Did you know there are 9 types of intelligence? These range from musical, interpersonal, spatial, and more. The question is: Which intelligence type do you have?

Intelligence Type Quiz:

Take our free intelligence type quiz to find out!

When you think of intelligence, you might think of IQ tests. You might think of geniuses who can recite entire lines of mathematics, or people accepting Nobel Prizes. Many of us consider intelligence as an innate ability to learn and remember information and ideas. However, in recent decades, our understanding of intelligence has changed. 

There are many theories of what intelligence is and how it develops. 

One of the pioneers of this field was Harvard psychologist Howard Gardener. His theory suggests that not only is intelligence a learned skill, but it is far more varied than excelling in academia. 

Howard Gardner first described his theory in 1983 in his book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.” Here he explained his theory that everyone has different types of intelligence, and may score highly on some and low on others. In this book, he described these eight types of intelligence, and later suggested a ninth. He calls these “Intelligence Types.”

Intelligence infographic that displays the 9 types of intelligences

↑ Table of Contents ↑

What is an Intelligence Type?

An intelligence type is an indicator of your strengths and areas where you excel. Each intelligence type indicates different skills or “smarts” you are best suited for. There are 9 intelligence types:

  1. Naturalist (nature smart)
  2. Musical (sound smart)
  3. Logical-mathematical (number/reasoning smart)
  4. Existential (life smart)
  5. Interpersonal (people smart)
  6. Bodily-kinesthetic (body smart)
  7. Linguistic (word smart)
  8. Intra-personal (self smart)
  9. Spatial (picture smart)

Here is an overview of each type. See if you can think of one person you know for each type.

Naturalist 

Are you particularly observant of the natural world? Do you find being in nature meditative? Is it easy for you to distinguish the subtle differences between a fir and a pine? Do you find working with plants or animals comes second nature to you? This might be because you have naturalist intelligence. People with this intelligence type often have an interest in botany or zoology, and appreciate being outside in nature. 

Great careers for naturalist intelligence type:

  • Botanist
  • Oceanographer
  • Camp Counselor
  • Scout Troop Leader
  • Gardener
  • Astronomer
  • Meteorologist
  • Geologist
  • Landscape Architect

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Interpersonal 

Are you a people person? Do you find it easy to understand and interact with your friends, family, and colleagues? 

Whether it’s nonverbal communication, like body language, or using your words carefully to communicate your ideas, people who score highly on interpersonal intelligence are sensitive to the moods of others, and can understand points from multiple different perspectives. 

People who score highly on interpersonal intelligence are more likely to be teachers, actors, social workers, and other careers that place value on leadership and interpersonal skills. This is my personal favorite intelligence type because I think it is the most applicable to the most careers.

I had almost no interpersonal intelligence and developed it all from scratch—making it my second most-used type!

Great careers for interpersonal intelligence type:

  • Human Resources
  • Counselor
  • Manager
  • Psychologist
  • Public Relations
  • Social Director
  • Teacher
  • Social Worker

We have found that interpersonal intelligence can be even more detailed. Take our People Skills Quiz to further test your interpersonal strengths:

People Skills Quiz

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Musical 

People with musical intelligence have sensitive ears. Can you listen to a piece of music and pick out each note? Can you distinguish and understand the difference between pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone? This type of intelligence is often demonstrated by conductors, singers, and musicians. People with this type of intelligence will find themselves regularly recognizing and reflecting on music, and may reproduce or create their own pieces.

Great careers for musical intelligence type:

  • Conductor
  • Musician
  • Piano Teacher
  • Composer
  • Dance Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Choral Director

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Logical-Mathematical

Can you find yourself getting lost in an interesting pattern? Do you enjoy having things categorized, or connecting items together by their relationship? Are your favorite games all about strategy? You might have logical-mathematical intelligence. This is the ability to calculate numbers, quantify, and hypothesize about numbers. It enables us to excel at abstract and symbolic thought, inductive and deductive thought patterns, and sequential reasoning. Mathematicians and scientists score highly on logical-mathematical intelligence.

Great careers for logical intelligence type:

  • Mathematician
  • Economist
  • Auditor
  • Accountant
  • Scientist
  • Statistician
  • Computer Analyst
  • Technician

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Bodily-Kinesthetic 

If you’re good at sport, or using your hands to create things, you might find you score highly on bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to move objects and/or the body with timing and perfection. People who score highly on this type of intelligence are often dancers, surgeons, athletes, or artists.

Great careers for bodily-kinesthetic intelligence type:

  • Physical Therapist
  • Dancer
  • Athlete
  • Coach
  • Fitness 
  • Gym Owner
  • Actor
  • Mechanic
  • Carpenter

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Spatial 

Are you interested in mazes and jigsaw puzzles? Can you visualize how something will look before you make it? Are you a daydreamer? Do you find blueprints easy to understand? You might score highly on spatial intelligence. This means you are able to think in three dimensions. 

People with this type of intelligence are good at designing, have exceptionally active imaginations, and are good with spatial reasoning. 

They often go into careers as pilots, painters, architects, or sculptors. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. 

Great careers for spatial intelligence type:

  • Architect
  • Geometry Teacher
  • Engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Urban Planner
  • Graphic Artist
  • Interior Decorator
  • Photographer
  • Pilot
  • Cartographer

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Linguistic

Can you speak a second language? Maybe even a third? Do you excel in writing poetry, or crafting speeches? Do you enjoy telling stories, or doing crossword puzzles? People with linguistic intelligence can use language (or, even, multiple languages) to communicate complex meaning. Linguistic intelligence is the most universal type of intelligence. People with high linguistic intelligence are usually poets, journalists, public speakers, and novelists. 

Great careers for linguistic intelligence type:

  • Public Speaker
  • Librarian
  • Politics
  • Radio announcer
  • TV host
  • YouTuber
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Curator
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Writer
  • Sales

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Intra-personal 

Do you find yourself reflecting on your own personality? Do you plan your life carefully to achieve your personal goals? Are you someone who understands your own thoughts and emotions? You might score highly on intra-personal intelligence. This type of intelligence means you are able to not only understand yourself, but the human condition as a whole. People who score highly on intra-personal tend to be spiritual leaders, therapists, or philosophers.

Great careers for intra-personal intelligence type:

  • Psychologist
  • Writer
  • Therapist
  • Counselor
  • Social Worker
  • Theologian
  • Entrepreneur
  • Poet

People with this intelligence type love learning about themselves! We have another quiz and tutorial you will love. Research has found that we each have 5 basic personality types. Learn about yours:

Personality Quiz

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Existential

Do you ever wonder about the meaning of life? Do you read books about our evolution and how humans developed to be the species they are today? Are you awake late at night wondering what else exists outside of our known universe? 

Existential intelligence is often referred to as ‘life smarts’.

People with this type of intelligence tend to be sensitive and have the ability to ask deep questions about human existence and the meaning behind our existence.

Great careers for existential intelligence type:

  • Inspirational Speaker
  • Writer
  • Clergy
  • Author
  • Philosopher
  • Economist
  • Blogger

Here is the most important thing to know about your intelligence type: Learn to leverage it.

You will be far more successful if you work with your natural inclinations.

Learn about your strengths and find ways to utilize them!

About Science of People

Our mission is to help you achieve your social and professional goals faster using science backed, practical advice. Our team curates the best communication, relationship and social skills research; turning into actionable and relatable life skills. Science of People was founded by Vanessa Van Edwards, bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma.

29 replies on “What’s Your Intelligence Type?”

    1. Scott Edwards

      Hi Deepa,

      Sorry to hear that! I went back and was able to successfully trigger your response email. It looks like you’re Word Smart!

  1. Shyamal

    Hi Vanessa, I learnt from your intelligence-type-quiz that I’m a musical type, but I’m so poorly disposition when it comes to music. From your quiz pattern I personally found myself, I’m an admixture of all types with greater biases in some categories. Nevertheless, it’s interesting and congratulations.

  2. AK

    Hi Vanessa!
    I being an Asian,used to think that being good logically is the only kind of intelligence one can have.😅
    Thank you for breaking this stereotype through this simple test and making me feel more confident about myself! 😊

  3. Belinda

    The results are very surprising. Not at all how I think of myself. And I thought I was very self aware. Maybe I answered incorrectly???

  4. Stephan

    Hi Vanessa, I was very sceptic, only 9 questions … I also think people can have more than one…anyhow I was supprised to get an answer that certainly would my main talent. Good job.

    A still better test would be maybe like giving scores for each type. Like you do with the types of personalities in Captivate. But that would be a whole new book I suppose, or maybe you already have such a book?

    Thanks again. Cu.

  5. Muneeb

    I had a hunch about my intelligence type and that’s what I got.

    Curious to know in which intelligence type would film-makers / directors fall into?

    1. Kensi Science of People

      Hi Sejal! Are you using any ad blocker by chance? Or anything that would prevent javascript from running? That is how your score is calculated and displayed on the page. -Kensi | Science of People Team

  6. Zee

    Hi there, I’ve messaged before – thank you for your help! 🙂 Unfortuantely, it’s still not coming up with the results in the way that you described?

    1. Kensi Science of People

      Hi again! Are you using any ad blocker by chance? Or anything that would prevent javascript from running? That is how your score is calculated and displayed on the page. It seems to be working on my end, so that may be it! -Kensi | Science of People Team

  7. Mischka Marrett

    Like wow you got that spot on!!! I’m very impressed 🙂 thank you. Most of the career options suggested is actually what I have either already studied or am now looking into.

    1. Scott Edwards

      Caroline are you using any ad blocker by chance? Or anything that would prevent javascript from running? That is how your score is calculated and displayed on the page.

      1. Zee

        I don’t have add blocker running on here and Java Script isn’t working – unfortunately, I still haven’t received my results.

      2. Kensi Science of People

        Hi! After you submit, try waiting a few extra seconds and your screen should automatically scroll down on the page to the language you resulted with and highlight it. It won’t direct you to a new page or email you results if that’s what you’re looking for. I hope that helps! Let me know if it still isn’t working for you, and thanks for asking! -Kensi | Science of People Team

  8. Jevon

    I’ve heard about these before, but never thought to test for my type. I had a feeling that I was going to get Linguistic, and after completing the quiz that’s what I got!

    I do find myself picking apart sentences to see if what was said could be worded better and I also write poetry. Thank you for this fun little exercise.

  9. kees

    Hi Vanessa, spot on, and that with such a limited number of questions ! Understanding yourself (and others) really helps to engage with other people effectively and efficiently, but more important: enjoyably 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you liked this article...

Read More in Behavioral Psychology