What Is Intrapersonal Intelligence?

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Last Update Date: 05 November 2019

What did Socrates, Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi have in common? We know what you have maths and physics 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 held a type of intelligence called intrapersonal intelligence.

But there's more. So, read on to discover what intrapersonal intelligence is and how it can benefit your life.

intrapersonal intelligence


Intrapersonal intelligence is 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.

NOTE: Children with high intrapersonal intelligence potential have an idea of what they want to achieve and how they can achieve it. Children with intrapersonal intelligence often score higher in 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. You can use MentalUP’s intelligence games and its entertaining brain exercises to practice in all intelligence areas.

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

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

multiple intelligence

A person with advanced potential in mathematical intelligence will understand the world through mathematics, whereas intrapersonal intelligence provides the chance to see the world from a different angle. According to Gardner, a person who cannot master mathematics cannot be considered as 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 are possible. Likewise, we cannot speak of a standard intelligence test or an intrapersonal intelligence test that can reveal these types of intelligence.

Recommendation: We have mentioned the types of intelligence above that are accepted according to multiple intelligence theory. However, if you would like to know more about the theory of intelligence and the types of intelligence, please click the link below.

Multiple Intelligence Theory and Intelligence Types


The journey to know and understand others for people with intrapersonal intelligence starts with knowing their selves. Only after getting to know oneself will one have a chance to understand other people, their inner worlds and thoughts.

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

Individuals with high intrapersonal intelligence potential are highly motivated to apply learnings from life to their own lives and values. These people are often very determined to achieve their goals.

Here are some additional characteristics of people with intrapersonal intelligence:

  • They can easily apply what they have learned to their own lives.
  • 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 about it.
  • 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. For example, through writing or music.
  • Development is inevitable for people with high intrapersonal intelligence potential. They can constantly look for new life philosophies and ways to improve themselves.


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.

How is intrapersonal intelligence developed? 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. 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. You can develop your intrapersonal intelligence with short thought breaks. It doesn't matter what you think. 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. Apart from your intrapersonal intelligence, you can improve yourself in many areas, especially visual and verbal intelligence.

MentalUP is used by millions of children in order to further develop their cognitive abilities in memory, attention, logic, visual and verbal areas. MentalUP offers fun exercises where your child can achieve balanced development and discover their full potential.

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MentalUP is suitable for adults and especially for children aged 4-13 years.

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

4- Develop social hobbies

Intrapersonal intelligence does not only apply to a person’s inner thoughts and feelings; 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 among social communities 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. To support them, you can your child towards personal development activities and age-appropriate personal development books.

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


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.

Some of the most ideal professions t for people with intrapersonal intelligence include:

  • Author
  • Poet
  • Thespian
  • Philosopher
  • Religious leader
  • Private trainer
  • Computer-assisted instructor
  • Police and other security forces units
  • Law
  • Policy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Farmer
  • Historian
  • Inventor
  • Librarian
  • Philosopher
  • Psychologist
  • Scientist
  • Theologian
  • Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Theorists

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.