Myths and Tales about IQ: The theory of Multiple Intelligences

In our last posts, after covering IQ, we looked at EQ and why it’s largely pop-psychology, to say the least. But let’s tale this discussion a step further by talking about the theory of Multiple Intelligences.

You may have figured that this area, intelligence, IQ, cognitive ability and so on, is prime for manipulation and exploitation for profit. And that’s expected since people always want to feel better, different or even superior.

This time, we are going to briefly discuss the theory of multiple intelligences, by Howard Gardner, as he proposed in his book “Frame of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”.

Multiple Intelligences: The Magnificent Eight

Can you see a pattern? Another theory, another book, trying to debunk the rigid concept of IQ.

Anyway. Howard Gardner proposed the following eight different types of intelligence: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.

I am not gonna go into details about what each of these intelligence types describes, but they diverge from what IQ proposes. What this theory achieves? It’s simple. People who are not good at math nor good with words, h e six more types of intelligence they can, rest assured, “score high” at.

But that’s the problem…

Do You Even Exist, Bro?

You can’t “test” for other intelligence. Why? Because it’s intelligence. It’s one thing. If the theory of multiple intelligences was true and a high, let’s say, naturalistic intelligence was the same as having a high IQ, then answer me this (well-known empirical test):

Take two groups of people. One group of people has the ability to multiply two-digit numbers faster (in their head) than the average, a sign of high IQ (and has nothing to do with how good at math you are). The second group is very skilled athletes and according to Gardner, have high kinesthetic IQ.

Both groups belong to the same bracket of IQ. Since their IQ scores are roughly the same, the second group should be able to multiply two-digit numbers with the same ease. But statistically, that’s not true.

“OK, but it’s obvious that some people simply have an inherent ability in things that are not described by the g-factor (IQ)”

These things are described as “talents”! Yup, we already have a great terminology. Funnily enough, people with exceptional talents in an area, usually have above average IQ. Because IQ extends in almost every human endeavor, thus influencing every ability.

I know it’s hard to admit shortcomings and having weaknesses. But that’s no reason to invent different names and conflate concepts to justify them!

Let’s all take pride in hard work and perseverance. Hard Work trumps IQ.

About Giwrgos Kourakos

Giwrgos is currently a student at the University of Patras in Greece, majoring in mathematics. He has a degree in musical theory and about to take his degree in classical guitar. Giwrgos is also a journalist who writes news articles about current affairs, events and parties around the country. He loves to read books and hopes to write one some day. As a proud Greek, he also loves debates, conversations about politics, religion and so much more!

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