Writing Characters With Different Styles of Intelligence

Aka Psych 105

There’s a different theory of styles of intelligence for nearly every founding researcher on intelligence. I had to learn 8 for a midterm ugh.

Depending on which theory you’re using, there can be as few a two types of intelligence, and as many as 16000. Seriously. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to be using Howard Gardners 9 types of intelligence, because it’s the first one I ever heard of (all the way back in grade 7) and because it gives me a lot of room to work with without being overwhelming. Also because I like the number 9.

What I’m gonna do is name the intelligence, give you a summary of what it is, give you a rundown of what someone with high intelligence would be good at, and examples of a character with high and a character with low intelligence. (I’m gonna try to stick to Popular characters, so expect a lot of harry potter lmao)

Most people will be above average in 1-3 styles of intelligence inherently, but putting effort into something will improve your intelligence levels! 

-Nature type intelligence

Natural intelligence is usually referred to as ‘having a green thumb’. Natural type intelligence refers to intelligence regarding plants, animals, rocks- it’s essentially ‘evolutionary’ intelligence. It’s a bit hard to explain-it involves the ability to figure out where animals would probably be, what plants you would find where and what they could be used for, how to act in the prescense of animal, and being able to tell the weather from the clouds. Someone with high natural intelligence would probably be an excellent hiker and gardener, and probably a great person to go camping with. A character with high natural intelligence would be Neville longbottom (and probably luna lovegood too) from Harry Potter and a character with low natural intelligence would be Draco malfoy. Seriously, what a cunt.

-Auditory intelligence

Auditory intelligence is sound- based intelligence. Auditory intelligence includes skills like discerning pitch and tone, and being able to tell flaws or mistakes in a song or persons voice. Someone with high auditory intelligence would learn best from lectures, be able to recall details from verbal conversations, and would probably be a great musician or singer. People with high auditory intelligence will also likely have high logical/ mathematical intelligence, or high interpersonal intelligence (tho not always both). A character with high auditory intelligence would be Beca from pitch perfect (she’d be an interpersonal correlated auditory learner!) while a character with low auditory intelligence would be Hagrid from harry potter

-Logical/ mathematical type intelligence

Logical type intelligence is probably be what people think of when they think of ‘intelligence’. Logical type intelligence deals with numbers and conclusive data- someone with high logical intelligence can look at a scrambled rubix cube and figure out an algorithm or movements that will get them to the completed cube. Logical intelligence works with symbolic thought  (ie. imaginary numbers) and sequential thinking. Someone with high logical intelligence would be good as a mathematician, doctor, physicist, or other science based disciplines. An example of a Logical thinker is actually Ron Weasley from harry potter (remember his chess skills?) alongside Hermione granger, while a character with poor logical intelligence would be Lance mcclain from voltron

-Existential type intelligence

Existential type intelligence relates to the more philosophical parts of life- the meaning of life, of death, of right and wrong. A lot of protagonists should have this kind of intelligence- what does it mean to do ‘good’? To have a cause? Bonus points if your antagonists are both high existential types, but have very different ideologies. Harry potter and Voldemort both are strong existential types, while a poor existential type would be pidge gundersen from voltron

-Interpersonal type intelligence

This is people skills! Interpersonal intelligence involves reading a situation and responding correctly, being able to help people through a crisis, negotiating, and delivering a convincing speech. A lot of typical fan faves have really high interpersonal intelligence- Naruto Uzumaki is like, the Most. Rival pairings usually include someone with high interpersonal intelligence and someone with low, like lance mcclain and   keith kogane

-Kinesthetic type intelligence

Bodily intelligence! This is the ability not only to be physically strong or fast, but also to be precise. A painter who can’t do a single pushup is still going to have high kinesthetic type intelligence due to the precision of their work, though in a different way. This kind of intelligence is primarily achieved through practice, practice, practice, though some people might be naturally more flexible or genetically predispositioned to bulk up muscle faster. Bella Swan goes from a character with really low kinesthetic intelligence to a character with high kinesthetic intelligence post being vampirified

-Linguistic type intelligence

This is you guys! Linguistic intelligence is language based intelligence, both the learning of and using of languages. High linguistic intelligence is correlated with clear speech, well done essays, and creative works. Someone with low linguistic intelligence would really struggle with the humanities in school, and would have trouble with an essay. Linguistic intelligence tends to be moderately correlated with interpersonal intelligence. A character with high linguistic intelligence would be Takeshi Shirogane (shiro) from voltron- leader types usually are (inspiration speeches anyone?), while a character with low linguistic intelligence would be Neville longbottom

-Intrapersonal type intelligence

This is knowing your ‘self’.

It’s a little hard to explain, but it works with your emotions and reactions and personal limits. This tends to come up less in fiction- the one character I can pull from the top of my head that has plainly high intrapersonal intelligence is Maximum Ride (totally recommend that book series btw.). Intrapersonal intelligence tends to be really emphasized in religious scriptures- be aware of your faults and work past them to be kind. A character with low intrapersonal intelligence would probably be lance mcclain- he has an extremely negative view of himself despite his strong interpersonal skills.

-Spatial type intelligence

This is also called visual type intelligence! Spatial type intelligence is the ability to visualize things in a 3 dimensional plane, remember approximate distances, and being able to recreate scenes from memory. People with high spatial intelligence tend to learn by seeing images or watching clips, an tend to be excellent painters and sculptors. Spatial intelligence also has to do with a sense of direction- navigators needs to have high spatial intelligence. A character with high spatial intelligence would be harry potter- quidditch players all probably have great spatial skills, while a character with low spatial skills would be allen walker from d grey man

hope this is helpful! This is the article i used as my guide

Author: corvidcraft

What's up! I'm a northern Canadian artist/writer. Poli sci student by education, acrylic painter by passion.

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