What Are the Main 4 Different Types of Intelligence?

Howard Gardner first introduced the theory of Multiple Intelligence in 1983, in the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.[1]. Intelligence is defined as the ability to learn new things, understand concepts, and apply knowledge in different contexts.[2] According to Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, humans have several different ways of processing information, and these ways are relatively independent of one another.

People can be surprised to learn of the different types of intelligence. According to Gardner’s analysis, only two intelligences – linguistic and logical mathematical – have been valued and tested for in modern secular schools; it is useful to think of that language-logic combination as “academic” or “scholarly intelligence”.[3]

It doesn’t all end with Scholarly intelligence.

People who are highly intelligent in one area may be challenged in another. We may all know people like that!  Some people have all of their intelligence areas covered, while others have a few areas that need improvement. People who are intelligent in all ways are set up for great success in many fields. They have the ability to apply their knowledge, solve problems, and make informed decisions. But what are the other forms of intelligence that can help us to be so very impactful and successful in our daily lives?

Key Intelligence Types and How They Affect Your Life

Let’s look at the 4 different types of intelligence that affect personal growth, development, and professional performance.

What is IQ[4]

IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence. Perhaps you remember the standardized tests that you took in school? The original purpose of IQ testing was to identify children who needed special education services in school, but the test remains popular today as a measure of general cognitive ability. IQ scores are used for a variety of purposes, including predicting job performance, assessing educational needs, and providing a basis for research into the causes of intelligence. However, it is important to keep in mind that IQ is just one measure of human ability and should not be used to pigeonhole people into restrictive categories.

What is EQ?[5]

A person’s Emotional Quotient score measures their ability to handle emotions. Perhaps you know if a person who is calm under pressure? EQ is very important because it determines how well we can handle stress and deal with difficult situations. If you have a low EQ, then you may struggle often when facing emotional challenges in life, such as dealing with conflict or speaking in public.  Fortunately, it’s possible to improve your EQ score! A person’s EQ is determined by many factors. Genetics, personality traits, and childhood experiences all play a role in shaping a person’s EQ. You can improve your EQ score by actively finding ways to improve your communication skills and managing your emotions. You might reach out and ask for help from your boss, your partner, or your coach. The key is to ask for help from a person who displays good emotional ability in tough situations.

What is Social Quotient (SQ)?[6]

Social Quotient (SQ) is the measure of an individual’s ability to interact with others. It is a combination of emotional intelligence and social skills. SQ is important because it allows individuals to navigate through social situations, build relationships, and communicate effectively. Perhaps, like me, you might remember times in school when it was tough sometimes to deal with larger groups of people. I came from a small family, just the two of us, so I had to learn many new ways to interact with a larger group. Individuals with high SQ are typically able to read social cues, understand other people’s perspectives, and resolve conflicts. People with high SQ tend to be successful in fields that require frequent interaction with others, such as sales, customer service, teaching and consulting.

What is Adversity Quotient (AQ)?[7]

Adversity Quotient (AQ) is the measure of a person’s ability to overcome adversity and achieve their goals. AQ has been shown to be a predictor of success in life, as it takes into account both cognitive and emotional intelligence. AQ is based on the premise that everyone faces difficulties in life, but not everyone copes with them in the same way. Think of a person who is strong enough to ask for help. This can be a strong signal of the ability to deal with adversity. Those who have a higher AQ are more resilient and adaptable, and as a result, are more likely to achieve their goals. AQ is not simply a measure of IQ or EQ, but rather an amalgamation of both. It takes into account how well a person can use their cognitive abilities to solve problems, as well as their emotional intelligence in dealing with difficult situations. AQ has been shown to be predictive of success in a variety of domains, including education, employment, entrepreneurship, and relationships.

Conclusion: The Importance of Understanding These 4 Different Types of Intelligence,

So, there you have it, the 4 different types of intelligence for personal and professional growth and how to nurture each one. No matter which type of intelligence you feel you excel in, remember that all forms of intelligence are valuable and can be used to achieve success in life.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses and don’t deserve to be classified as more or less intelligent based on our ability to excel in one or two subjects. The best news of all is that the theory clearly states that while we all have natural abilities in each area, with some being stronger than others, they can all be developed, nourished and improved, allowing us to reach our full potential in any given area of intelligence we desire.

Intelligence is an essential factor in helping leaders be the ultimate version of themselves. It doesn’t always come naturally for many leaders which is why the most consistent and successful leaders will have a leadership coach to guide them and lead them via their own personal journey to success.

If you feel like you’re in need of an Intelligence health check, and you want to powerfully increase your performance, productivity, and your effectiveness with your team, start your journey with intelligence performance coaching and be the most powerful leader now and in the future.

It’s what I do…powerfully.

Warmest, Izzy.

[1] See – a beginner’s guide to the theory of multiple intelligences:https://www.multipleintelligencesoasis.org/a-beginners-guide-to-mi

[2] Lyndsay T Wilson – Spearman and the Theory of General Intelligence

[3] Howard Gardener – Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

[4] “intelligence quotient (IQ)”. Glossary of Important Assessment and Measurement Terms. Philadelphia, PA: National Council on Measurement in Education. 2016.

[5] Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ published 1995

[6]Karl Albrecht- Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success

[7] Stoltz, P. –  Adversity quotient: Turning obstacles into opportunities. New York: Wiley