Gardner’s MI

12 09 2012

Intelligence is a ‘‘biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture’’ . Yes, dear CPS fans (creative problem solving) it sounds familiar!

However psychometric or experimental evidence that allows one to prove the existence of the several intelligences seems to be lacking in literature. Cognitive neuroscience, too strongly critiques Gardner, in particular when he claims that the intelligences are innate potentialities related to a general content area.” (From Waterhouse, 2006a, p. 213).  Please read more at

However, back to Gardner’s, all humans have different strengths and ranges of intelligences, that is different cognitive potentials that can become an ability in a given setting. Whether the various intelligences work separately or are in some ways codependent has not been determined. However, Gardner has found that individuals can be generalists or specialists, characteristics that allow persons to be “lasers” and “searchlights.”

People who are lasers generally use one or possibly two intelligences almost to the exclusion of the others. Examples of famous lasers are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, and Mario Andretti. Searchlights have strengths in several intelligences but do not have a single, very strong intelligence. Searchlights are good at keeping track of many different details, multitasking, and monitoring. Politicians; business executives; presidents of universities, corporations, and countries; and athletic coaches are examples of people who are searchlights.

Multiple intelligences theory can be useful in the workplace. Most people gravitate to jobs that they enjoy doing and have an aptitude for, which is usually the result of their having intellectual strengths in those areas. However, using multiple intelligences profiles of individuals who will be making up a team can help determine if the intelligences will constrain or hinder the group’s work, if one person’s intelligences will compensate for others’ weaknesses, and if the individuals will catalyze each other to produce better work than any of them could do alone. Knowing whether individuals are lasers or searchlights can help determine the best positions for them; for example, lasers would be better suited for occupations such as proofreaders or production inspectors, while searchlights make good division managers and even chief executive officers.

This last paragraph is taken from 

and I really wonder if the examples offered for lasers are representative…

 For Buffalo’s mamacitas –> see the use of Mi and card sorting proposed by Puccio




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