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Logical-mathematical intelligence: what is it and how can we improve it?

Logical-mathematical intelligence: what is it and how can we improve it?

June 2, 2022

Our ability to solve mathematical problems has been considered for a long time the clearest form of expression of our own intelligence.

It used to be measured the time it took to detect mathematical patterns in series, solve a mental calculation operation or respond to geometry exercises. Nowadays, this ability is still very important when evaluating the cognitive abilities of the human being, but our conception of what intelligence is (or may be) has become broader.

That is why proposals have emerged such as the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, one of whose components is the Logical-mathematical intelligence formulated by the psychologist Howard Gardner.


  • To know more: "The 12 types of intelligence: which one do you have?"

A definition of logical-mathematical intelligence

This kind of intelligence can be defined as our capacity for formal reasoning to solve problems related to numbers and the relationships that can be established between them , as well as to think following the rules of logic.

Mathematics and logic come together in logical-mathematical intelligence because thinking through both requires following the rules of a formal system , devoid of content: one plus one is equal to two, whatever the units with which you work, like something that is can not be, regardless of what is involved. In short, be equipped to a greater or lesser extent of logical-mathematical intelligence allows us to recognize and predict the causal connections between things that happen (If I add 3 units to these 5, I will get 8 because I have added them, etc.).


The implications for our way of thinking and acting the above are clear. Thanks to this intelligence we are able to think more or less coherently, detect regularities in the relationships between things and reason logically.

You could say that, beyond our unique way of seeing things and using language in our own way to define things that happen in the world, logical-mathematical intelligence it allows us to embrace some logical rules that make our thinking connect with that of others .

Cognitive skills beyond language

It is important to note that this type of intelligence does not directly explain our way of thinking in general, nor our use of language or the interpretation of our own reality. These factors depend in large part on our ideology and the use of the language that characterizes us.


The logical-mathematical intelligence does not help us by questioning if we are adding the type of units that we should be adding, for example, just as logic does not tell us what aspects of a problem we should prioritize and solve first, nor what our objectives should be . However, once certain rules are established, what remains can be evaluated as logical-mathematical intelligence.

An example: when they propose a mathematical problem, we can choose whether to solve it or not and, Once accepted the rules of the statement, we can solve it right or wrong . But we can also refuse to solve that problem because doing so would not be useful for our purposes, for whatever reason, or wrongly answering intentionally because we do not accept the rules imposed from the beginning.

How to improve in logical-mathematical intelligence?

Surely you guessed it, because it is almost obvious: facing tasks that force you to use this kind of intelligence . At first, this can be very tedious for some people, but the progress that can be made is spectacular and very useful for the day to day, especially those related to the mental calculation .

You can start with notebooks to learn math at your own pace or attend specialized academies (although most of them have a university focus). You also have the option of start practically from scratch in free training websites like the highly recommended Khan Academy, where you can measure your progress and choose the branches of learning to your liking.

One of the keys: logical thinking

As for the part that refers to logical thinking, you may find it more enjoyable at the beginning, since the best way to develop it is to dialogue and discuss through arguments, watching to avoid falling fallacies .

Something that is typical, for example, of any night of bars or a Christmas dinner with the family, but that can be generalized to many other moments of your life.To have the operation of logic at hand, you can search for books of your choice that deal with logic and logical fallacies.

Bibliographic references:

  • Gardner, Howard. (1998). A Reply to Perry D. Klein's 'Multiplying the problems of intelligence by eight'. Canadian Journal of Education 23 (1): 96-102. doi: 10.2307 / 1585968. JSTOR 1585790.
  • Operskalski, O. T., Paul, E. J., Colom, R., Barbey, A.K., Grafman, J. (2015). Mapping the Four-Factor Structure of Emotional Intelligence. Front. Hum. Neurosci.
  • Triglia, Adrián; Regader, Bertrand; and García-Allen, Jonathan. (2018). "What is intelligence? From IQ to multiple intelligences". EMSE Publishing.

Develop Logical & Mathematical Intelligence - Multiple Intelligences (June 2022).


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