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Multiple Intelligence Tests

  1. Jan 16, 2005 #1
    Here's my opinion, I'd like some other thoughts on it though...

    Multiple intelligence tests are, for lack of a better word, bull****. It's just a bunch of crap made up my teachers (or whoever) to make less intelligent students feel better, and possibly kill off the would-be-enormously-huge-egos, that smarter students would otherwise have.

    First thing is first: What makes people think that there are seperate types of "intelligence" for different people? Can they not accept the fact that some people can't do anything right? One analogy that first MI tests perfectly, is the elementry teachers telling students, "You can do anything if you put your mind to it". Most of those students obviously can't. Though a bit banal, if that were true, who would make my burgers and pizza?

    As for personal experience, a few years ago, I didn't like English at all. I did not like reading, nor did I like reading. I would refuse to read books, and I would just use internet contractions, when faced with writting. However, one day, I saw my friend reading Lord of the Rings, and it was HUGE! Yes, it is quite a big book. I was an arrogant kid, so I thought, "If he can do it, why can I not?" My beliefs were not unfounded. I picked up Lord of the Rings, and I finished all three books, and The Silmarillion. I went from barely being able to read, to being able to read faster than just about everyone in my class, in a couple of months. Now, I can read three lines at a time, when I need to. I can't do it for intense scientific reading, but light fiction is easy because I can processes it all. Though I still don't like reading, I can do it, very well.

    As for writting, I was kind of forced to write. School of course, required me to write. I actually started writting after reading Tolkien, since I loved his writting style. Yes, I can write now, too. It's interesting, because in the period of less than one year, I went from not being able to spell, to a better writter than people who had English as their first language. Isn't that sad?

    Now let's talk about math. I was always able to do math, though I didn't really like doing math. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure this was because it never challenged me. What's the use in spending all those years in elementry and most of junior high learning that simple math? It's completely useless. It can be foced on kids in a couple of weeks. I knew the algebra they taught us in grade nine, when I was in grade five. PEOPLE STILL DIDN'T UNDERSTAND IT IN GRADE 9. Once I hit highschool, and I met concepts that I didn't already know, and became a little more interested. The higher I went each grade, my marks improved, especially when I jumped from normal to Advanced, when I could. Odd, eh? :)

    Let's talk about art. When I was a kid, I loved drawing! My uncle (I believe it's uncle, I've never been too familiar with the English family system), said my drawing capabilities at that age were amazing. This meant a lot, seeing how he's an artist. As I grew up, I just got fed up with drawing. It posed no challenge, and so, I gave it up.

    Musically, I can learn quite fast. I was never able to play trumpet too well, because my lip muscles wern't strong enough to hit the really high notes. However, I picked up guitar, and I learn extremely quickly. I am tone deaf, yes, but I can always correct that when I have time.

    Okay, interpersonal and intrapersonal are the stupidest forms of "intelligence" that I've ever heard of. Why the hell do you need intelligence to keep to yourself? Why do you need intelligence to talk to other people? I don't understand this crude thinking.

    Athletic "intelligence".... wow, heh. That's funny. Why is there intelligence in athletics? Athletics requires skill, yes, but that's not exactly intelligence. I've been trained in martial arts, I play badminton, tennis, table tennis, squash, and I swim. I excel in every one of those.

    Now, you wonder what my points were for some of those things I mentioned? Well, let's take the art example for instance. How does not doodling mean I suck at art, when I could easily pick it up? How does not reading mean I suck at reading, when I can read faster and understand more than other people that do read? I think I've given enough proof.

    Sorry that I only used personal examples, it's hard otherwise, to use examples.

    I don't think I've missed any. If I have, feel free to point it out and I'll tell you about it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2005 #2


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    maybe intelligence isn't the word you need to use since you seem to have a predisposed definition that it just means you are smart. i think people have different levels of understanding certain things, and a lot of that understanding might be attributed to how much a person likes it. for example, music-not everyone can make music on their own. look at beethoven. he was deaf and made music that is still appreciated today.

    and if you want to prove just how intelligent you really are, you might have done some research on the topic before spouting off who you assumed made up the multiple intelligence theory.

    Howard Gardner

    then have given a more informed opinion about the topic.
  4. Jan 16, 2005 #3
    I wasn't talking about me, though I had only examples of me. I could not go and file through someone else's life to find examples. I will go read what's on that link though. :)
  5. Jan 16, 2005 #4
    Okay, I've read the parts of that article that concerns this.

    Yes, I completely agree with the first part. I don't not believe either, that everyone can learn everything. However, I do not agree with the following statements, or at least, what it implies.

    What it is essentially saying, is that, some people can do things, better than other people. Correct? Again with a personal example: Is it true, that if I specially select someone in my school, that they can do SOMETHING better than me? No. There's a chance, but it's not definate. If we consider learning: Is there something he/she will learn faster than me? Maybe, but if they're not already better, I would doubt it.

    You mentioned that not everyone can make music, like did Beethoven. I agree. I recently heard Beethoven's Fifth, incooperated into a metal song. However, this is much like comparing a normal 'bit' to a quantum 'bit', is it not? Just because a bit renders 1, if it isn't 0, doesn't mean a qubit will. To explain my analogy a bit more, well, I'll try: What "IF"... What "IF", all the people who are capable of making music like him, did not like music? What if, all the chemists, and physicists of today, could have made 'better' music, than Beethoven? However, they did not 'choose' to follow that path.

    If someone has the potential to learn something, but does not like that area, does that mean, he/she is stupid--lacking the intelligence? I highly doubt that. That's really my argument. I apologize if it made me look like I was boasting.
  6. Jan 17, 2005 #5


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    what you are describing is a form of free will imo...if someone has the will, there will be the way. i can agree with that to a certain extent.
  7. Jan 17, 2005 #6
    Well, I happen to be a teacher who uses MI in the classroom as a tool to help students learn. And that's really the main motivation behind MI theory: to help students learn. No harm in that is there?

    Given the learning of a new skill, the individual with a strong intelligence related to the skill will learn it faster and will generally retain the skill over a longer time, simply because the skill is "in sync" with the primary learning style(s).

    No. Motivation obviously plays a role in learning.
  8. Jan 17, 2005 #7


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    It's one thing to talk about skills; they are clearly individual dependent. We remember that Michael Jordan, who was THE master player of basketball at the time, could only get up to the farm team level in baseball.

    But it's just spin or hype to call each skill a "form of intelligence". Firstly it downgrades real cognitive skills, which are the all-purpose get ahead for most people. Secondly, it endangers common education, if every student is only supposed to study what they're good at. And thirdly it slides into stereotype. What's the difference between a musical IQ and "a natural sense of rhythm"?
  9. Jan 17, 2005 #8


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    In sixth grade we had a kid in class for the first part of the school year who should have been in what they call "Special Education." He was not only retarded (to use a word that was in vogue back then, and which may now be non-P.C.), but he was deliberately disruptive. The pace of the teaching was geared for him, it seemed to the rest of us. He wasn't "getting it," and the rest of us had to suffer through dreary repetition on the part of the teacher. After maybe two months, they finally must have realized how unfair it was to the other 30 kids in the class, and they shipped him off to some other school, I guess. At any rate, I never saw him again.
  10. Jan 17, 2005 #9
    So, you're satisfied, feeding the children lies? Students that can't learn for themselves, shouldn't really be learning, in a sense. Okay, that was evil, but in a sense. =\ When I was in school, and I was forced to take that test, I didn't know what to do. I thought it was stupid, but I thought at that age, that teachers were always right. I didn't argue, and kept it inside. Do you honestly think that's fair for students? Do you think it's fair for students like me, to have to keep their thoughts back? I don't think it's fair.

    That's just it. Not everyone has a learning style. Not everyone is good at something. Some people on the other hand, are good at almost everything. The problem with the test, is that I might get a lower score in one area than someone else, but, I might be able to learn it faster, and use what I learned more efficiently. So, how can this test me accurate?

    Just curious, but you're agreeing that MI tests are pointless, correct?

    I feel for you. Really, things like this happen all too much. There's this girl in my math class (and I don't know why she's in advanced math)... She's so darn stupid. A few months back, the teacher asked, "Who can tell me the equation of this graph?" It was a quadatic function, and I can't really remember the formula, but anyway... She put up her hand, and answered, "oooh! y=mx+b?" ... I had to turn my face, and laugh... =\
  11. Jan 18, 2005 #10
    I believe that MI is in regards to the manner in which people think. Some people think in a more mathematical orderly fashion others in a more abstract fashion. I think the idea is that it is supposed to help you find what you have a natural affinity towards and help teachers find a way of learning which you have a natural affinity for aswell.

    It is likely that there are schools out there that exploit this sort of concept in order to make it look like they are realy educating even though they aren't just so they can get more money. Dorje, I'm sorry if you find that offensive but I know that at least here in California that sort of thing does happen quite a bit.

    Off topic but I just noticed that the thread count for the Skepticism & Debunking forum has reached 666. ;-p
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2005
  12. Jan 18, 2005 #11


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    As they have been presented in the psychological community and accepted by the educational community, yes. Jensen exploded Gardner's mathematical basis for MI long ago. The educators adopted MI because it went along with their core ethic to enhance the child's self esteem. All of this has meant a radical dumbing down of the US population for three generations, a phenomenon that has nothing to do do with IQ levels and eveything to do with cultural norms.
  13. Jan 18, 2005 #12
    There was actually a mathematical basis for his theory? *sigh*
    Yet, out of all the things the media exploit, this isn't one of them. People have become so irrational...
  14. Jan 18, 2005 #13


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    If you can find it, I recommend Jensen's old book Bias in Mental testing. Among many other goodies, there is his account of Gardiner's theory.
  15. Jan 18, 2005 #14
    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll go try and find it once my exams are over and done with =)
  16. Jan 18, 2005 #15


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    I remember taking the MI test and there was one thing in particular that I noticed: It is not an aptitude test. The questions were all questions about what the test-taker thinks of certain things. It tests preferences rather than ability.
  17. Jan 18, 2005 #16


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    The technical term for this is "convergent" versus "divergent". Convergent questions have an answer. A right one and many wrong ones. Divergent questions are often preceded by the disclaimer "there is no one right answer".
  18. Jan 28, 2005 #17
    Intelligence tests?

    The idea that something as nebulous and complicated as intelligence can be indicated with anything approaching a significant result, is at once both preposterous and laughable; most psychologists believe that IQ tests passed the age of 16, tend to indicate you level of education rather than any inate abilities and many go so far as to dissmiss them entirely as for a multiple test, why would we have the nerve to try to tell people what there good and bad at; that is for a person to do for himself, why put pressure on anyone to do a particular thing because there good at it; At school I excelled at maths and reading and was consequently skipped ahead a year, however my cog tests showed me to have a merely highish ability range, my IQ would allow me to join MENSA, but I wouldn't join that bunch of elitist sonbs if you payed me, however the one area where I truly excell, creativity is entirely ephemeral and unquantifiable, since we measure genius as the ability to use inspiration and creativity it is not for us mortals to try to box what is in fact unknowable.

    Personally I believe trying to get to know someone will yield a more accurate indication of where there strengths and weaknesses lie, after all Einstein was almost placed into a remedial school by his parents because he had severe difficulty communicating when he was younger, he got nowhere in school and struggled to achieve a pass with his degreee, Universities wouldn't hire him because of statistics, he had the last laugh at the ignorance of the lablers, he went on to revolutionise physics as we know it, I think that about sums up what trying to judge intelligence truly means, leave judgements to god if he exists; and dont lable people with nonsense tests :smile:

    I have seen the truth and it was nought but lies and misjudgements, what is truth? It's whatever you judge it to be :smile: me just then Jan 2005
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2005
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