How to Understand Different Types of Intelligence

From psychology, there is always a debate on what intelligence is. Think about the smartest person you know and what makes them smarter than the rest. Being referred or described as intelligent is probably one of the best compliments you can get. You are viewed to be a cut above the rest.

Generally, intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to somewhat tricky concepts. There are different types of intelligence, as we are going to see in this guide.

There are two general types of intelligence as described and explained by Cattell-Horn


Fluid intelligence

Fluid intelligence is the general ability to think abstractly, reason critically, identify patterns, and solve problems. It is something that is dependent on one’s native ability and not something that can be obtained through training or education, or even exposure to different environments. It is a type of intelligence used to answer puzzles, riddles, and also come up with strategies to solve particular problems.


Crystallized intelligence

This type of intelligence is the opposite of fluid intelligence. It involves having knowledge and skills that are obtained through education. While fluid intelligence normally remains the same through a person’s life, crystallized intelligence can increase. As you go to school, read books, and be exposed to different environments, your crystallized intelligence increases.


Other psychologists such as Gardner has explained and classified intelligence in different types.

Logical Intelligence

Logical intelligence is one of the most obvious gauges used in determining whether one is intelligent or not. It is based on one’s logical ability to solve mathematical problems. It is based on evaluating inductive and deductive reasoning and calculating the ability to evaluate if someone can think conceptually and abstractly.


Visual-spatial intelligence

Some people can view and visualize the world in three dimensions. Being able to think in 3D involves creating mental imagery, which is the capacity of a person to draw up in their mind an image or picture as a representation of the physical world. They can draw generalization from the limited information available. We also have spatial reasoning or the ability to think about objects in 3D despite having limited information. Then there is image manipulation which is the capacity to view an image and picture how it will look like when tweaked or altered.

Naturalist intelligence

This form of intelligence entails being able to read and understand nature and all the living things on it. Having sensitivity for all living and non-living things making up nature makes you nature smart. You develop high naturalist intelligence if you love nature and enjoy spending time outdoors and you can connect easily with animals.


Interpersonal intelligence

Your emotions also play a key role in your intelligence. There is what we call emotional intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence refers to the ability to sense other people’s feelings as well as reading their motives. You will have above average interpersonal skills if you possess good communication skills both verbal and nonverbal. It is the first thing to notice on a person with high interpersonal intelligence.


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