There Are 9 Types of Intelligence - Which One Fits Your Personality Type?

You’ve heard of the 16-type personality system, but what about the 9 types of intelligence? The multiple intelligence theory organizes people into different categories depending on where their skills lie. You might be a logician or have strong musical intelligence or anything in between.

If you want to know which type of intelligence fits your personality type, keep reading!

The 9 types of intelligence

The theory behind the 9 types of intelligence was first proposed by Howard Gardner, a psychologist from the University of Harvard. Gardner outlined his theory of multiple intelligences in 1983 in his book ‘Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’. 

Since then, the concept of multiple intelligences has been developed and expanded. The theory is now used in learning design and education, where it helps to make teaching more inclusive to all personality types. It can also be used alongside personality testing to help give people a better understanding of where their strengths lie, as well as what careers might be best suited to them.

Here are the 9 types of intelligence and the personality types that could match them.

1. Naturalistic intelligence, ISTP

Starting with the most recent type of intelligence added to Gardner’s theory, Naturalistic intelligence is understood as the ability to find patterns and relationships in nature. This personality type is able to catalog information easily and they have an interest in sensory experiences related to nature, including cooking, gardening and camping. They’re often interested in botany and natural history.

If you’re an ISTP, you might find that Naturalistic intelligence matches your personality type closely. You are practical, observant and able to absorb and categorize information without much effort. You let your senses lead you and you respond instinctively to different situations and different environments. This makes Naturalistic intelligence a good fit.

2. Musical intelligence, ISFP

If you find it easy to recognize rhythms and sounds and identify patterns, you probably have strong musical intelligence. People with this personality type find it easy to remember songs and melodies and probably are good at playing instruments, singing and reading music. 

Known as the composer for a reason, the ISFP personality type is skilled at finding patterns and connections and is likely to display high musical intelligence. ISFPs are often creative and committed to the pursuit of beauty through art. This means strong musical intelligence is often at the top of their strengths and their interests.

3. Logical-Mathematical intelligence, INTJ, ENTP, ESFJ

People with good logical-mathematical intelligence find that logical reasoning and analysis come naturally to them. This personality type is skilled when it comes to problem-solving and complex theories. They handle numbers easily and often enjoy conducting controlled experiments to test theories and problems.

Several different personality types match the logical-mathematical intelligence type. INTJ, ENTP, and ESFJ personality types will all likely recognize the traits of logical-mathematical intelligence in themselves thanks to their problem-solving and analytical abilities.

4. Existential intelligence, INTP

Existential intelligence involves asking philosophical questions about the meaning of life and why we are here. People who are strong in existential intelligence enjoy puzzling over complex theories and ideas related to human existence, making them excellent abstract thinkers.

While many personality types might have some degrees of existential intelligence, the personality type that’s most likely to value this form of intelligence is the INTP type. INTPs are constantly looking to understand life and its complexities, making existential intelligence a top priority for them.

5. Interpersonal intelligence, INFJ, ENFJ, ENFP

For those of us blessed with good interpersonal intelligence, communication is easy. This intelligence type is skilled at both verbal and non-verbal communication. Their strengths lie in understanding the motivations and emotions of those around them and they excel in conflict-resolution.

When it comes to interpersonal intelligence, Feeling personality types are likely to value this intelligence type most highly. These personality types share an interest in helping others and interpersonal connections are extremely important to them. Types like INFJ, ENFJ, and ENFP all work to bring out the best in the people around them, possessing strong communication and relationship-building skills.

6. Linguistic intelligence, ENTJ, ENTP, ESFP, ESTJ

Learning languages, writing and debating are all skills that people with strong linguistic intelligence possess. Simply put, this personality type is good with words. That means they love reading, learning and speaking. They also find that writing comes naturally to them, regardless of the form or the topic.

People with an extraverted personality type will often favor linguistic intelligence as it helps them to move easily in different social groups. Personality types like ENTJs and ENTPs who enjoy debate and ESFPs who always have a fun story up their sleeves can probably identify closely with this intelligence type. ESTJs may also be a match as they often use linguistic skills to gain authority and respect among their peers.

7. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, ESTP

You’ll know you have strong bodily-kinesthetic intelligence if you grew up playing sports or doing activities with lots of physical movement. People with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence have excellent hand-eye coordination, dexterity and motor control. This personality type also remembers and learns by doing rather than watching or hearing.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is one of the hardest intelligence types to predict based on personality type as it can vary widely between different people. However, ESTPs will often prefer this intelligence type over others as they like to live their lives on the edge. After all, it helps to have good bodily awareness if you’re doing extreme sports or adventuring around the world.

8. Intrapersonal intelligence, INFP

When someone has strong intrapersonal intelligence, they are extremely self-aware. The process of understanding their own emotions and motivations comes naturally to them. This personality type is also good at analyzing their strengths and weaknesses and they often follow their gut.

The most obvious personality type match for this intelligence type is the INFP. INFPs are sensitive and emotionally intelligent, committed to following their core values and motivations in everything they do. This means they’re likely to value intra-personal intelligence highly.

9. Spatial intelligence, ISFJ, ISTJ

People who rank highly for spatial intelligence tend to think in images and pictures. They’re good at visualizing things meaning that skills like map reading, interpreting charts and graphs and artistic pursuits are a big part of their lives. They recognize patterns in everything they see and this shapes their experience of the world.

Spatial intelligence is often preferred by IS- personality types, especially ISFJs and ISTJs. Both these personality types are detail oriented. ISFJs especially love solving puzzles and approaching problems Sherlock-Holmes style through keen observation.

Which intelligence type matches your personality type?

When it comes to the different intelligence types, most people tend to have a combination of several types. Your personality type might prefer one intelligent type over others or there might be one that jumps out to you above all the rest.

Which intelligence type matches your personality the best? Share in the comments!

Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com

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