner separated intelligence into more specific groups, which he called modalities.

After much research and consideration, Gardner came up with eight unique abilities that he considered independent intelligences. He classified an intelligence as a behavior that met certain criteria, including: the ability for the behavior to be isolated in the brain as a result of brain damage, the behavior’s place in the history of human evolution, a distinct progression of the development of the behavior, and the existence of people who excel at the type of behavior, such as prodigies and savants. His eight types of intelligence are: musical=rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and, of course, logical-mathematical. According to Gardner, each individual possesses a unique combination of these different intelligences in differing levels of strengths. The idea of multiple intelligences is not to label people as being a specific sort of intelligent, but rather to distinguish between the variety of ways in which we learn, and to distinguish how different people make use of different combinations of intelligences.

Musical-rhythmic intelligence is associated with a high sensitivity to the elements of music, including tones and rhythms. People who are musically inclined, such as singers and instrument players, are considered to have a highly developed musical intelligence. They are frequently gifted when it comes to pitch, rhythm, and tones, and they often learn best in an auditory way, as opposed to visual learners. Visual-spatial intelligence involves space relations and visualization. People with high visual-spatial intelligence are very skilled at visualizing ideas and concepts. These people tend to learn material more quickly and easily if it is presented to them in a visual context. Verbal-linguistic intelligence is associated with reading, speaking, learning languages, and writing. People who excel at reading, writing, and spoken language have a highly developed verbal-linguistic intelligence. They tend to prefer English, history, and language learning over subjects such as science and math. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is highly developed in people who have impressive control over their physical movements, and can handle physical objects without much difficulty. Athletes, dancers, and others who excel with physical activity are said to have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence; an identifying characteristic of these people is great hand-eye coordination. Interpersonal intelligence refers to a high sensitivity to the moods and feelings of other people with whom one interacts. Empathetic people have highly developed interpersonal intelligence; it does not take much effort to be in tune with other people. Intrapersonal intelligence involves introspection and the ability to reflect upon one’s own motivations and emotions. Those who are in touch with their own feelings have highly developed intrapersonal intelligence. Naturalistic intelligence involves the relationship with natural surroundings. People with highly developed naturalistic intelligence are often nature lovers, and have a deep understanding of how humans relate to the ecosystem and the world in general. Farmers, botanists, and chefs often have impressive naturalistic intelligence.

Logical Mathematical Intelligence

Logical mathematical intelligence is related to reasoning, calculations, logic, critical thinking, and abstract thinking, all of which are related to the complexity of mathematics. People with highly developed logical mathematically intelligence are able to understand systems and patterns, can rely on abstract thinking to solve problems, and can make logical and practical decisions more easily than most people.

Someone who enjoys and excels in science and mathematic classes in school most likely has a highly evolved logical-mathematical intelligence. Similarly, people with careers in science, mathematics, engineering, accounting, and computer technology are people who possess strong logical-mathematical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is highly developed for you if you like to solve problems, if you tend approach conflicts and issues in a logical and reasonable way, if you like to experiment, if you’re good with numbers, if you can easily recognize patterns, and if you are good at thinking about things in an abstract manner. Logical-mathematical learners tend to classify information they encounter into groups or sub-groups. In a similar sense, they like to follow specific or orderly procedures and sets of rules in order to accomplish a task. Making lists and searching for exact amounts when it comes to quantity or time are common things for a logical-mathematical learner to do.

Depending on which intelligence is your strongest, different learning methods are likely more effective for you. Due to these characteristics of logically and mathematically minded people, certain learning and studying techniques are more effective if they incorporate logic and order. For example, while studying or preparing something that needs to be memorized, making lists of key concepts or important aspects to remember is a very effective way for these learners to commit the material to memory. Additionally, searching for links and connections between different portions of the material will make it easier to understand for these learners; creating patterns is always a good idea if your brain tends to search for patterns and identify them easily. These techniques are particularly helpful when studying or learning material that doesn’t involve mathematics or sciences; these topics can be more difficult to grasp and understand for logical mathematical learners.

Your Intelligence

Learning more about multiple intelligences, particularly logical mathematical intelligence, can help you understand yourself in an important way. Everyone possesses a different blend of the multiple components of intelligence, and being familiar with your strengths and weaknesses can impact the way you learn and the way you handle the world, both academically and in your daily life. Your particular blend of intelligence can tell you a lot about your interests, which subjects trouble you, which subjects seem easy to you, and can give you insight into the way you learn best. Interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence differences, though not as much related to formal education, can tell you a lot about your relationships with other people, as well as your relationship with yourself. Studying the concept of intelligence can be rewarding and fascinating, and may even change the way you go about learning and communicating in the future.

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