yes, therapy helps!
Kinesthetic body intelligence: what it is and how it is expressed

Kinesthetic body intelligence: what it is and how it is expressed

August 10, 2022

From the precise work of a surgeon saving lives to the graceful and sinuous movement of a dancer, passing through the mastery of the subtle gestures that give plausibility to the actions of an actor, the exercise of any of these professions requires a high degree of ability.

Most people might think that we are talking about physical capacity, but the truth is that there is much more: coordination, processing and expression of information and the control of one's body and what it produces. In fact, what all these individuals manifest is only a form of intelligence, which Gardner already valued in his theory of multiple intelligences: body intelligence or kinesthetic .


  • Related article: "The theories of human intelligence"

The theory of multiple intelligences of Gardner

Kinesthetic or kinesthetic body intelligence is one of the eight basic types of intelligence proposed by Howard Gardner in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences . In order to facilitate the understanding of this concept, it is convenient in the first place to assess what this theory supposes.

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is based on the idea conceived by Howard Gardner and various collaborators of Harvard University of the fact that the type of knowledge valued in the educational and academic field does not usually give enough information with respect to intellectual capacity or intelligence , understood as the capacity or set of capabilities that allow the analysis and solution of problems as well as the correct adaptation to the environment .


The author, visualizing that precisely the majority of intelligence tests, the own concept of Intellectual Quotient and the conceptions of this like a unique capacity were centered in the verbal and logical thing (the same type of information that is valued mainly at academic level), He concluded that although up to now they were not considered as such, there are other capacities beyond the verbal and logical essential for adaptation and "intelligent" behavior in the middle.

Gardner developed a theory in which he proposed that success, performance and even intellectual and adaptive capacity depended not on the logical-verbal capacity but on a set of skills common to all human beings, to a greater or lesser degree, among which previous ones were only one of them. He also relied on the knowledge of cases of genius and extraordinary abilities between subjects with little skill when it comes to verbal reasoning. In conclusion: Gardner proposed that there are different types of intelligence.


The Theory of Multiple Intelligences proposes, deriving from the research carried out by Gardner himself, a total of eight intelligences (although the theory does not close to the possibility that there are more). They are the logical-mathematical intelligence, the linguistic intelligence, the spatial intelligence, the musical intelligence, the interpersonal intelligence, the intrapersonal intelligence, the naturalistic intelligence and finally the intelligence that gives rise to the present article: the corporal-kinesthetic intelligence.

  • You may be interested: "Howard Gardner: biography of the American psychologist"

Body intelligence: what is it?

It receives the name of corporal intelligence the set of cognitive abilities that allow the coordination of the mind with the rest of the body allowing a fluid and precise control of it. Thanks to it we are able to manage our strength, balance, speed, coordination or precision, being a type of intelligence that allows automation and learning skills. Obviously, it is also linked to fine as well as gross motor skills.

The use of this type of intelligence is very varied and allows the correct adaptation to the environment and the achievement of goals and objectives. We mainly use this type of intelligence when handling instruments and tools, whether they are simple or complex or of high precision, and it is also integrated into the body's intelligence the capacity for emotional expression through the movement of the body .

This last aspect also has important implications in another sense, and that is that it derives from the fact that the psyche has a great influence on the body and the body on the psyche. In this way, knowing how to manage the body will also imply an improvement in the management of the mind at the level of self-knowledge and self-regulation.

These considerations about the corporal intelligence is what makes that this type of intelligence is considered to be specially developed in professions that require great precision or physical capacity , such as acting, dance, painting, crafts or surgery.

  • Related article: "The 8 superior psychological processes"

A little valued mental capacity

The body intelligence is a great value ability, being in fact fundamental for the human being its development and even its evolution (the use of instruments and tools has been basic to allow us to hunt and survive in prehistory, and as we have been evolving it has been increasingly necessary in order to manage our social interactions and the progress of technology).

However, despite its great importance, it is an intelligence that is not very valued: it is enough to see the little time and the little consideration that physical education has at the educational level, or the low social value that is given to most professions. that they need it (except highly successful professionals, most people who enter worlds like dance and acting are seen as part of a world apart and even none, and professionals like artisans today are rare and socially underrated consider). The exception would be in cases such as those related to medicine.

Maybe it would be necessary to establish a change of mentality and begin to value that our body and the way we handle it they are just as important as conventional knowledge , because after all in our day to day we do not just know but also to do.

Bibliographic references:

  • Gardner, H. (2003). Reformulated intelligence: Multiple intelligences in the 21st century. Editorial Paidós.

Movement: The Key To Learning (August 2022).


Similar Articles