The Gardner Multiple Intelligence Test (GMIT) was developed from a theory by psychologist Howard Gardner. Essentially, Gardner’s theory found that intelligence is made of multiple areas and can be measured in more than one way. Some people are naturally inclined to the sciences and others towards the arts. Some people are said to be “book smart” and others are said to be “street smart.” People naturally delineate intelligence into certain categories. Even if a person is more prone to one area of intelligence, Gardner believed it was important for individuals to work towards improving other aspects of intelligence. He described eight categories of intelligence:
Verbal. Intelligence is focused more on linguistics. People are able to write and speak well. They remember words, including what people say, with ease. They have a way with words and know which words to use at the appropriate times.
Logical. While mathematics is a strong component of this type of intelligence, it also includes those who are high in critical thinking abilities. Individuals are driven by logic and reason. Utilizing these abilities, they can be good at solving problems.
Bodily. It involves the kinesthetic ability of a person. It includes an individual’s skill in physical activity or body movement. Those who have success in sports may have high bodily intelligence. However, it can also include those who are skilled with certain tools like a painter, musician, or woodworker.
Visual. These individuals are very spatially aware. They have the ability to remember images and are able to paint a picture in their mind. A designer or architect can illustrate a person who has a picture in their mind of what they want to create and then actually bring it to life.
Interpersonal. It involves the skill of communicating with people. Individuals not only enjoy being around people, but they are also able to read the feelings and moods of others. People high in this intelligence are typically conversational and connect well with others.
Intrapersonal. Intelligence involves a person’s ability to look within themselves. Individuals have high self-awareness and mindfulness. They are in tune with what they think and how they feel. They tend to spend time reflecting on their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Musical. These individuals might have a “good ear” in terms of music. They have the ability to read music, play an instrument, write music, or sing extremely well. People who play an instrument or sing in a choir are some examples of those who might have higher musical intelligence.
Naturalistic. Those high in this type of intelligence have a natural connection to nature. They have a stronger inclination to understanding the natural world around them. It can include someone who is skilled in hunting, knows what plants can be used for medicinal purposes, or can predict weather patterns based on the environment.
These eight categories can provide useful
insight into a person’s intelligence. It can illustrate strengths and areas for
growth. A test like the GMIT can help people know where their strengths lie and
utilize them more. If someone has high interpersonal intelligence, they may
seek a career field that allows them to use their strengths. In terms of areas
for growth, Gardner would encourage people to not necessarily see them as
stagnant weaknesses. He would encourage people to find ways to improve the
other areas of intelligence, working towards well-roundedness. Like many
assessments, the Gardner Multiple Intelligence Test can provide helpful insight
in understanding someone on a deeper level.
Michelle Overman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working as a counselor for students, faculty, and staff at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She works with athletes, bridging the gap between athletics and mental health at ACU. She is becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant in sports psychology. Michelle ran her own private practice in Austin, Texas where she worked with a diverse population, including couples and families. Michelle earned a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and has been working in the field for 6 years.