variations of the music,
2) interpersonal intelligence to understand how he can inspire or emotionally move his audience through his movements, as well as
3) bodily-kinesthetic intelligence to provide him with the agility and coordination to complete the movements successfully.
Basis for Intelligence
Gardner argues that there is both a biological and cultural basis for the multiple intelligences. Neurobiological research indicates that learning is an outcome of the modifications in the synaptic connections between cells. Primary elements of different types of learning are found in particular areas of the brain where corresponding transformations have occurred. Thus, various types of learning results in synaptic connections in different areas of the brain. For example, injury to the Broca's area of the brain will result in the loss of one's ability to verbally
communicate using proper syntax. Nevertheless,this injury will not remove the patient's understanding of correct grammar and word usage.
In addition to biology, Gardner (1983) argues that culture also plays a large role in the development of the intelligences. All societies value different types of intelligences.
The cultural value placed upon the ability to perform certain tasks provides the motivation to become skilled in those areas. Thus, while particular intelligences might be highly evolved in many people of one culture, those same intelligences might not be as developed in the individuals of another.
2.2. Psychological analysis of Gardner's Theory
Despite swings of the pendulum between theoretical and applied concerns, the concept of intelligence has remained central to the field of psychology. In the wake of the Darwinian revolution, when scientific psychology was just beginning, many scholars became interested in the development of intelligence across species. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were punctuated by volumes that delineated levels of
intelligence across species and within the human species . Francis Galton (cousin of Charles Darwin) was perhaps the first psychologically oriented scientist to try to measure the intellect directly. Though
Galton (1870) had a theoretical interest in the concept of intelligence, his work was by no means unrelated to practical issues. A committed eugenicist, he sought to measure intelligence and hoped, through proper "breeding," to increase the overall intelligence of the population.
During the following half century, many of the most gifted and influential
psychologists concerned themselves with the nature of human intelligence. Although a few investigators were interested principally in theoretical issues, most seasoned their concerns with a practical orientation. Thus, Binet and Terman developed the first general-purpose intelligence tests in their respective countries; Yerkes and Wechsler created their own influential instruments. Even scientists with a strong
theoretical bent, like Spearman and Thurstone , contributed either
directly or indirectly to the devising of certain measurement techniques and the favoring of particular lines of interpretation.
By midcentury, theories of intelligence had become a staple of psychology textbooks, even as intelligence tests were taken for granted in many industrialized countries.
Still, it is fair to say that, within scientific psychology, interest in issues of intelligence waned to some extent. Although psychometricians continued to perfect the instruments that purported to measure human intellect and some new tests were introduced , for the most part, the burgeoning interest in cognitive matters bypassed the area of intelligence.
This divorce between mainstream research psychology and the "applied area" of intelligence might have continued indefinitely, but by the late 70s, there were signs of a reawakening of interest in theoretical and research aspects of intelligence. With his focus on the information-processing aspects of items in psychological tests, Robert
Sternberg was perhaps the most important catalyst for this shift,
but researchers from a number of different areas of psychology have joined in this rediscovery of the centrality of intelligence .
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
A decade ago, Gardner found that his own research interests were leading him to a heightened concern with issues of human intelligence. This concern grew out of two disparate factors, one primarily theoretical, the other largely practical.
As a result of his own studies of the development and breakdown of cognitive and symbol-using capacities, Gardner became convinced that the Piagetian view of intellect was flawed. Whereas Piaget had
conceptualized all aspects of symbol use as part of a single "semiotic function,"
empirical evidence was accruing that the human mind may be quite modular in design. That is, separate psychological processes appear to be involved in dealing with linguistic, numerical, pictorial, gestural, and other kinds of symbolic systems .
Individuals may be precocious with one form of symbol use, without any necessary carryover to other forms. By the same token, one form of symbol use may become seriously compromised under conditions of brain damage, without correlative depreciation of other symbolic capacities . Indeed, different forms of symbol use appear to be subserved by different portions of the cerebral cortex.
On a more practical level, Gardner was disturbed by the nearly exclusive stress in school on two forms of symbol use: linguistic symbolization and logical-mathematical symbolization. Although these two forms are obviously important in a scholastic setting, other varieties of symbol use also figure prominently in human cognitive activity within and especially outside of school. Moreover, the emphasis on linguistic and logical capacities was overwhelming in the construction of items on intelligence,
aptitude, and achievement tests. If different kinds of items were used, or different kinds ofassessment instruments devised, a quite different view of the human intellect might issue forth.
These and other factors led Gardner to a conceptualization of human intellect that was more capacious. This took into account a wide variety of human cognitive capacities, entailed many kinds of symbol systems, and incorporated as well the skills valued in a variety of cultural and historical settings. Realizing that he was stretching the word
intelligence beyond its customary application in educational psychology, Gardner proposed the existence of a number of relatively autonomous human intelligences. He defined intelligence as the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings, and detailed a set of criteria for what counts as a human intelligence.
Gardner's definition and his criteria deviated significantly from established practices in the