Thursday, 26 December 2013

Intelligence and learning styles

The third chapter of the employment biography is about learning styles. But it is also about intelligences. The book lists the eight different intelligences, and the reader is asked to relate to these:
1. The logical/mathematical intelligence - this is where I am quite strong. I work with data, numbers, statistics, and I am quite good at it.
2. The interpersonal/social intelligence - if it involves me, I am rather poor in this field.
3. Kinesthetic intelligence/gut feeling. I do have gut feeling, but I think it is biased. I think my own anxiety towards certain situations pollute my gut feeling.
4. The musical/rhytmic intelligence. No. Not me...
5. The intrapersonal/analytical intelligence - this one is my strongest. I am very good at analysis, both within my field of work, but also of relations, situations etc., unless of course they involve myself, cf. above. The author of the employment workbook entitles this intelligence 'introvert', and states that people that are strong in this field don't work well in teams (that would be me, too).
6. The linguistic/verbal intelligence. If the analytical intelligence is my best and the mathematical my second best, this would be my number three. I am rather good at putting my thoughts into words, preferably written words. That said, I am often told that I use very few words. I provide information on a strict need-to-know basis.
7. The visual/spatial intelligence. I think this must be my number four, I am visually oriented, and I am better at finding my way than the prejudice against my gender dictates I would be. I look at a map, transform it into 3D inside my head and find my way, almost every time. Unless of course I am given oral instructions such as 'at the gas station, go left, and immediately after, go right'. These things are impossible for me to transform into 3D, and I get lost, because I can't visualise it. The visual intelligence is also about thinking in images. And I don't do that often. In particular, I am not very fond of metaphors. I rarely use them myself, and I get very irritated when others (over)use metaphors.
8. The natural intelligence - I wrote: 'something about animals and plants' in my notebook. Well, no. I like cats and dogs etc., but I am not particularly interested in animals, and don't consider myself intelligent in this natural sense. Even less for plants. I don't own potted plants (because we have a cat...) and plants are only interesting for eating.

As for learning styles, I have established long ago, that I strongly favour the visual learning style. If I need to understand something, I have to read it. I remember pictures much better that things that are told to me. I remember faces but not names. The biography goes a step further than establishing one of four learning styles, though. I had to review the tasks I had in the three jobs and describe how I learned to do these tasks.

Overall, I go about my tasks (including learning them) systematically. I keep a sense of perspective, while still focusing on details. This combination of seeing both the wood and the trees is one of my strongest competences in my job.

I ask for help (a lot) when I need to learn something new, at least if I know whom to ask. However asking for help is not very wise, because the help I get is almost always in the form of oral advise, which I forget within minutes.

I imitate others (another survival strategy) and I am often inspired by others.

It is easy for me to understand computer programmes and written instructions.

In two areas: Teaching and networking, I rely on my gut feeling. My intuition is very good as long as it doesn't involve myself.


  1. This is the part I don't think I'll be able to use. I seem to have a bit of all of them that I'm good at and that I'm poor at. My type of intelligence is something that's a part of certain aspects of many different areas and not others.

    I would say logical/mathematical intelligence is my lowest because math was my least liked subject back in school (especially way back) and because I suck at calculating (even small numbers), but then I'm actually an extremely logical thinker and actually got 11 (old grading system - translated to HD) in Statistics in my BA and have fared well in other math-based subjects as well. As long as I have a calculator then I'm usually fine with math.

    Social: I'm very solitaire and have social difficulties because my abilities to perceive and handle social culture/group dynamics/politics sucks and for other reasons, but then I can be quite tuned in to some persons and am socially considerate/wise. I can also be a good team worker.

    Gut feeling: I do have a high intuition but I am prone to bias so I prefer evidence. I use intuition to determine where to start looking for evidence though.

    Languages/verbal: I'm good at combining words, creating stories, distilling meaning, detecting meaning patterns et.c. - that's what I've focused on from an early age and with the greatest success since I was small. I was always reading and writing stories, or telling stories before I could write. I'm also a quick learner of some languages as first, but I don't have an interest in languages and so quickly tire and stagnate. I also had problems learning English during my BA. I barely passed English Written Proficiency and was told that I wouldn't be able to work for a company where the concern language was English due to my poor pronunciation, strong accent and high propensity to make grammatical errors when speaking English. I'm still being criticised for my accent. It is not even typical Danish, it is my very own accent:-(

    Music: I've been told I'm talented at music (OK that's long ago and may be a mistake). I do have a good ability to intuitively combine tones e.g. on a piano, I sing well (lots of warm feedback for that - I sing for an audience every week... in Church). I am virtually never off tune. I love to listen to rhythms but I find it difficult to learn & keep a rhythm, so I find it hard to learn to play properly beyond singing. My finger coordination is not very good. I sometimes make music on my laptop (with the Garageband app), then I don't need to play the rhythms myself:-)

    Visual/spatial: I suck at reading maps and easily get lost inside a building, but think visually and am good at combining visual elements. I understand things only by imagining a visual animation in a 3D space that shows the action. No animation = no understanding (it is very hard to learn Statistics that way).

    Natural intelligence: high on reading nature through my senses. I'm very curious about ecosystems and how we humans fit into the bigger picture (space comes in here too). Animals has been my biggest interest from I was a young kids and life looses its juice if I can't interact with animals. I also had some of my best results in my farming education in subjects like plant biology, soil science et.c.

  2. During my education(s), I've got my highest marks in very different subject fields, such as: Statistics, Cultural Sociology, Organisation, Plant Biology (several subjects), Religion, Services Marketing, et.c. That's a mixture of some of the subjects I fared best in in uni, the farming education, and high school subjects).

    So... What do I make of that...

    I'm highly systematic and good at imagining and detecting patterns of meaning verbally (some aspects - not good at remembering grammar), mathematically (some aspects), socially (some aspects), musically (some aspects - not good at rhythm), in nature, visually (some aspects), intuitively (not reliably). That is all of the areas. And within all of the areas, there are aspects I excel at and others where I'm surprisingly incompetent, and times when I'm super tuned at something and at other times confused and irrational.

    1. Thanks for your comments. It appears as if you have a number of skills and talents. Only they don't fit well into the intelligence categories. I know what you mean about excelling in some areas etc. in high school, I took the science line due to my love of maths. But I never understood physics, and got rather poor grades...

  3. Ps. You have a word limit for comments at 4,096 words per comment, did you know that? :-)

    1. I didn't... Makes me wonder: why 4,096 and not, say, 5,000? :)