Multiple Intelligence Test

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While in conversation with my father across Christmas 2001, I became interested in a form of IQ measurement called Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. Ever since I took the Cattell Mensa test when I was 15, I was aware that traditional forms of IQ test were severely lacking and this multiple intelligences theory seemed to account a lot for that. Further experience at school and indeed especially when comparing students at Trinity College Dublin (one of the best world-wide) against those at Hull University (one of the better in the UK) showed me that often those whom I would call the most intelligent were often those who did most poorly academically.

It has always seemed to me that those who do best academically are usually primarily hard workers and actual intelligence comes third or fourth down the list of their qualities. Furthermore, many of those rated of high academic intelligence often have little or no originality in their thought ie; they cannot create effectively - just regurgitation. Because western educational systems reward this type of person, they themselves often end up as teachers which stifle their students often vastly more intelligent than they are - sometimes because of unconscious envy or simply because they do not understand. Those brilliant students, being told they are sub-par, often never realise better and they and society suffers as a result.

(Note: I have received some email saying that I should not lambast teachers and that they are all wonderful. This argument is the same as that regarding nurses - they are all underappreciated angels and never should be criticised. I should point out that my mother was a teacher, my father teaches teachers and so I think I know a little something more than usual regarding teaching. Up until twenty years ago or so, when teaching was still held in high regard by European society, you had an equal mix of good and bad teachers for a variety of reasons but as the position has declined in held regard combined with falling pay and stricter academic-based selection, the distribution of good and bad has become much more bunched together but with the important exception that there is less creativity in the average teacher nowadays because academia doesn't give much weight to creativity. Creative people tend to be good at putting themselves in good positions, actual ability is of less importance)

Interestingly, regulated capitalism primarily rewards creativity and hard work - which is why so many academics are useless in business. This leads easily to a schism between what business wants from graduates and what the university actually teaches them. This benefits no one in my opinion and if students took a more active role in questioning what they are taught and why, they would find their position improved immensely.

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To return to the matter at hand, essentially Gardner broke up IQ's into eight different areas:

  1. Linguistic

  2. Logical-Mathematical

  3. Visual-Spatial

  4. Musical

  5. Bodily-Kinesthetic

  6. Interpersonal

  7. Intrapersonal

  8. Naturalist

I'm not going to explain these right now - firstly, I'd suggest you take the test. Remember to think positively about your abilities - but try above all to be honest in your choices:

NOTE: Older versions of Netscape will probably return an error about MITest not being defined. This is actually a bug in Netscape and I suggest you either upgrade it or use Internet Explorer.

Linguistic

  Yes No
You enjoy word play. Making puns, tongue-twisters, limericks.
You read everything - books, magazines, newspapers, even product labels.
You can easily express yourself either orally or in writing, i.e. you’re a good story-teller or writer.
You pepper your conversation with frequent allusions to things you've read or heard.
You like to do crosswords, play Scrabble or have a go at other word puzzles.
People sometimes have to ask you to explain a word you’ve used.
In school you preferred subjects such as English, history and social studies.
You can hold your own in verbal arguments or debates.
You like to talk through problems, explain solutions, ask questions.
You can readily absorb information from the radio or audio cassettes.

Logical-Mathematical

  Yes No
You enjoy working with numbers and can do mental calculations.
You’re interested in new scientific advances.
You can easily balance your cheque book; do the household budget.
You like to put together a detailed itinerary for vacations or business trips.
You enjoy the challenge of brain teasers or other puzzles that require logical thinking.
You tend to find the logical flaws in things people say and do.
Maths and science were among your favourite subjects in school.
You can find specific examples to support a general point of view.
You take a systematic, step-by-step approach to problem-solving.
You need to categorise, group or quantify things to properly appreciate their relevance.

Visual-Spatial

  Yes No
You have an appreciation of the arts.
You tend to make a visual record of events with a camera or camcorder.
You find yourself doodling when taking notes or thinking through something.
You have no problem reading maps and navigating.
You enjoy visual games such as jigsaw puzzles and mazes.
You’re quite adept at taking things apart and putting them back together.
In school you liked lessons in art and preferred geometry to algebra.
You often make your point by providing a diagram or drawing.
You can visualize how things look from a different perspective.
You prefer reading material that is heavily illustrated.

Musical

  Yes No
You can play a musical instrument.
You can manage to sing on key.
Usually, you can remember a tune after hearing it just a couple of times.
You often listen to music at home and in your car.
You find yourself tapping in time to music.
You can identify different musical instruments.
Theme music or commercial jingles often pop into your head.
You can’t imagine life without music.
You often whistle or hum a tune.
You like a musical background when you’re working.

Bodily-Kinesthetic

  Yes No
You take part in a sport or regularly perform some kind of physical exercise.
You’re quite adept at ‘do-it-yourself.’
You like to think through problems while engaged in a physical pursuit such as walking or running.
You don’t mind getting up on the dance floor.
You like the most thrilling rides at the fun fair.
You need to physically handle something to fully understand it.
The most enjoyable classes in school were PE and any handicrafts lessons.
You use hand gestures or other kinds of body language to express yourself.
You like rough and tumble play with children.
You need to tackle a new learning experience ‘hands on’ rather than reading a manual or watching a video.

Interpersonal

  Yes No
You enjoy working with other people as part of a group or committee.
You take great pride in being a mentor to someone else.
People tend to come to you for advice.
You prefer team sports—such as basketball, softball, soccer, football—to individual sports such as swimming and running.
You like games involving other people—bridge, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit.
You’re a social butterfly. You would much prefer to be at a party rather than home alone watching television.
You have several very close personal friends.
You communicate well with people and can help resolve disputes.
You have no hesitation in taking the lead; showing other people how to get things done.
You talk over problems with others rather than trying to resolve them by yourself.

Intrapersonal

  Yes No
You keep a personal diary or log to record your innermost thoughts.
You often spend ‘quiet time’ reflecting on the important issues in your life.
You have set your own goals—you know where you’re going.
You are an independent thinker—you know your own mind, make up your own mind.
You have a private hobby or interest which you don’t really share with anyone else.
You like to go fishing by yourself or take a solitary hike. You’re happy with your own company.
Your idea of a good vacation is an isolated hilltop cabin rather than a five-star resort and lots of people.
You have a realistic idea of your own strengths and weaknesses.
You have attended self-improvement workshops or been through some kind of counselling to learn more about yourself.
You work for yourself—or have seriously contemplated ‘doing your own thing.’

Naturalist

  Yes No
You keep or like pets.
You can recognize and name many different types of trees, flowers and plants.
You have an interest in and good knowledge of how the body works—where the main internal organs are, for example, and you keep abreast on health issues.
You are conscious of tracks, nests and wildlife while on a walk and can ‘read’ weather signs.
You could envision yourself as a farmer or maybe you like to fish.
You are a keen gardener.
You have an understanding of, and interest in, the main global environmental issues.
You keep reasonably informed about developments in astronomy, the origins of the universe and the evolution of life.
You are interested in social issues, psychology and human motivations.
You consider that conservation of resources and achieving sustainable growth are two of the biggest issues of our times.

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