Friday, January 25, 2013

On Multiple Intelligences

From my weekly comments for Honors Colloquium:
“If I know you're very good in music, I can predict with just about zero accuracy whether you're going to be good or bad in other things.” –Howard Gardner

This week, we touched upon Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Howard Gardner was a developmental psychologist who proposed that we differentiate intelligence by modalities, rather than by primarily linguistic standards. This idea was very interesting to me, and I took several Multiple Intelligence quizzes to see how I fared.

I completed three different versions of the Multiple Intelligence assessment and came up with different answers every time. (See the chart for my results.) In theory, the assessment should identify one to three categories in which I would be the strongest; where my talents would lie, essentially. In practice, no category was a clear ‘winner’, nor was there a single ‘loser’ category. I’m either pretty alright at everything, or this theory needs some work.

While his theory is very interesting, it doesn’t seem like it has very solid criteria. One of the problems that jumped out at me, aside from my mixed results, is that, based on my understanding of the brain, logical thought and mathematical thought shouldn’t be paired. Although the fact that they are paired might serve to explain the contradictory scores that I received in that category. In the end, this theory was interesting an worthwhile to read about, right alongside phrenology.

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