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Multiple Intelligence Theory

As human beings, we all have a repertoire of skills for solving different kinds of problems. Human cognitive competence is a set of abilities, talents or mental skills, which can be called as "intelligence". All normal individuals possess each of these skills to some extent; individuals differ in the degree of skill and in the nature of their combination. Multiple intelligence theory suggests a pluralistic view of the mind, which recognizes many different and discrete facets of cognition, acknowledging that people have different cognitive strengths and contrasting cognitive styles.

The seven intelligences:

Certain parts of the brain play important roles in perception and production of music. These areas are characteristically located in the right hemisphere, although musical skill is not as clearly "localized", or located in a specifiable area, as language. Although the particular susceptibility of musical ability to brain damage depends upon the degree of training and other individual differences, there is a clear evidence for "amusia" or loss of musical ability.

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to solve problems or to fashion products using one's whole body, or parts of the body. Dancers, athletes, surgeons and craftspeople all exhibit highly developed bodily - kinesthetic intelligence. Control of bodily movement is, of course, localized in the motor cortex, with each hemisphere dominant or controlling bodily movements on the contra-lateral side. In right handers, the dominance for such movement is ordinarily in the left hemisphere. The ability to perform movements when directed to do so can be impaired even in individuals
who can perform the same movements reflexively or on a non voluntary basis. The existence of specific apraxia constitutes one line of evidence for a bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

Along with the companion skill of language, logical mathematical reasoning provides the basic principal basis for IQ tests. This form of intelligence has been heavily investigated by traditional psychologists, and it is the archetype of "raw intelligence" or the problem solving faculty that purportedly cuts across domains. This intelligence is supported by empirical evidence as well. Certain areas of the brain are more prominent in mathematical calculation than others. The development of this intelligence in children has been carefully documented by Jean Piaget and other psychologists.

As with the logical intelligence, calling linguistic skill an "intelligence" is consistent with the stance of traditional psychology. Linguistic intelligence also passes our empirical tests. For instance, a specific area of the brain, called "Broca's area", is responsible for the production of grammatical sentences. A person with damage to this area can understand words and sentences quite well but has difficulty putting words together in anything other than the simplest of sentences. At the same time, other thought processes may be entirely unaffected.

The gift of language is universal, and its development in children is strikingly constant across cultures. Even in deaf populations where a manual sign language is not explicitly taught, children will often "invent" their own manual language and use it surreptitiously.

Spatial intelligence is the ability to form a mental mode of a spatial world and to be able to maneuver and operate using that model. Sailors, engineers, surgeons, sculptors, and painters all have highly developed spatial intelligence. Spatial intelligence is related to applied geometry. It is the ability to relate to "space" in its various forms.

Evidence from brain research is clear and persuasive. In right handed persons, the right hemisphere proves to be the site most crucial for spatial processing. Damage to the right posterior regions causes impairment of the ability to find one's way around a site, to recognize faces or scenes, or to notice fine details.

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people : what motivates them, how they work, how to work co-operatively with them. Successful salespersons, politicians, teachers, clinicians and religious leaders are all likely to be individuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence allows one to understand and work with others

Interpersonal intelligence builds on a core capacity to notice distinctions among others: in particular, contrasts in their moods, temperaments, motivations and intentions. All indices in brain research suggest that the frontal lobes play a prominent role in interpersonal knowledge. Damage in this area can cause profound personality changes while leaving other forms of problem solving unharmed.

This is a correlative ability, turned inwards. It is a capacity to form an accurate, veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life. It is knowledge of the internal aspects of a person: access to one's own feeling life, one's range of emotions, the capacity to effect discriminations among these emotions and eventually to label them and to draw upon them as a means of understanding and guiding one's own behaviour. A person with good intrapersonal intelligence has a viable and effective model of himself or herself. Identifying one's feelings and thoughts is the hallmark of knowing oneself. Intrapersonal intelligence allows one to understand and work with one self.

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