Learning With Gardner: Valued Intelligence and Implications for Education

Michael Stier, Christopher Miller, & Jacqueline Diggs




     This study considered the concept of multiple intelligences to assess perceived valued intellect esteemed by society and the influence an individual's area of study on intelligence.  A convenience sample of participants (N = 82) was selected from classes and popular areas at a small liberal arts university located in the Midwest. Results demonstrated a statistical difference for the individual's most valued type of intelligence based on the individual's strongest type. However, the hypotheses predicting the most valued and least valued intelligence type by society as well as by the individual were not supported. Since we all possess different intelligences, possible implications include a more effective method for differentiated instruction as well as maximize creativity, motivation, and intelligence in students.


     Howard Gardner was born in July of 1943 in Scranton, Pennsylvania to Jewish parents that migrated from Germany a year before World War II. He attended college at Harvard University to study history in preparation for a career in law. After studying with prestigious individuals such as Erik Erikson, Jerome Bruner, and David Riesman, Gardner made the decision to investigate human nature and the psychology of human cognition. Howard Gardner viewed intelligence as 'the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting.'

     Gardner's initial list of intelligences as described in his book, Frames of Mind of 1983, included seven types. The first two, linguistic and logical-mathematical, are typically valued within the school system. Musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and spatial are intelligences associated with the arts. The final two, interpersonal and intrapersonal, were referred to by Gardner as 'personal intelligences.' Gardner meant for the intelligences to work cooperatively in order for the individual to develop skills or to solve problems. In terms of education, Gardner's objective was to provide instructors with seven ways to teach a topic as opposed to just one. Subsequent research by Gardner added three new intelligences: naturalist, spiritual, and existential to his original seven. For the purposes of this experiment, the researchers examined Gardner's eight central intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial-visual, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.

     Linguistic intelligence refers to words and language, both spoken and written. People with high linguistic intelligence display exceptional skills in reading, writing, acquiring foreign language, and storytelling. Linguistically oriented learners often think in words and are best taught by reading, taking notes, listening to lectures, and discussion and debate. Individuals with high linguistic intelligence enjoy word puzzles, writing poetry or stories, and reading. Occupations that reflect superior linguistic intelligence include: authors, public speakers, journalists, lawyers, teachers, and politicians.

     Logical-mathematical intelligence refers to reasoning, logic, numbers, and investigate questions scientifically. Logical-mathematical learners detect patterns, experiment, utilize complex calculations, excel at traditional IQ tests, and exercise deductive reasoning. People displaying high logical-mathematical intellect enjoy computer programming, chess, and Sudoku or other logic games. Occupations that reflect advanced logical-mathematical intelligence include: mathematicians, engineers, scientists, doctors, and economists.

     Musical intelligence refers to music, rhythm, and sound. Individuals with high musical intelligence display sensitivity to sounds and rhythmic patterns, capacity to recognize pitches and tones, and can exhibit excellence in singing and/or instrumental performance. Students with prominent musical intelligence learn in lecture settings best because musical intelligence has a strong auditory component involved. Individuals with superior musical intelligence may create a song, rhythm, rhyme, or lyrics to help learn new information or to commit information into their memory. Gardner adds that this particular intelligence is structurally related to linguistic intelligence. Occupations that reflect a high musical intelligence include: musicians- both vocal and instrumental, conductors, and composers.

     Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence refers to an acute sense of bodily awareness and its function in problem solving or in discovering new things. Individuals with high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are typically highly athletic and work well with their hands. Students with superior bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are exceedingly tactile in terms of learning and will benefit best from education if they are allowed to build/create something as opposed to simply hearing about an object. Occupations that best suit individuals with an advanced bodily-kinesthetic intelligence include: professional athletes, dancers, surgeons, builders, and soldiers.

     Spatial-Visual intelligence refers to an enhanced awareness of an individual's physical space or environment. Individuals with a high spatial-visual intellect can easily interpret and comprehend cartography, and enjoy drawing, sketching, and three-dimensional modeling. Students with exceptional spatial-visual orientation learn best through verbal imagery, charts, graphs, photographs, drawings/paintings, and video. Occupations that accompany accomplished spatial-visual intelligence include: architects, artists, photographers, cartographers, sailors, and video game designers.

     Interpersonal intelligence refers to an exceptional capacity to interpret and comprehend the intentions, impulses, and needs of others. Individuals with high interpersonal intelligence work efficiently and cooperatively with others, possess sensitivity to the feelings and temperaments of others, and can easily empathize with others. Students with interpersonal intelligence are best taught through interaction and group activities. Individuals with a well-developed interpersonal intelligence typically learn better through open discussions and debate. Occupations that reflect a superior level of interpersonal intelligence include interactive professions such as: psychologists, sales, politicians, educators, and religious leaders.

     Intrapersonal intelligence refers to the enhanced capacity for self- awareness and introspection. Individuals with superior intrapersonal intelligence have a keen sense of intuition, wisdom, and insight into their true emotions, motivations, aspirations, and fears. They are often excellent at predicting their own behavior in situations and can identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Students with high intrapersonal intelligence are typically introverted and work best independently. Therefore, intrapersonal learners perform well in independent study. Occupations that best reflect individuals with high intrapersonal intelligence include: philosophers, theologians, writers, and psychologists.

     Naturalistic intelligence refers to the individual's ability to distinguish, label, and classify specific features within the physical environment. Individuals with high naturalistic intelligence enjoy the outdoors, greatly appreciate national parks, look forward to watching the seasons change, love animals, and enjoy planting and maintaining gardens. Students with high naturalistic intelligence learn best when subjects can be related into real life or ecological situations. Occupations that reflect naturalistic intelligence include: farmers, hunters, ecologists, biologists, forest rangers, and naturalists.

     Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences has been broadly accepted and utilized in classrooms worldwide. The world of education has welcomed Gardner's theory into their curriculum in an effort to better identify tools and methods to assist children in learning. Traditionally, schools utilize linguistic and logical-mathematical skills in teaching, learning, and most importantly, testing. Any aptitude test that a student takes in school incorporates knowledge based upon reading comprehension, vocabulary, and math skills. While many children have grown accustomed to learning in this particular way, there remains a small population of students who do not. Incorporating the eight different types of intelligence into the classroom can be easier than some think. For instance, David Thornburg of the Thornburg Institute explains how music can be incorporated into several avenues of learning:

"The mood of a piece of music might communicate, clearer than words, the feeling of an era being studied in history. The exploration of rhythm can help some students understand fractions. The exploration of the sounds of an organ can lead to an understanding of vibrational modes in physics. What caused the great scientist Kepler to think of the motions of planets in musical terms? Astronomy students could program a synthesizer to play Kepler's 'music of the spheres' and explore history, science, math and music all at once."

Moreover, utilizing Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences in the classroom can encourage creativity within its students. Students can also exhibit their strengths and attempt to identify their strengths within other subjects; thus, enabling students to increase their self-esteem. Conclusively, when educators 'teach for understanding,' their students will accrue positive learning experiences and may possess the skills to produce creative solutions to any problems that may occur in life.

     Although Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences is one of the most widely accepted for validity and accuracy among proponents of multiple intelligence, other theorists such as Sternberg and Thurstone have developed their own ideas of intelligence. Sternberg posited a 'triarchic' theory of intelligence which was deemed to be more encompassing because it evaluated social and background factors apart from human capacity (Li, 1996). Sternberg indicated the theories that preceded his triarchic theory were not incorrect, however, they were merely incomplete; for instance, in comparison to Gardner's theory, Sternberg takes into account creative or musical intelligence but he also separated the remaining 6 categories of Gardner's theory into two categories named the analytical and practical. Analytical problems involve intelligence used for academic purposes or according to Neisser et al. (1996) (as cited by Paik, 1998):

'Analytic problems tend to have been formulated by other people, be clearly defined, come with all information needed to solve them, have only a single right answer, which can be reached by only a single method, be disembodied from ordinary experience, and have little or no intrinsic interest. Practical problems tend to require problem recognition and formulation, be poorly defined, require information seeking, have various acceptable solutions, be embedded in and require prior everyday experience, and require motivation and personal involvement.'

If an individual could successfully solve one of these problems, then they would either have a high intelligence for analytical or practical problem solving.

     One of the reasons that Sternberg's theory has received positive remarks is because of the implications for real-life situations. For instance, Carraher, Carraher, & Schliemann (1985) found that in a sample of Brazilian street children that they were able to calculate mathematical calculations for business of the street, however, were unable to pass a math course at school; this finding indicates that the children were able to manage two types of intelligence on the same intelligence type. In addition to Gardner and Sternberg, Thurstone (1924) proposed that there is a biological function of intelligence to protect the intelligence to protect the organism from risk as well as satisfy the individual's needs using the least amount of effort. Furthermore, Guilford (1967) posited that intelligence was a structure of intellect that was composed of 4 contents, 5 operations, and 6 processes which make ups 120 combinations.

     In contrast to the previously described theories which advocate a view of intelligence which favors the notion of multiple forms existing, there are many opponents which instead argue for a single, general form of intelligence.  From henceforth, these theories shall be referred to as 'general intelligence' theories.  Intelligence researchers, including Spearman, Eysenck, and Jensen support such theoretical constructs which incorporate all types of intelligence into a single factor model.  Spearman deemed this single factor the 'positive manifold.'  For instance, research conducted by Eysenck supporting this notion found that a high correlation exists between IQ and simple cognitive tasks.  Also, Spearman's discovery of the positive manifold or general intelligence factor (also known as 'g') also strengthens the evidence for a single factor model.  This g factor was created out of the observation that the individual's test score were highly correlated even if the tasks were of differing nature.  For instance, if an individual scores highly on a test of verbal skills, then that person is likely to do well on a test measuring another cognitive ability such as mathematics.  In addition, the researchers found that this strong positive correlation between high-performance on cognitive tasks is not a product of test construction but of the individual's cognitive abilities or g (Paik, 1998).

     Additional findings which support the postulation that intelligence is a single factor are reported by Eysenck (1982).  For instance, it was reported that reaction time is highly correlated with IQ.  These tasks were so simple (pressing a button as a light comes on) that may more accurately be described as sensory and motor.  Also, Eysenck suggests that these tests are not affected by gender, socioeconomic, cultural, or educational factors.  Therefore, if such a measure portrays intelligence or g differences, intelligence is inborn and not cultivated due to environmental factors.  In addition, this definition implies that IQ is directly related to information processing and the nervous system and brain operating with relatively no error (Eysenck, 1982).  Furthermore, Jensen posits that faster reaction times are indicative of faster transmissions along neural pathways.  It is therefore posited that neural processing speed determines IQ since IQ is correlated with reaction time; g may be processing speed.

     The behaviorist point of view, as presented by B.F. Skinner, likely opposes the idea of multiple intelligences as well.  For instance, in the behaviorist point of view learning is based on reinforcement of behaviors and reactions to stimuli.  In the traditional viewpoint, a behaviorist might support the notion that multiple intelligences and the related abilities are cultivated responses to the environmental factors in the individual's life.  Also, if learning and behavior is viewed as a scientific, controllable phenomenon, then it is rational to suggest that Skinner's theory would predict that there is a single type of intelligence similar to Spearman, Eysenck, and Jensen.  However, this single factor would likely differ from the 'g' concept explained above in that reinforcement might replace neural speed or positive manifold (Paik, 1998).

Current Study

     The purpose of the current study is primarily twofold.  First, it seeks to determine the attitudes and perceptions about the differing and multiple types of intelligence.  It does so by asking the participant to rate which type is most valued by society and then which type is most valued personally.  It is hypothesized that logical/mathematical abilities will be most frequently perceived as most valued by society and musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and naturalist intelligence will be perceived as least valued.  Additionally, it is hypothesized that students will most value an intelligence type related to his/her area/s of study.  The second focus of this study is to examine the frequency of each of the eight intelligence types.

     It is hypothesized that individuals will perceive the logical/mathematical intelligence type as being the most valued by American society as a whole.  There are multiple reasons which support this notion. For instance, the American education system heavily emphasizes mathematic, logical, and reasoning skills.  Also, college entrance and aptitude exams are based primarily on logical/mathematical skill in combination with reading ability.  The SAT measures the mathematic and reading/vocabulary skills of individuals prior to embarking on their collegiate career; the ACT likewise measures individuals in a similar, yet varied, manner.  However, both of these standard tests for high school students are based on a foundation of mathematics, logic, and reasoning.  While the argument could be made that linguistic intelligence would be just as valued due to its significant representation on the aforementioned measures, the logical intelligence is not only present the mathematic section but also in reading comprehension and extrapolation.  In addition, logical/mathematical abilities are lauded in all of the core areas of study in the traditional school system.  Students are generally required to take mathematics, English or language arts, and science each year of study.  Logical/mathematical intelligence is fostered in each of these subjects. In mathematics one learns arithmetic, algebra, and logical proofs; in English one learns to exercise reading comprehension skills and make inferences about information which is latent in the text; and science relies on the use of formulas and graphs.  Furthermore, the grading system of schools is based on logical reasoning and therefore largely ignores additional forms of intelligences such as interpersonal, intrapersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, and naturalistic.

     Society also shows favoritism for the logical/mathematical intelligence reflected in its identification of professions that appear more prestigious than others.  For instance, physicians and lawyers, two of the most respected and sought after occupations, require an individual to possess superior abilities in mathematics and logical reasoning.  Also, valuing mathematical and logical abilities might be explained by Rogers' ideal self and conditions of worth.  Rogers posited that if society places more worth on one state being or quality ' in this instance logical intelligence ' then an individual will likely feel it is to be preferred over any alternatives.  Essentially, by placing a higher value on one intelligence, the others might be demeaned; this preference creates a condition of worth for intelligence and potentially leads an individual to create an ideal self image which incorporates the logical/mathematical abilities.  In addition, the value placed on this form of intellect appears to coincide with Vygotsky's notion of the importance and influence of the role of culture in development.  By encouraging the use of such reasoning, the culture affects the perceptions and values of the individual and therefore may impact the development of one's talents and abilities.

     Additionally, it is hypothesized that participants will be more likely to choose the intelligence most related to their area of study ' namely their major ' as their most valued type. If an individual is choosing to dedicate such a significant portion of their time and abilities to pursue a more comprehensive knowledge of a topic, they might place a higher value on this area of ability.  The one exception to this idea may be those individuals who did not choose a course of study based upon personal development or desire but of outside forces such as pressure from parents, family members, etc.

     The individual's perception of society's value of intelligence is measured by their responses to a predetermined choice pool of the eight types and the participant is asked to choose one type as most valued.  Likewise, the personally most valued intelligence is measured in the same manner.  In order for the participants to have an adequate understanding of all the types to make an informed decision of how to answer the questions, a brief explanation was printed on the questionnaire.  Following these two questions is an inventory which is designed to determine which intelligence type the individual reports.



     For this study, 82 participants were administered the survey designed by the researcher.  Participants included 36 men and 45 women with one additional participant not reporting gender.  The age range of the participants is 18 to 34 years of age.  The sample was one of convenience and was selected based on the students in the courses available to be surveyed.  Additionally, surveys were distributed to students in popular campus areas such as the caf' and student lounges.  These courses were of various disciplines in order to obtain a sample consisting of individuals with a varied educational background.  Furthermore, the ethical principles according to the American Psychological Association were followed (American Psychological Association, 2002).


     The survey which was administered to the participants consists of demographic information, questions concerning which intelligence is most valued, and finally an inventory measuring the participant's strongest intelligence. The first portion of the survey is made of demographic information such as age, race/ethnicity, gender, and major/minor.  Then, a description of each of the eight types of intelligences proposed by Gardner is provided for the participant to read.  Following the descriptions, the individual is then asked to indicate which of the eight is most valued by society and then which of the eight they personally value the most.  Additionally, the participants are asked to complete a shortened version of an inventory measuring the participant's strongest intelligence.  See Appendix A to examine the survey used in this research.


     After pilot testing the original version of the survey, corrections were made, and the proposed experiment was sent to IRB for approval for ethical standards.  Following the review and subsequent approval of the project, surveys were distributed as a convenience sample.  Surveys were distributed at the beginning of the class period and participants were informed that participation is completely voluntary. After all the surveys were returned, the data was entered into SPSS and analyzed.  To test the first hypothesis that logical/mathematical intelligence is perceived as most valuable to society, a frequency was used. To determine is musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and naturalist intelligences were perceived to be valued least by society, a frequency was utilized.  To test the third hypothesis, individuals will most highly value an intelligence related to their area/s of study, a one-way ANOVA was conducted to test for any correlation between the two variables.  Finally, a frequency was used in order to determine if Interpersonal intelligence is reported to be the highest developed form of intelligence more frequently than the other seven types.


     To test the first hypothesis that individuals perceive logical/mathematical intelligence as the most valued by society, the frequencies were calculated.  It was found that individuals most frequently perceived linguistic (19) as most valued by society at 23.2%.  The other types resulted in the following order: logical/mathematical had 16 (19.5%), musical had 0 (0.0%), bodily-kinesthetic had 9 (11.0%), spatial/visual had 1 (1.2%), Interpersonal had 18 (22%), Intrapersonal had 12 (14.6%), and naturalist had 2 (2.4%).  To test the hypothesis that individuals perceive musical, bodily, and naturalist intelligences are perceived as the least valued by society, the frequencies were calculated.  As stated above, these three were among the lowest valued. All three ranked in the lowest four; however, bodily-kinesthetic ranks slightly above spatial/visual and therefore does not fall in the lowest three.

     To test the hypothesis that a person's strongest intelligence affected their choice of which type they value most, a highest intelligence type by personal most valued type one-way ANOVA was performed. Results indicated a significant difference in most valued type based on the individuals strongest type, F (7, 76) = 3.21, p = .005.  The frequencies of the personal most valued types are as follows: linguistic had 12 (14.6%), logical/mathematical had 10 (12.2%), musical had 2 (2.4%), bodily-kinesthetic had 6 (7.3%), spatial/visual had 3 (3.7%), Interpersonal had 24 (29.3%), Intrapersonal had 18 (22%), and naturalist had 2 (2.4%).

     To test the fourth hypothesis that interpersonal intelligence is the most common type among participants, the frequencies were calculated.  The frequencies of the individuals' intelligence type are as follows: linguistic had 1 (1.2%), logical/mathematical had 6 (7.3%), musical had 10 (12.2%), bodily-kinesthetic had 8 (9.8%), spatial/visual had 0 (0.0%), Interpersonal had 9 (11.0%), Intrapersonal had 20 (24.4%), and naturalist had 9 (11.0%).

Theory Analysis

This section will include several theories from Ellis, Adler, Horney, Dollard & Miller, Rogers, Bruner, Vygotsky, Super and Harkness, Frankl, Maslow, Erikson, Snygg & Combs, and Bandura.  These 13 theories will discuss the results of our data collection and its implications about the individual and learning. 

     Theory Analysis. There are many theorists that support the notion of the ability for one individual to have multiple intelligences which include Gardner, Sternberg, and Perkins. All of these theories explain how individuals can excel in certain types of intellect while not succeeding in other types. For instance, according to Gardner's categories of intellect, an individual may possess intelligence relating to mathematical and logical reasoning but have trouble composing or playing music. The inability to play music is not a deficit in the individual's personality, however, a function of the multiple intelligence construct. Conversely, it is important to note that individuals that attempt to or feel obligated to perform well in all aspects of multiple intellects may experience neurosis. For example, Albert Ellis indicates that individuals may have irrational thoughts that can cause or sustain neurosis; more specifically, he continues that an individual may feel the need to be competent, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects which normally coincides with unconditional self-acceptance or statements such as 'I must be outstandingly competent, or I am worthless'  (Ellis, 1994).

     As we examine the relationship between the most valued personal intelligence by the individual and the results from the assessment, it was concluded that there was a significant difference between the most valued trait the individual chose and the individual's highest intelligence. Although the connection between what an individual views as important and their assessment results seem logical, there are many theoretical insinuations about how the individual has acquired this desire, how the individual maintained motivation to continue to improve in their chosen intellectual area, and finally why the individual strives to the ultimate goal of competence. 

     To begin, Adler posits that individuals are born with natural deficits, such as a lack of skill in writing, and as the individual grows older, he or she notices and attempts to improve this insufficiency to reduce feelings of inferiority. In comparison to Adler, Horney explains that individuals will continually search for intrapersonal flaws, or deficits, so then they can be overcome before anyone will notice the discrepancy. Additionally, Dollard and Miller explain for the course of change or improvement to commence, the individual must notice deficits that, even themselves, believe needs to be altered. From these above three theorists, they all hypothesize that an individual is born as an inferior being in some aspect and must notice this inferiority, disguise the difficulty so it is not visible to others, and finally construct a plan that will help them overcome this deficit. Furthermore, Snygg and Combs explains that learning takes place when meaningful information is extracted from the background of all intelligence which allows the individual to focus and concentrate on the chosen intelligence. In the current study, individuals have all chosen areas of intellect in which they excel which suggests that each individual, at one point, struggled with that specific trait and have 'pulled' this intelligence from the background. Furthermore and most critical, the data that was recorded for personal values and assessment value can be directly related to Roger's proposal of the ideal self and the real self. Taking into consideration that everyone presents a persona or fa'ade to some degree, it seems as though the ideal self can be accurately represented by the category that assesses the individual's personal value while the real self can be operationalized by the assessment itself. Individuals that were recorded seem to experience very little dissonance between the ideal and real self since significant differences were found. For example, if an individual indicated that they personally valued interpersonal relations, data supports that they are most likely to complete the assessment with results of strong interpersonal intelligence.

     Although how individual become interested and competent in intelligence can be explained by theorists such as Adler, Horney, and Rogers, it seems as though the motivation to continue to improve may be more behaviorally related. For instance, it is stated by Bruner that through the theory of learning, an individual will construct new ideas from what the individual has already learned; this building of intellect provides self-assurance and motivation to continue to learn. Bruner continues that as the individual becomes more motivated about the subject, improvements are no longer made as 'requirements' but as a personal satisfaction and thirst for knowledge. Additionally, it is also imperative to consider influences that are associated within the individual's environment as commonly associated with the theories of Vygotsky and Super and Harkness. Vygotsky indicated that when a task is given to a person that they cannot complete alone, possibly from an intellectual deficit, guidance is needed from a higher individual and the situation produces a zone of proximal development. For example, an individual may need help from a professor writing a paper, but this connection will overcome inferiority feelings of not being a competent writer and motivate them to want to continue to improve.

     Once this motivation is able to fully flourish and extrapolate it creates a developmental niche that an individual is engulfed within throughout their lifespan according to Super and Harkness. However, the current studies' results indicate no significant difference among majors in comparison to their assessment scores, or in other words, when examining the assessment scores for the type or types of intelligence an individual encompasses, the major which the person is seeking had little to no effect. Although this comparison was not significant, it can be logically rationalized through Frankl's view on meaning of life; Frankl states that when searching for meaning in life or actively searching for self-actualization, there are many different 'routes' a person can take. For instance, one individual may want to pursue a degree in medicine while another may want to seek a life in construction which can both provide framework for a meaningful life within the individual's own constructs.

     Now that the individual has identified the source of inferiority and has found motivating factors to develop a niche from which to operate, it can give an individual full freedom to live a self-actualized life. For instance, Rogers explains that a fully functioning person lives freely, creatively, openly in each moment, and is able to fully trust inner experiences to guide behavior, which suggests the exclusion of societal value influences. Moreover, Maslow introduced the term of self-actualization as a replacement for psychological health and comprises the full potential of a human being without the influence of environmental or cultural situations which self-actualized individuals did not 'adjust' to at the expense of their own character according to his theory of resistance to enculturation. However, self-actualization was not easy to obtain and Maslow estimated that less than 1% of all people are truly self-actualized. For instance, in a sample of 3,000 college students that were surveyed, Maslow only deemed one of the individuals to be self-actualized which complements the claim that self-actualization is very difficult to reach as well as individuals that are young are likely not to be self-actualized until older  (Cloninger, 2008). As individuals grow older, Erikson explains that individuals will look back upon their lives and determine whether or not it was meaningful and if they wished that various experiences had been different. It is reasonable to assume that an individual that has reached self-actualization or is considered a fully-functioning person would be more likely to reflect upon a more fulfilling life than an individual that did not reach these levels of functioning. When examining the relationship between what the individual believes that society values and the individual's assessment of intelligence, there was no significant difference found but the statistical datum did trend towards a stronger indication for support of this notion. If the type of intelligence and what they believed that society valued did not always correlate, it is rational to conceive that college students may not be fully self-actualized and may continue to be influenced by societal values that do not relate to their personal intellects but rather influences from parents, the job market, or culture overall. Conversely, with data trending towards significance indicates social control over the types of intelligences people will ultimately find interest in addition to the susceptibility of being swayed; this phenomenon could be explained according to Bandura's notion of observational learning or modeling. For instance, an individual may have always enjoyed music. However, influences from parents on another type of intelligence because of what is viewed as valuable by society may modify the child's thought process, especially if the child is rewarded for behavior congruent with parental expectation and punished for behavior contrasting. Investigating further, Skinner's idea of operant conditioning can explain this system of rewards and punishments and how the past experiences according to their behaviors will inevitably produce future conduct.

     Implications. Implications for this study are focused on the process of learning as well as the pedagogy style that would best suit all students of all intelligence types. When considering a classroom setting, or any group of individual for that matter, it is inevitable to experience different cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints. Furthermore, it is unavoidable to have a group of individuals that have contrasting intelligence types and therefore, different methods that best suit them for learning. If the theory of multiple intelligence would be applied to classes, exams, standardized tests, it would not only produce a more valid test but be tailored to the individual's need more often. This type of instruction would maximize the amount of learning possibility and, logically, raise self-esteem and the motivation of the student. Contrary to the notion of multiple intelligence instruction, it can be argued that this type of teaching may seem to be impractical for large settings. For instance, it is difficult to implement several different teaching styles to a large group of students when the main focus of the economy is to 'cut-back' and let go of teachers from their positions. Although using a single teaching style is economically practical, the quality of education and the amount of information learned will obviously be reduced.

     What We Learned.  Throughout this study, it was very interesting to observe how individuals were not as likely to project or inflate the value of their own talents as it relates to society.  By the data, which showed linguistic being perceived as most valued by society but among the most infrequent strengths, it may be seen that intelligence may not be valued based on the individual's abilities.  As hypothesized, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and naturalist were valued quite less than the more 'school' intelligences of logical/mathematical and linguistic.  In addition, theories of learning and intelligence may drastically influence the teaching pedagogies of instructors and therefore encourage a highly diversified and individualized learning environment.  If the findings are applied in the classroom along with the application of learning theories such as Vygotsky and Adler's notions of education, the student has the opportunity to maximize their potential in learning.



Carraher, T. N., Carraher, D., & Schliemann, A. D. (1985). Mathematics in the streets and in schools. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 3, 21-29

Eysenck, H. J. (1982). Introduction. In H. J. Eysenck (Ed.), A model for intelligence (pp. 1-10). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Guilford, J. P. (1967). The nature of human intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Li, R. (1996). A theory of conceptual intelligence: Thinking, learning, creativity and giftedness. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Paik, H.S. (1998). One Intelligence or Many? Washington University. Retrieved from http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/paik.html

Sternberg, R. J. (1985): Beyond IQ: A triarchic theory of human intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Thurstone, L. L. (1924). The nature of intelligence. New York: Harcourt Brace. http://www.learninginfo.org/multiple-intelligences.htm