- Oct 2017
modes of communication
Interestingly, these five modes of communication correlate to Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In 1983 he published the book "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences," which outlined a model in which people's intelligence was not determined solely by their general ability (also known as IQ or the g factor). Gardner believed believed that types of intelligence were required to fulfill eight criteria:
1) the potential for brain isolation by brain damage
2) its place in evolutionary history
3) the presence of core operations
4) susceptibility to encoding
5) a distinct developmental progression
6) the existence of idiot-savants, prodigies and other exceptional people
7) support from experimental psychology
8) support from psychometric findings.
He then proposed nine types of intelligence that would satisfy these criteria: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existential (The last one was added after the initial eight). The chart bellow shows the types of intelligence with visual queues and a simpler wordings.
It is interesting that these modes of communication can associate to what Gardner would consider different functions of the brain (Linguistic mode of communication with verbal-linguistic intelligence, visual and spatial modes of communication with visual-spatial intelligence, aural communication with musical-rhythmic intelligence, and gestural communication with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence). Perhaps this indicated that by including multiple modes of communication in our writing for this class (or in any writing), we are able to target more parts of the brain and keep the audience more engaged. This would also mean that according to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, a multimodal text would have a broader appeal since people lacking on a certain type of intelligence would be able to understand the text through whichever mode of communication suits their strength and preference more. For example, a heavy text with many visuals would be more easy for "picture smart" people (as the graphic above would indicate) to connect with.
Sources: Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.
Image source: Linkedin Blog - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/theory-multiple-intelligences-potential-applications-silva-fca-