Everyone learns differently. We are here to introduce the eight intelligences. We also cover them as eight different learning styles, because they impact how you learn and how you can perform at your absolute best. The eight intelligences are also inspired by Howard Gardners theory that people have multiple intelligences.
The neuroscience of the eight intelligences
The eight intelligences are based on our theory on the buildup and breakdown of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. How you respond to these four neurotransmitters impacts your learning and your thinking style. Genetics for example show that everyone responds differently to dopamine. Read about the neurotransmitters here.
Try your hand at our new test for which of the eight intelligences you use the most here.
Artists and performers are storytellers, they create and weave stories, music, art, and personal ways to convey meaning and beliefs. They are oxytocin-driven types.
The performers naturally trust others and warm up to others quickly, but have a harder time forgiving others. Because they naturally warm up to others, they find it easier to perform and act in front of a class. They can share of themselves more freely in large groups and experience less stage fright, but go easy on them when they mess up, it’s part of their learning process.
- Give them the stage
- Encourage improvisation
- Allow them to make mistakes
They need more room to express themselves to grow in their artistic skills, for example music, storytelling, or as actors. Artists on the other hand prefer to be alone when developing these skills. It’s easier for them to relax and express themselves when they are in smaller groups with people they trust.
Promote smaller and more intimate groups where they can express themselves and give them ample time to prepare and to rehearse on their own. You’ll find that they have many hidden abilities if they trust you enough to show it.
- Give them privacy
- Let them practice in small and intimate groups
- Allow them to be unique & encourage difference
Detectives and philosophers are existentialists and by embracing this, they can become more original, unique and visionary. They are dopamine-driven types.
The detectives are quick to connect the dots and to understand patterns in their environment. You tend to notice subtleties in your environment and you tend to be quick to spot others choice of words or how they act. As a detective, you naturally tend to be curious and have a lot of questions, so embrace that in yourself. You tend to spread excitement and enthusiasm around you.
- Encourage questions
- Leave some information hidden
- Ask them questions
The philosophers tend to have unique theories and insights to share, but are usually naturally nervous to share their minds with others. You are careful with how and what they say and tend to realize the power of their words and theories. You tend to spend a lot of time alone to question your own theories and insights before you move forward. With time, philosophers can become visionaries and highly original, unusual thinkers.
- Allow them to think of their own way
- Encourage them to be original
- Ask them to go deeper
Architects and hedonists pursue order and stability. They are serotonin-driven types.
The hedonists are free-spirited and easy to please. As a hedonist, you tend to be happy with the little and love to be in nature and pleasant environments. You are easily immersed and trust fully in their five senses. And you tend not to question things but take things for what it looks like. As a hedonist, you are highly aware of your surroundings and you learn quickly by observing.
- Tell them about the world around them and what’s in it
- Give them something to hold and study
- Let them make things simple & concrete
Architects are controlled, watchful, and structured. As an architect, you tend to think twice before they try something new. You seek to avoid repeating mistakes. And you question the five senses and you imagine visually. You tend to question to make sure nothing is missing. Is there something that doesn’t add up? And is something where it’s not supposed to be? Is everything under control?
- Ask them to organize information
- Show them things out of order
- Ask them to draw up or memorize things visually
Pragmatic and scientific types are in the pursuit of endorphin highs. They pursue efficiency and progress.
The pragmatic type in learning learns by observing and applying things that they have known to work in the past. You tend to follow step-by-step procedures and like to read and apply instructions. As a pragmatic type, you prefer to analyze after they have completed something. You enjoy to score and measure their own progress. You tend to spread confidence and a can-do attitude.
- Let them come up with a plan or formula
- Let them come up with rules
- Ask them to score and grade their own performance
The scientific types come up with formulas and theories to understand how things work and what to do next. You like to think for themselves how to do or solve something. You like to invent new methods and to think about why something works in the first place. And you prefer to watch how others do it before you try it on their own.
- Ask them why or how something works
- Let them deconstruct and reconstruct things
- Give them time to prepare before you let them try something new
Why do the eight intelligences matter?
We tend to assume there’s a one-size-fits all solution to schooling and education. If there is a one-size solution, the solution would be diverse education methods and to encourage everyone’s own learning process.
Do not pressure people and don’t second guess them when they say they can’t or don’t want to do something. Find ways to ensure that your school or workplace promotes and helps them learn in the way they want to be taught. Recognize their different intelligences. A problem as a teacher or educator is to assume that everyone learns the same way as you learn.