How to Identify Different Types of Intelligence

How to Identify Different Types of Intelligence


In psychology, intelligence is one of the most discussed concepts despite the lack of a consensus definition. Some scholars think intellect is a singular, all-encompassing skill. According to other conceptions of intelligence, intelligence is made up of a variety of aptitudes, skills, and talents.

Scholars disagree on what constitutes intelligence and whether it is even possible to test intelligence accurately, even though the topic is of great interest to many.

Although modern definitions of intelligence differ significantly, experts generally agree that intelligence includes mental talents such as logic, reasoning, problem-solving, and planning. According to contemporary definitions, intelligence, for instance, is the capacity for:

  • Learn from experience: Knowledge acquisition, retention, and application are critical components of intelligence.
  • Recognize difficulties: To apply knowledge, people must first identify the problems that it may answer.
  • Solve difficulties: People must then apply what they have learned to solve challenges.

Intelligence research is important in many areas, including educational program funding, job candidate screening, and testing to identify youngsters who need more academic aid.

Given the significant interest in the concept of intelligence, some of the field's most brilliant minds have investigated it from a variety of perspectives. The following are some of the key intelligence hypotheses that have arisen in the last 100 years.  

Major Types of Intelligence Theories

General Intelligence

The concept of general intelligence, or the "g factor," was described by British psychologist Charles Spearman (1863-1945). Spearman discovered that scores on mental aptitude tests were very similar after applying factor analysis to analyze them.

People who did well on one cognitive test tended to do well on others, while those who did poorly on one test tended to do poorly on others. He concluded that intelligence is a broad cognitive skill that researchers can quantify and describe statistically.

Primary Mental Abilities

Rather than a single, generic skill, psychologist Louis L. Thurstone (1887-1955) concentrated on seven fundamental mental capacities. These are:

  • Associative memory is the ability to memorize and recall information.

  • Numerical ability is the capacity to solve mathematical issues.

  • Perceptual speed is the ability to distinguish between differences and similarities between items.

  • Reasoning is the ability to discover rules.

  • Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize relationships spatially.

  • The ability to define and comprehend words is referred to as verbal comprehension.

  • Word fluency is defined as the ability to form words quickly.

Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner's theory of many intelligences is one of the more contemporary concepts concerning intelligence. He claimed that typical IQ testing does not fully and accurately portray a person's skills. He hypothesized eight separate intelligences based on culturally valued talents and abilities:

  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: The capacity to control one's body movements and manipulate objects deftly.

  • The capacity for self-awareness and awareness of one's own emotions, values, beliefs, and mental processes is known as intrapersonal intelligence.

  • The term "logical-mathematical intelligence" describes the capacity for abstract, intellectual thought as well as the recognition of numerical or logical patterns.

  • The ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch, and timbre is known as musical intelligence.

  • Naturalistic intelligence is the ability to recognize and classify animals, plants, and other natural items.

  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence refers to well-developed verbal skills as well as sensitivity to word sounds, meanings, and rhythms.

  • Visual-spatial intelligence is the ability to conceive in terms of visuals and to visualize them accurately and abstractly.

The Triarchic Approach

Psychologist Robert Sternberg described intelligence as "purposeful adaptation to, selection of, and structuring of real-world situations important to one's life."

Although he agreed with Gardner that intelligence is much more than a single, generic skill, he maintained that certain of Gardner's forms of intelligence should be seen as individual gifts. Sternberg proposed the concept of "successful intelligence," which entails three components:

  • Analytical intelligence is the capacity to analyze data and solve problems.

  • The ability to generate fresh ideas is referred to as creative intelligence.

  • Practical intelligence is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Fluid vs. Crystallized Intelligence

Raymon Cattell and his pupil John Horn developed the hypothesis of fluid vs. crystallized intelligence. The capacity to tackle new problems without relying on previous expertise is referred to as fluid intelligence.

According to the notion, as people age, their fluid intelligence drops. Crystallized intellect, on the other hand, grows with age because it is founded on facts and experiences.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a person's capacity to regulate their emotions and use their emotions to relate to others. Strong self-awareness, empathy, embracing change, and regulating emotions in tough situations are all indicators of emotional intelligence. 

Despite much debate, no one definition of intelligence has developed in the discipline of psychology. When discussing intelligence today, Counseling psychologists or Online counselor frequently account for the various theoretical perspectives and emphasize that the discussion is ongoing. Take advice from the Best psychologist delhi or search for the best psychologist near me.

Additionally, you may schedule an appointment with the top professional psychologists and receive Mental health counseling at the Psychowellness Centre, which has many locations in Delhi NCR, NOIDA, Faridabad, Janakpuri, Dwarka, and Vasant Vihar.

Contribution: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologist, life coach & mentor TalktoAngel & Ms. Aditi Bhardwaj, Psychologist.