Intrapersonal Intelligence: Definition & Examples - MentalUP

What did Socrates, Albert Einstein, and Mahatma Gandhi have in common? We know that you have science or philosophy in mind, but that’s not the answer we’re looking for.

They and many of the names that led to the changing of the world had a type of intelligence called intrapersonal intelligence. So, what is intrapersonal intelligence?

What does intrapersonal intelligence mean?

You will find out all about intrapersonal intelligence meaning soon. But there's much more to learn. Read on to discover interesting facts about intrapersonal intelligence, its examples, and how it can benefit your life by using the best teaching strategies to learn faster.

What Is Intrapersonal Intelligence?

Intrapersonal meaning is defined as within a person; that is, taking place within one person's self or mind. The definition of intrapersonal intelligence is not to be confused with interpersonal, which refers to something occurring between people.

Hence, intrapersonal intelligence definition is about the capacity to explore one's inner world and feelings. This type of intelligence can help a person focus on planning and managing their life.

Still, the question of “what does intrapersonal intelligence look like?” is on your mind; let’s find out the answer together. 👍

Shortly, people with high intrapersonal intelligence potential have an idea of what they want to achieve and how they can take it. Also, they often score higher on tests of other types of intelligence, too. 📝

For example, someone with intrapersonal intelligence, such as Albert Einstein or Socrates, may also have the potential for improved verbal and numerical intelligence. Do you want to improve your or your kids’ intrapersonal intelligence potential? 🚀

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What Is Intrapersonal Intelligence in Psychology?

In 1983, developmental psychologist Howard Gardner defined 8 different types of intelligence and learning styles according to the multiple intelligence theory.

multiple intelligences intrapersonal

These are:

According to Gardner's theory, intelligence is not a steady phenomenon. People can hold different types and levels of intelligence.

A person with advanced potential in mathematical intelligence will understand the world through mathematics, whereas intrapersonal multiple intelligence provides the chance to see the world from a different angle.

According to Gardner, a person who cannot master mathematics cannot be considered less successful or intelligent than someone who can.

On the other hand, Gardner's theory also has some drawbacks. For example, it is very difficult to know exactly how many different kinds of intelligence areas there are. Likewise, we cannot speak of a standard intelligence test or an intrapersonal intelligence test that can reveal these types of intelligence.

Therefore, it is important to remind you that the question of “who has intrapersonal intelligence?” is hard to be answered exactly. We can only have an idea about Howard Gardner intrapersonal intelligence.

💡 We’ve mentioned different types of intelligence, but if you want to learn more about Multiple Intelligence Theory and Intelligence Types, you can visit the link here.

What Are the Characteristics of Intrapersonal Intelligence?

The journey to know and understand others for an intrapersonal person starts with knowing themselves. After they get to know themselves, these people have a chance to understand other people, their inner worlds, and their thoughts. This way, intrapersonal strengths will show up.

intrapersonal intelligence characteristics

We cannot define people with intrapersonal intelligence as narcissistic people. Narcissism is categorized as a personality disorder, while intrapersonal intelligence is not a disorder. In addition, people with intrapersonal intelligence are concerned with the environment around them, not just with themselves.

So, how does a person with high interpersonal intelligence behave? Individuals with high intrapersonal intelligence potential are motivated to apply what they learn to their daily lives. A person with an intrapersonal personality is often very determined to achieve his or her goals no matter how old she or he is.

You can find some other characteristics of intrapersonal intelligence here. The people who have intrapersonal characteristics might look like the below.

  • They start getting to know other people by getting to know themselves.
  • They enjoy being alone and dealing with something alone.
  • Their intuition is strong.
  • Although they are aware of their strengths, they often do not boast.
  • They are independent and have high self-confidence.
  • They can control many feelings, especially anger.
  • Young people may be more introverted compared to their peers.
  • They like to process the events they’ve experienced.
  • They seek to understand their own mistakes in any negative events they have experienced in order to avoid similar situations in the future.
  • They tend to express their feelings and thoughts in creative ways, such as through writing or music.
  • Development is almost guaranteed for people with high intrapersonal intelligence potential. They constantly look for new life philosophies and ways to improve themselves.

What Are Intrapersonal Intelligence Examples?

Intrapersonal intelligence is mainly about managing thought processes. People who have this type of intelligence use this strategy in creativity, problem-solving, or productivity.

intrapersonal intelligence famous person

When we look at intrapersonal intelligence examples, we can talk about rational thought, emotion control, discipline, concentration, and introspection. If you or your kids have intrapersonal intelligence, you obviously have these skills.

Moreover, situational awareness, specific plans, and visual and conceptual thinking are among the other examples of intrapersonal intelligence. Working hard, self-direction, and achievement, which are examples of intrapersonal goals, are very important for an interpersonal personality.

Why Is Intrapersonal Intelligence Important?

When you think that you or your kids have intrapersonal intelligence, you can start to wonder how intrapersonal intelligence helps relationships, school, work, or daily life. Let’s deep dive and learn the answer to the question, “What is intrapersonal intelligence good for?”.

intrapersonal intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is one of the types of intelligence, but it has obviously some strong and weak spots as the others. Firstly, people who have this type of intelligence can evaluate their thoughts and feelings pretty well. This gives them clarity of mind. So they can designate their goals better than others and achieve them easily.

Moreover, they can manage their emotions and reflect them to other people openly. Intrapersonal intelligence is important for these reasons, but you don’t need to worry if you don’t have these qualities. You can always develop your intrapersonal intelligence and cognitive skills through the proper tools to be more successful.

How to Test Intrapersonal Intelligence?

After you learn the specific details of intrapersonal intelligence, you might want to learn whether you are among the people with intrapersonal intelligence or not. So, how do you know intrapersonal intelligence?

Before diving deep, it is important to remind you that there is no exact intrapersonal intelligence test in the market. But you can determine if you or your kids have this intelligence type by using suitable sources such as the Multiple Intelligences test.

Multiple Intelligences Test can help you to discover your affinities and skill areas and make sure you’re on the right track by knowing yourself better. ✅

It’s the easiest way of detecting your special interest and skill areas. Quick and Instant results! Here:

Take Multiple Intelligences Test

How to Develop Intrapersonal Intelligence: 5 Simple Tips

As Howard Gardner said, “Everything worth learning can be taught in different ways. The diversity of these methods stimulates multiple intelligence.”

By using effective learning tools and exercises, you can always develop your cognitive potential in different ways.

Children with intrapersonal intelligence are aware of their intelligence. They know what goals they want to achieve and what they need to do to achieve them. They learn from their mistakes and often enjoy individual work.

Don’t you want to learn how to improve intrapersonal skills? What needs to be done to develop intrapersonal intelligence potential? Here are some development suggestions for those who want to improve their intrapersonal intelligence.

1. Keep a diary

A diary can help you see what's going on around you from a different angle.

keeping diary

Routinely keeping a diary also helps create awareness. If it seems old school to write a diary, it can also be logged using a voice recorder.

“Writing in a diary reminds you of your goals and learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.” - Robin Sharma

2. Take Thinking Breaks

Thinking is one of the greatest abilities of mankind.

how can I improve my intrapersonal intelligence

You can develop your intrapersonal intelligence with short thought breaks. It doesn't matter what you think about it. You will be shocked by the impact of thought journeys during your short breaks in a day.

3. Consider All Types of Intelligence

If we use Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, we can say that one person can be successful in more than one intelligence field.

intrapersonal goal

Apart from your intrapersonal intelligence, you can improve yourself in many areas, especially visual and verbal intelligence by doing suitable intrapersonal activities.

“Although I have worked on many subjects and written books, I have never lost interest in multiple types of intelligence.” - Howard Gardner

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4. Develop Social Hobbies

Intrapersonal intelligence does not only apply to a person’s inner thoughts and feelings.

activities for intrapersonal intelligence

It is important you to know that people with high intrapersonal intelligence can also understand other people's feelings and thoughts, which is a very important leadership trait.

Children with high intrapersonal intelligence potential may have difficulty adapting to social settings, but this is the kind of problem that can be overcome with social hobbies. More involvement in social communities and emotional intelligence activities can help manage and eventually eliminate social anxiety.

5. Be Involved in Personal Development Activities or Read Books

We have mentioned that children with high intrapersonal intelligence may constantly seek to develop themselves.

intrapersonal intelligence activities

To support them, you can encourage your child towards personal development activities and age-appropriate personal development books.

Child-friendly workshops are great social activities for intrapersonal development. With this type of education, children develop the right skill set for Education 4.0.

Difference Between Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Intelligence

When it comes to drawing the lines of intrapersonal intelligence, it is necessary to compare its features with those of interpersonal intelligence.

So, what is the difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence? It is time to learn how to remember intrapersonal vs interpersonal intelligence.

The difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence is as follows:

Intrapersonal Intelligence Interpersonal Intelligence
Skills Visualisation
Recognising negativity
Decision making
Conflict management
Definition Something that reflects within oneself Something that reflects between people
Concerned with Thought and analysis Exchange of ideas
Tools Mind, diaries, other mediums of self-expressions In person and via communication tools
Feedback Individual feedback Feedback from other people

Famous People with Intrapersonal Intelligence

If you are curious about the characteristics of intrapersonal intelligence, it is not enough to look at its definition, features, or examples. You can benefit from world-known famous people who have intrapersonal intelligence to understand this type of intelligence.

Do you want to find out famous people whose intelligence is intrapersonal? Great. We’ve compiled celebrities who have intrapersonal intelligence for you. Let’s discover together!

Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud is the founder of psychoanalysis.

Sigmund Freud

Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is one of the founders of Western philosophy.


American political figure, diplomat and activist Eleanor Roosevelt worked for political, racial and social justice.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer Mahatma Gandhi is the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India.

Mahatma Gandhi

Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer.

Helen Adams Keller

Anne Frank was a German-Dutch diarist of Jewish heritage. She became a young Holocaust victim whose childhood diary became one of the most poignant records of the Nazi era.

Anne Frank

Greek philosopher and polymath Aristotle is the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition.


German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most influential modern thinkers.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, acknowledged as one of the greatest physicists of all time.

Albert Einstein

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and the founding father of the Republic of Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Possible Careers for People With Intrapersonal Intelligence

Thanks to great examples of intrapersonal intelligence, such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Aristotle, Socrates, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Albert Einstein, we have seen how people with this type of intelligence have changed the course of history.

Thanks to their imagination, intuition, creativity, and other features that come with intrapersonal intelligence, they have accomplished great things and made their mark in the world.

A career for intrapersonal intelligence needs to be appropriate for their unique characteristics. Now, let’s have a look at intrapersonal jobs. Some of the most suitable intrapersonal intelligence careers include:

  • Author
  • Poet
  • Thespian
  • Philosopher
  • Religious leader
  • Private trainer
  • Computer-assisted instructor
  • Police and other security forces units
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Entrepreneur
  • Farmer
  • Historian
  • Inventor
  • Librarian
  • Philosopher
  • Psychologist
  • Scientist
  • Theologian
  • Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Theorist

The above examples can be used as an ideal list for people with intrapersonal intelligence. But you should never forget that our brain functions across more than one intelligence type. So you or your child can have high potential in other types and have a successful career in different fields as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are people with the intrapersonal intelligence called?

People who are strongly connected with themselves have a high potential for intrapersonal intelligence. They can evaluate and reflect on their thoughts or emotions better than other people. But it doesn’t mean that they can be called narcissists.

Why Bill Gates has intrapersonal intelligence?

Bill Gates has both powerful logical-mathematical and intrapersonal intelligence skills. This has made him successful in his work and daily life. It is important to remind you that people who have intrapersonal intelligence are generally good at one of the other intelligence types.

What type of intelligence do babies develop first spatial intrapersonal linguistic naturalistic?

All people have different characteristics and intelligence types. You can always improve your kids’ intelligence and cognitive abilities. But it is important to remember that babies might have strong features of an intelligence type than others. You can use a test to analyze it.

Why Teresa de Calcuta, Gandhi and Mandela are intrapersonal intelligence examples?

They can all reflect their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and emotions well to other people. They have affected many people with their inner world. This is one of the most identifying characteristics of intrapersonal intelligence. So, we can say that they are intrapersonal intelligence examples.