What is interpersonal intelligence? With Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, Its 9-Types, Importance, Development And Examples

We explain what interpersonal intelligence is according to the theory of Multiple Intelligences, its characteristics, types, importance and examples. Lets Read…what is interpersonal intelligence

What is interpersonal intelligence?

According to the Multiple Intelligences model proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983, personal intelligence is one that allows individuals to successfully manage their relationships with others . It involves quickly understanding your intentions, connecting with your desires, making distinctions and any other type of approach to social contact with other people.

Remember that Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences” distinguishes between the different types of analytical capacity of the human being . He explains his ability to face certain situations of everyday life with success and ease, putting into practice a set of biological, cultural, historical and personal factors. what is interpersonal intelligence

Thus, interpersonal intelligence distinguishes itself in its specific characteristics from other types of intelligence, such as linguistic-verbal, logical-mathematical, spatial or visual, musical, kinesthetic, naturalistic and intrapersonal. definition of interpersonal intelligence

Thus, interpersonal intelligence occurs strongly in certain types of people, such as those we usually find in leadership positions , in politics , in the role of teachers, therapists or even religious figures. what is interpersonal i ntelligence

See Also: What is interpersonal communication?

Characteristics of interpersonal Intelligence what is interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is not necessarily verbal , that is, it does not always require the use of the word, although this is the most effective and usual instrument of communication of human beings. It is a certain facility for understanding and understanding the inner world of others , which involves certain levels of empathy . definition of interpersonal intelligence

Must Read: What is emotional intelligence?

Recognize feelings of others, provide the appropriate response, lead groups or even discover hidden intentions, are part of the capabilities that this type of intelligence entails.

According to neurological studies in this regard, this type of intelligence resides in the frontal lobes of the brain . It often involves talents of our kind, which values ​​group cohesion, organization and solidarity, as a consequence of the need for group survival.

Individuals with this type of highly developed intelligence can guide others towards the identification and resolution of their problems , as well as towards efficient social decision making . what is interpersonal intelligence

It can serve you: What is emotional intelligence?

Interpersonal intelligence test

Do you want to know if you stand out for your intrapersonal intelligence? With this multiple intelligence test . With the result, you will be able to know which of the 8 intelligences, according to Howard Gardner’s theory , is your strong point:

  • Linguistic Intelligence
  • Logical Intelligence – Mathematics
  • Visual Intelligence – Spatial
  • Kinesthetic or Body-kinetic Intelligence
  • Musical intelligence
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Intrapersonal intelligence
  • Naturalistic Intelligence

Examples of interpersonal intelligence

Examples Of Interpersonal Intelligence: emotional intelligence political leadership
Interpersonal intelligence can be found in political leaders.

They are good examples of this type of intelligence:

  • The entrepreneurs , business leaders and other individuals who manage to inspire a group of workers to carry out an organized work together.
  • Social leaders, social workers, political actors and other people capable of serving as representatives of the will of others .
  • Psychologists, therapeutic assistants, counselors and individuals in positions that involve understanding the other’s deep dilemmas .definition of interpersonal intelligence
  • An example would be a person who in a company usually works in a group , each time made up of different people. According to the work objectives and the different profiles that make up the team, this person analyzes the needs of the team, the present roles and the necessary roles, based on this he adopts one or another role, for example stimulation, coordination, reconciliation, etc., to achieve more effective results. People with interpersonal intelligence do not always adopt the role of leader, as is erroneously believed, although they are able to assume it satisfactorily. These people are characterized more by their flexibility in terms of adopting roles as appropriate. what is interpersonal intelligence
  • Another example would be a person who, despite the fact that her friend does not explicitly tell her that she is sad, is able to read her emotions and act on them . For this reason, that day he will be more aware of her, he will not make jokes that may be tiresome and he will take care of her.

How to develop interpersonal intelligence what is interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is of vital importance for the construction and maintenance of social ties, as well as to function competently in society. Therefore, it is important to stimulate this intelligence on a day-to-day basis, but how to develop interpersonal intelligence? Here we explain a series of activities to develop interpersonal intelligence:definition of interpersonal intelligence

  • Listen actively: it is the first step to better understand people, listening does not only mean listening to the other person. It is an exercise of attention in which we listen to what the other person tells us and how, without judging, and creating a safe and trustworthy communication space. It is important not to interrupt, not to try to impose your own point of view or speak from our personal experience, “simply” you have to listen to what the other person wants to convey to us.
  • Make use of empathy: try to understand people when they are explaining something to you, put yourself in their shoes. This means that you try to understand their point of view taking into account the personality of the other person, their personal experiences and their way of thinking, without involving your personal characteristics. Make an effort to get away from yourself a bit and try to get closer to the other from their position and experience. To start practicing this exercise you can do it at the beginning with people close to your environment and who you know well, which will facilitate the understanding of their point of view given the previous knowledge you have about them. You will find more information in the following article: How to practice empathy in my life. what is interpersonal intelligence
  • Observe non-verbal language: do not pay attention only to what people say to you, also how they express it: the tone of voice, the gestures or movements, the emphasis, etc. The nonverbal language can help you feel the mood and emotions of the other person, which enables you to develop a behavior that fits the emotional state of another person in advance.
  • Gives and receives feedback: refers to the exchange of information on different events. This exchange of ideas and opinions without feeling or generating discomfort in the other person encourages the understanding of events and different points of view. For this reason, it is important to ask people for their opinion regularly, instead of taking it for granted and anticipating it, as well as being able to express your own in a healthy way.
  • Work in a team: cooperative activities are of great help to develop interpersonal intelligence. In them , conflict resolution , empathy, coordination and social skills are put into practice . By cooperating, the different work styles are observed and an attempt is made to generate a group dynamic that adapts to all the people who are part according to their characteristics and strengths. To do this, you can practice team sports or group activities.
  • Connect with a diversity of people: in the development of this intelligence it is important to relate to different people, to learn and know other points of view and expand our own. It is necessary to maintain a flexible and open attitude, of concern for the other person. It is important to maintain a learning disposition and value. Even if you don’t always have the best experiences with other people, a good exercise is to reflect on what you have learned from them.
  • Volunteer: it is important to leave your comfort zone and your usual circle for the development and learning of interpersonal skills. Volunteering will allow you to be aware and understand other needs different from yours that perhaps you had never considered, as well as it will test your skills in handling these situations. what is interpersonal intelligence
  • Read, watch movies: reading books and watching movies are very good exercises to understand the different points of view of the characters, their needs, their motivations, etc. They can help you understand the existence of other points of view and help in the practice of empathy with other people.
  • Perform theater: practicing theater is an excellent way to completely put yourself in the shoes of another character, and not only that, but to act and behave based on the emotions you feel in fiction, even though you do not identify with them. In addition, theater practice is carried out with more people so it also helps in the development of social skills

See also: What is psychology?

When we talk about intelligence we tend to think of the ability to solve problems, but intelligence has many nuances and interpersonal intelligence is an ability that some people have to treat others empathically. .

This type of intelligence was identified in the ” Theory of multiple intelligences” by the American psychologist Howard Gadner at Harvard University. Gadner, along with several collaborators, realized that academic intelligence (which refers to obtaining degrees and a good academic record) is not a decisive factor in assessing a person’s intelligence.

Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences what is interpersonal intelligence

Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of psychology and educational sciences at Harvard University, is the one who developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences, according to which intelligence is not something innate and fixed that dominates all the skills and abilities of resolution problems of the human being, but intelligence is located in different areas of the brain, interconnected with each other and that can also work individually , having the property of developing widely if they find an environment that offers the necessary conditions for it. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

How does Gardner define intelligence ?

Intelligence is the ability to solve life problems, generate new problems to solve, develop products, offer a service of value in a community or cultural context.

Gardner’s 9 intelligencesGardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

He identified 9 types of intelligence in human beings, each of which function quite independently (we do not have a single computer, but several computers):

  1. Linguistic-verbal 
  2. Mathematical logic
  3. Musical / rhythm
  4. Visual / spatial
  5. Body-kinetics
  6. Interpersonal
  7. Intrapersonal
  8. Naturalist
  9. Existential

Next, we will know each of the intelligences established by Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences:

  1. Linguistic intelligence: this type of intelligence consists of the ability that some people have to use words effectively orally or in writing. It can be seen in a more developed way in the great poets of history, editors, playwrights and journalists among others. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence
  2. Logical-mathematical intelligence: it is the ability that some people have to categorize, classify, deduce, generalize, calculate, using numbers efficiently and easily. They also have the ability to perform mathematical operations, analysis, and problem solving both logical and mathematical. This type of intelligence is present in mathematicians, statisticians, engineers and accountants, among others.
  3. Musical intelligence: It is the ability that allows us to create sounds, rhythms and melodies, in addition to perceiving, discriminating, transforming and expressing musical forms. It is present in composers, conductors, musicians, among others.
  4. Spatial intelligence: It is the ability to visualize and graphically represent visual or spatial ideas and have the facility to orient properly in a place. Likewise, it is the ability to create layouts, charts, diagrams, and build things. It is featured in pilots, architects, sculptors, painters, among others.
  5. Body-kinesthetic intelligence: it consists of mastering one’s own body to express ideas and feelings, and the ease of using the hands and being able to carry objects and / or elements. It manifests itself in athletes, dancers, surgeons and artisans, among others. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence
  6. Interpersonal intelligence: It is the ability to understand, empathize and relate effectively with others. In addition to having great facility to show facial expressions, expressing different types of gestures on each occasion and skill to modulate the voice. This intelligence is presented in teachers, actors, merchants and politicians, among others.
  7. Intrapersonal intelligence: this type of intelligence is manifested in reflective people, who have developed their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-discipline and are thus capable of directing their life. Present in philosophers and psychologists, among others. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence
  8. Naturalistic intelligence: it is the ability to understand the natural environment, as well as the ability to recognize, classify and use elements of the environment, both urban and rural. In addition to having great ability for scientific thinking. Present in ecologists, botanists among others.
  9. Existential intelligence: It involves an individual’s ability to use collective values and intuition to understand others and the world around them. People who excel in this intelligence typically are able to watch the big picture. Philosophers, theologians and life coaches are among those that Gardner sees as having high existential intelligence.

Gardner, on his last visit to Spain to receive the Prince of Asturias Award, told us that he is continuing to investigate and that he could identify up to 3-4 more intelligences. In his acceptance speech as Doctor Honoris Causa of the Camilo José Cela University, he spoke of at least one more: the Psychopedagogical intelligence of teachers and professors. Studies are showing that when young children have to teach something to others of different ages, some are able to adapt their speech and teaching method to the age of their audience, while others are not. It is probable that there is also a PSYCHOPEDAGOGICAL Intelligence. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Key points in the theory of multiple intelligences Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

To correctly interpret Gardner’s theory, it is important to take into account a number of premises: Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

  • Each person has the 9 intelligences.
  • Most people can develop each intelligence to an appropriate level of competence.
  • Intelligences would generally work together in complex ways and there would be many ways to be intelligent within each category. Where individuals would differ is in the intensity, the degree of these intelligences and in the ways in which they use them and combine them to carry out different tasks, to solve different problems and progress in different areas.
  • The level of development of each intelligence does not necessarily match that of the rest of the intelligences: different levels of maturity coexisting with each other.
  • Whenever possible, education must be individualized, “celebrate the differences”.definition of interpersonal intelligence
  • Anything that we think is important, that many people need to be taught, should be taught in many different ways, because people have different learning styles.based on their multiple intelligences. Although it may seem that this only applies to teachers, the same is true in the family. We have more visual children, who will better understand the rules and the why of things if we support our teachings visually; others are more logical-mathematical and will understand us better when we use logic in our arguments; others are more “emotional” (intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence) and when we bring out the impact of their behaviors on others and on themselves, they will be more receptive. Taking this into account can help us understand why sometimes it seems that some children understand us the first time and others do not. Let’s think about how we have transmitted the information and perhaps the key is there and we discover that doing it in another way, those who had not understood us,
  • During adolescence, intelligences are expressed through vocational careers and hobbies. Helping them to know themselves is an important task for parents and teachers in these years when they begin to have to make decisions regarding their future.definition of interpersonal intelligence

How do you learn to be smarter?

Intelligence is a capacity. One must discover what intelligence characterizes each human being in order to exploit, reinforce and assimilate it . And at the same time, you have to leave space for the rest of the potentialities to be developed that will allow you to better function in conflict resolution.

In the family, from the time our children are small, we must begin to enhance all intelligences. We will be checking in which of them each of our children is faster in learning, in acquiring skill and that will fill us with clues regarding their profile and should lead us to place special emphasis on enhancing those in which they handle with less ease, then, as we saw before, in a normal situation, all people can reach an adequate level in the 9 intelligences, as long as they are stimulated adequately and sufficiently. For this, parents must be aware of these mechanisms that Gardner himself indicated in his work when learning to be more intelligent:

There are 3 factors that determine whether or not intelligences develop:

  1. Biological endowment: including genetic or hereditary factors and damages or injuries that the brain may have received before, during or after birth.
  2. Personal life history: including experiences with parents, teachers, parents, friends, other people that help to grow intelligence or keep it at a low level of development.
  3. Cultural and historical background: including the time and place where one was born and raised, and the nature and status of cultural or historical developments in different domains.

Activators or deactivators of intelligence: crystallizing experiences or paralyzing experiences are two key processes in the development of intelligence. They are related to those situations that may have occurred at any moment in people’s lives, but that mark a skill in their development that they were unaware of possessing:

  • Crystallizing experiences: they are milestones in personal history, key to the development of talent and skills in people. These events often occur in early childhood. These experiences are what ignite the spark of an intelligence and initiate its development towards maturity.
  • Paralyzing experiences: experiences that block the development of intelligence, full of negative emotions, capable of slowing down the normal development of intelligences. Feelings of fear, shame, guilt, hatred, prevent grow intellectually.

Other environmental influences that also promote or retard the development of intelligence:

  • Access to resources or mentors: difficulty in developing a skill, due to the lack of acquisition of an object.For example, if a child’s family is very poor, they may never be able to access the possession of a violin, piano, etc., by doing musical intelligence is not likely to develop.
  • Historical-cultural factors: the context influences the development of certain intelligences. For example, in times when technical knowledge was prioritized, kinesthetic bodily intelligence probably developed more.
  • Geographical factors: the place where we have grown up also has a decisive influence, since it is not the same to have grown up in the countryside or in suburban places, suitable for the development of corporal-kinesthetic, spatial, musical intelligences, than to have grown up in an apartment building.
  • Family factors: the influence of our parents is especially important, due to the family influence exerted on the children. For example, a young man who wants to be an artist but whose parents want him to be a lawyer will be influenced to promote the development of his linguistic intelligence, to the detriment of the development of his spatial intelligence.
  • Situational factors: being an only child, or on the contrary if it is inserted in a large family, are factors that influence the development of certain intelligences. For example, if you had to help care for a large family growing up, and you now have a large family of your own, you may have had little time to develop in promising areas except that they were interpersonal in nature.

Knowing what type of intelligence each one possesses and promoting it correctly allows:

  • Minimize problems
  • Increase self esteem
  • Develop cooperation and leadership skills
  • Increase interest and dedication to learning
  • Increase knowledge
  • Keep humor in mind permanently.

Summary for the most visual

Throughout this section, we have been showing tubes of different colors representing each of the intelligences. If we put all these tubes together, we would get the following drawing:

  • We can represent the multiple intelligences of the person as tubes of different sizes (reflecting that we do not have the same development capacity in each of them due to our biological endowment).
  • Within each tube we reflect the level of development that is achieved throughout life. It shows how an intelligence for which one has a great capacity, if it is not stimulated, can reach a lower level of development than other intelligences for which it had a lower capacity but which has been more potentiated in its education.
  • Finally, a dotted line is shown to reflect Gardner’s principle according to which all people in normal situations can reach an adequate level of development in all intelligences, if they are adequately empowered.

Do you know yourself well enough to see which tubes you fill the most? Do you dare to fill in yours?

Basically, it starts from the idea that there is no single intelligence, but nine types of intelligences that are the following:

intrapersonal intelligence example

  • Linguistic intelligence . Ability to master the language.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence . Ability for logical reasoning.
  • Spatial intelligence . Ability to see the world from different perspectives.
  • Musical intelligence. It is linked to the interpretation and composition of music.
  • Bodily and kinesthetic intelligence . It is the one that refers to the body’s abilities to handle tools or express an emotion.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence . Ability to know oneself.
  • Interpersonal intelligence. Ability to understand others.

Difference Between Interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence

Both intelligences are part of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Both are of a social nature and are related to emotions. However, they encompass different capabilities and goals. What are the differences between interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence? The interpersonal intelligence refers to and social skills for interactions with other personas.En change, the intrapersonal intelligence refers to the capabilities and skills have to relate to yourself or same. Therefore, interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people and act consistently, while intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and listen to oneself, know one’s own weaknesses and strengths, and act accordingly. self-knowledge. Both intelligences are necessary and important for a quality and more satisfying emotional life.

You may be interested: What is the personality?

More intrapersonal intelligence example

Interpersonal intelligence has a large number of practical applications both in our day to day and in different specific situations. Next we will see some examples in which it is necessary to use it to finish clarifying this concept.

In a psychological therapy

One of the professions in which interpersonal intelligence is most necessary is in the field of psychological therapy. Professionals in this field have to be able to listen to their clients, extract the meaning of their messages without interfering with their own prejudices, and clearly communicate the steps they must take to improve their mental state.

In a class intrapersonal intelligence example

A good teacher also has to use interpersonal intelligence to get his students to achieve good results. During your classes, you need to put yourself in the shoes of each student to understand what their blocks are and develop personalized strategies for each of them, something impossible to achieve without this ability. what is interpersonal intelligence

In a couple intrapersonal intelligence example

The sphere of the couple is undoubtedly one of those that benefits the most from a good level of interpersonal intelligence. Living with another person in a harmonious way requires large doses of communication, empathy, conflict resolution skills and other skills that people with this ability acquire more easily.

The importance of the theory of multiple intelligences in ADHD

Gardner postulates that intelligence is not something unitary, but rather that the concept of “intelligence” groups together different specific capacities, that is, a set of multiple, distinct, differentiated and independent but interrelated intelligences. what is interpersonal intelligence

The Basic Principles of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences are:

  • Each person has 8 intelligences.
  • The 8 intelligences work together in complex ways.
  • Most people can develop each intelligence to an appropriate level of competence.
  • There are many ways to be smart within each category.

This model of cognitive functioning would imply that the same subject could present different levels and performances in different areas and that a person could be very skilled in a specific field if it is empowered and trained.

Gardner (1996) pointed out that the traditional school is focused on the development of grouped knowledge in the area of ​​language, phonological processing and logical-mathematical reasoning and it is forgotten that information can be instructed and processed through different channels such as: learning sensory, musical learning, modeling learning, learning based on social interaction, learning through sensory stimulus pathways, self-knowledge, etc. Therefore, those students with difficulties in the area of ​​language, literacy or logical-numerical reasoning would have more difficulties in achieving global learning through these traditional teaching methods.

At present, this perspective of multiple processes is appreciated as a sustainable pedagogical model of innovation within the new currents of educational psychology.

This pedagogical conceptualization helps students to reflect on their learning processes, to generate changes and to lose their fear of discovering new learning environments, which is a great boost in the school pedagogical approach of students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity  (ADHD) who present specific difficulties in the areas of language, the capacity for abstraction and mathematical reasoning (Crespo and Narbona, 2009).

Following this line, León Sánchez, S. (2012) investigated the difficulties that a group of children with ADHD of the three subtypes could show, in their multiple intelligences , with respect to a group of children who did not suffer from said disorder. It was found that although children with ADHD scored especially low in verbal linguistic intelligence   and mathematical intelligence , they showed instead, as strong points , the corporal-kinesthetic intelligence , the musical intelligence and the naturalistic intelligence , and that the children had a propensity towards learning and solving problems in a particular way based on their specific intelligences. what is interpersonal intelligence

As Thomas Armstrong says, in his book Multiple Intelligences: How to Discover and Stimulate Them in Your Children , “only to the extent that children are taught in the way they learn best and by the processing pathway that they have the most. Developed and empowered, taking advantage of their natural talents, learning will be more profitable, greater performance will be drawn to their attention and motivation and less effort will be involved in learning.

In addition to Armstrong, other authors defend this pedagogical approach, especially for students with ADHD. The future of school and of psychotherapeutic interventions with children who present learning difficulties or ADHD, must focus on the peculiarities of the student, assess the different specific and technical abilities that these children present, in order to to be able to compensate and strengthen cognitive difficulties through processing models according to their profiles, thus balancing the most problematic areas with those areas that they dominate and defend, being able to develop their innate capacities to the maximum and setting goals according to increasing their skills innate and making the most of their strengths, whether they are creativity, body expressiveness, music, what is interpersonal intelligence

If the child is allowed to focus on the strengths of their intellectual abilities, they are being motivated and offered possibilities to learn in the best way that children learn best and this is essential in children and adolescents with ADHD.

This article is merely informative, We do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

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