Intelligence can be defined in many different forms. Many theorists have not been able to lay out the concept of intelligence to an exact definition. However, this is not the case for certain theorist. According to Gardner, intelligence is "is a kind of substance, of "stuff", that different people have in different degrees, like cholesterol or blood sugar". Gardner was not the only theorist that has laid this concept out. Kowalski and Westen were also able to define intelligence in their textbook. According to them, intelligence refers to the application of cognitive skills and knowledge to learn, solves problems, and obtains ends that are valued by an individual or culture." They also believed that intelligence plays a major role in culture, in that, each culture has its own practices that help individuals like us recognize which intellectual qualities are socially accepted (Kowalski & Westen, 2009, p. 265). Although the many theories about intelligence are present, Gardner has the most effective and modern one. In the early 1980's, he introduced his theory of multiple intelligence where his goal was to break down the concept of intelligence.
Dr. Gardner has written many books about his multiple intelligence theory, however he placed more attention to one called "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences". In this book he tries to illustrate the fact that people posses eight different intelligences, saying that individuals have higher intelligences in some areas and lower intelligences in others. He believed that people can do better when the work that needs to be done is highly correlated to the area in where individuals posses the higher intelligence. The eight intelligences that Gardner states are displaced as the following: "musical, bodily/kinesthetic (which is how we control our body movements), spatial (the ability to create mental images), linguistic or verbal, logical/mathematical, naturalist, intrapersonal (being able to understand oneself), and interpersonal (ones behavior in social situations)" (Kowalski & Westen, 2009, p. 279).
Identifying the various types of Gardner's intelligences has helped me discover that the theory greatly affects my personal success. Not only is this true for my own success, but, many of these intelligences can impact everyone's daily lives. For me, the most important intelligences that have helped me succeed in the past are linguistic, logical/mathematical, and interpersonal. These intelligences that I posses, I would consider them to be my strengths. Being able to communicate well with others, being able to analyze and speculate ideas, and playing an authoritative role in certain situations all have played a major role in my ability to succeed. In the following analysis of intelligences, we will be talking about only three of these eight intelligences and how they can affect my personal success in life. Having these qualities has built a starting point in my life and it will continue to help me reach my long term goals as well as my short goals such as receiving my Bachelor's degree.
The first intelligence that is most important to me in my own success in life is the Linguistics. Linguistics can range anywhere from being able to use a language properly to complicated grammar. According to Gardner, linguistics also involves being aware of speaking and writing a language, being able to learn multiple languages, and the contents of the language and being able to apply them to real life situations so one can succeed. The linguistic approach also states that one should have the ability to speak effectively so that one can express him/herself. Language can also be used to remember certain information and use the information for future references. Public speakers, attorneys/law enforcement, authors, and other professional linguist, are according to Gardner, possessive of this type of intelligence at higher levels than others.
Mathematics and logical thinking go hand in hand, in that, both involve abstract thinking as well as being able to reason both inductively and deductively. People who posses this type of intelligence, like me, usually try to find logic in almost every task that needs to be completed. For example, if a professor shows me a math problem, I usually look at it a few times and review in my head what I have learned so far in how to go about solving the problem. In this case I am thinking in a logical way because logics, for me, are being able to break down large components to smaller ones so that one can complete a task easier. This intelligence also involves how much of a problem one can solve, being able to complete mathematical operations, and also examining results using scientific approaches. When Gardner talks about this particular type of intelligence, he states that one has the ability to see patterns and think in a logical manner. This type of intelligence is important in my personal success because it has helped me, and still does, in being able to pass a math or science class without having to struggle.
The last type of intelligence that plays a role in achieving my goals is intrapersonal. To me, having this intelligence is a privilege because I enjoy being able to work in groups and making new friends. When meeting new people being interpersonal helps me in identifying and understand others motives and purpose. It helps me as a student because it allows me to work effectively with other students during group papers or projects. It also helps me understand what the other person wants and what the key motivator that is keeping my group together. My personal belief about this particular intelligence is that it can avoid disputes among a group of individuals because they would be able to understand one another and in the job industry, especially these days, it is very important that one learns how to cope with other employees. People working in retail usually have a stronger interpersonal intelligence along with teachers and political figures.
My personal success is my key motivator. Personally my opinion about Gardner is that he was right about his theory of multiple intelligences because even though he stated each individual is different in what type of intelligences he/she possesses, he also stated that an individual's culture affects our intelligence. Growing up in a society where math and science was a big issue, my intelligence in those areas is much higher than it is in something like arts.