Sunday, November 15, 2020

Review of Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Psychology

Elaborate Description

Linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, personal intelligences encompasses Howard Gardner’s list of Multiple Intelligences. No list will be conclusive as any list would depend on the type of analysis or goal which differ based on the investigators of intelligence. To qualify as an intelligence, the competence needs to have a set of problem solving skills, have the potential for growth of those skills, be localized in the brain, and be found in multiple cultures.

The intelligences can be characterized as tacit knowledge of implementation rather than prepositional knowledge of procedures. An intelligence is not a raw computational capacity, it can only be applied to the extent the individual can interact with aspects of the environment that give meaning to the intelligence. The more intelligences strengths an individual has, the more possibilities are opened. A common theme of the intelligences seems to be the importance of memory.

Intelligences appear based on domains. Certain types of domains are universal were the species needs to confront to handle the physical and social environment. Cultural domains are limited to certain regions as they are not essential for survival but enable certain social progress to made. Unique domains are limited to few individuals who have the skills enabling them to make progress in the domain, with the potential of making the unique domain accessible to others. Creativity depends on internal competence and values, available sources of study, and judgements within the field.

Each chapter shows the expression of the particular intelligence, childhood development of the intelligence, and the brain area associated with the particular intelligence. Evidence shows that the different intelligences are processed differently and can be impaired by a specific lesion. Localization of the brain for the particular intelligence occurs in different areas for different individuals.

Although the mind can handle different kinds of content, the capabilities within a content is not representative of the capabilities with other contents. As such, the author repudiates IQ tests as the tests are not testing what they claim they are testing. IQ tests are good for predicting school performance as those subjects are on the tests, but the tests miss every other forms of intelligence. IQ tests have a very limited view of what makes up intelligence and consider that there is only a single general intelligence.

The problem with this theory is the localization of the brain. Gardner mentions that all the intelligences have some interactions with the other types which cannot be explained if they are mutually independent as per the localization. Gardner dismissed many forms of intelligence as they cannot be localized, but when a lesion in the brain is found and the person still has the particular intelligence, Gardner defends the intelligence. Gardner states that the brain region can be different per individual which would go against the localization of the brain. As skills and what is admired as an intelligence is subject to change based on the time and culture of the person, if stuck to localization, it would create a host of implications which are inconsistent with localization such as inactivity in the brain or graduality of brain parts. It is more consistent to see that each person has different capabilities with some being outstanding to be called intelligent relative to peers.

Gardner expresses intelligence tests are only helpful for predicting school performance but fail at expressing other types of intelligences. The intelligences Gardner finds most salient are each provided a chapter and are given to extensive review of what it entails. Each shows a sample of people who excel at a particular type of intelligence. The focus appears to be on children as many children who show an inclination to a particular intelligence grow up to utilize it with renown. Due to the localization, it would appear that adults cannot obtain those intelligences as the particular brain region is relatively underdeveloped.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9780465024339
Pages to read:   454
Publication:     2011
1st Edition:      1983
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability     4
Content           3
Overall           3