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MI Overview

Howard Gardner introduced the theory of multiple intelligences in his classic book, Frames of Mind (Basic Books) in 1983.

In this scholarly work Dr. Gardner provided extensive support for his proposition that there is more to intelligence than what shows up on an IQ score. Based on a unique definition of intelligence and eight criteria, he carefully describes how a broad array of evidence supports the powerful idea that the human mind possesses at least seven distinct forms of intelligence. In 1996 he added the eighth intelligence to the list, Naturalist, in recognition that the understanding of living things (flora and fauna) is not sufficiently covered by the original seven intelligences.

As of this writing, Dr. Gardner is reviewing the status of the proposed Existential intelligence that was introduced his in 1999 book, Intelligence Reframed. Click here for a description, Existential

The definition of intelligence used by Howard Gardner


“The ability to solve a problem or create a product that is valued within one or more cultures”

provides a powerful foundation for understanding the full potential of the human mind/brain.

The eight criteria used to identify the multiple intelligences. For more information click here.


The following descriptions summarize key features of the multiple intelligences and the subscales on The MIDAS profile.



To think in sounds, rhythms, melodies and rhymes.

To be sensitive to pitch, rhythm, timbre and tone. To recognize, create and reproduce music by using an instrument or voice. Active listening and a strong connection between music and emotions.

Vocal Ability: a good voice for singing in tune and in harmony
Instrumental Skill: skill and experience in playing a musical instrument
Composer: makes up songs or poetry and has tunes on her mind
Appreciation: actively enjoys listening to music of some kind




To think in movements and to use the body in skilled and complicated ways for expressive and goal directed activities.

the dancer
Dexterity: A sense of timing, coordination for whole body movement and the use of hands for manipulating objects.

Athletics: ability to move the whole body for physical activities such as balancing, coordination and sports
Dexterity: to use the hands with dexterity and skill for detailed activities and expressive moment.









To think of cause and effect connections and to understand relationships among actions, objects or ideas.

Students in classroom
To calculate, quantify or consider propositions and perform complex mathematical or logical operations. It involves inductive and deductive reasoning skills as well as critical and creative problem-solving.

Everyday Math: performs well in math at school
School Math: used math effectively in everyday life
Everyday Problem Solving: able to use logical reasoning to solve everyday problems, curiosity
Strategy Games: good at games of skill and strategy.







To think in pictures and to perceive the visual world.

To think in three-dimensions and to transform one’s perceptions and re-create aspects of one’s visual experience via imagination. To work with objects effectively.

Space Awareness: to solve problems of spatial orientation and moving objects through space such as driving a car.

Working with Objects: to make, build, fix, or assemble.

Artistic Design: to create artistic designs, drawings, paintings.



To think in words and to use language to express and understand complex meanings. Sensitivity to the meaning of words and the order among words, sounds, rhythms, inflections. To reflect on the use of language in everyday life.

Expressive Sensitivity: skill in the use of words for expressive and practical purposes
Rhetorical Skill: to use language effectively for interpersonal negotiation and persuasion
Written-academic: to use words well in writing reports, letters, stories, verbal memory, reading / writing.


To think about and understand another person’s thoughts and feelings.

To have empathy and recognize distinctions among people and to appreciate their perspectives with sensitivity to their motives, moods and intentions. It involves interacting effectively with one or more people in familiar, casual or working circumstances.

Social Sensitivity: sensitivity to and understanding of other people’s moods, feelings and point of view
Social Persuasion: ability for influencing other people
Interpersonal Work: interest and skill for jobs involving working with people.




To think about and understand one’s self. To be aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and to plan effectively to achieve personal goals.

Reflecting on and monitoring one’s thoughts and feelings and regulating them effectively. The ability to monitor one’s self in interpersonal relationships and to act with personal efficacy.

Personal Knowledge / Efficacy: awareness of one’s own ideas, abilities; able to achieve personal goals.

Effectiveness: ability to relate oneself well to others and manage personal relationships.
Calculations: meta-cognition “thinking about thinking’ involving numerical operations
Spatial Problem Solving: self awareness to problem solve while moving self or objects through space.





To understand the natural world including plants, animals and scientific studies.

To recognize and classify individuals, species and ecological relationships. To interact effectively with living creatures and discern patterns of life and natural forces.

Animal Care: skill for u

Young Couple Gardening Together
nderstanding animal behavior, needs, characteristics
Plant Care: ability to work with plants, i.e., gardening, farming and horticulture.