Kinesthetic Intelligence: Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:02 Kinesthetic Intelligence
  • 0:17 Theory of Multiple…
  • 2:02 What Is It?
  • 3:18 Examples
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

What do Florence Griffith-Joyner, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Britney Spears all have in common? They all have bodily/kinesthetic intelligence. Learn more about bodily/kinesthetic intelligence from examples, and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Introduction to Kinesthetic Intelligence

Have you ever been told that you're good at sports? Maybe you enjoy hands-on activities and remember things better by doing them. Are you flexible, strong, and physically fit? If so, you have demonstrated bodily/kinesthetic intelligence.

Howard Gardner's Theory Of Multiple Intelligences

In 1983, developmental psychologist Howard Gardner proposed that there are seven different types of intelligences, one of which is bodily/kinesthetic intelligence. An eighth intelligence was added in 1999. Each one of the intelligences is independent from the others. The eight intelligences are:

  1. Musical intelligence: includes sensitivity to music, sounds, and rhythms
  2. Visual-spatial intelligence: includes awareness of your surrounding physical space and how to manipulate them
  3. Naturalistic intelligence: includes the awareness of elements found in nature, such as trees, flowers, and landscape
  4. Interpersonal intelligence: includes the capacity to understand and interact with those around you
  5. Intrapersonal intelligence: includes the capacity to understand your own feelings, motivations, goals, and values
  6. Logical/mathematical intelligence: includes the ability to look at things in a logical manner and to understand mathematical concepts
  7. Linguistic intelligence: includes an appreciation for language and the ability to use language to achieve your goals
  8. Bodily/kinesthetic intelligence: includes athleticism and an awareness of one's body

Since each of the intelligences is independent from the others, having a high level of one type of intelligence does not guarantee a high level of intelligence on the others. For example, an archaeologist can be skilled at finding and classifying fossils (a naturalistic intelligence), but may not have a good understanding of his own strengths, weaknesses, goals, and motivation for his chosen career choice (or intrapersonal intelligence).

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