# rhein045: November 2011 Archives

## Multiple Intelligences

Looking back on high school, I'm sure that everyone can fit their fellow classmates into distinct cliques. Some students were geniuses and could solve complex math problems at lightning quick speeds without even needing to use a calculator. Others had no idea what 1+1 equaled, but they made up for that weakness by scoring game winning touchdowns or smashing the baseball out of the park every time they went up to bat. Howard Gardner believed that intelligence was more than just book smarts. He proposed the theory of multiple intelligences which divided intelligence into eight different categories, including logico-mathematical to describe math experts and bodily-kinesthetic to identify athletes. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, which shows why some people who are great at math may not be able to throw a baseball more than a foot. Caitlin Upton, a 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant contestant, is a real life example of multiple intelligences.

As part of the Miss Teen USA competition, contestants are asked what they would do to solve serious problems that are currently afflicting the United States. As Caitlin Upton answered her prompt, she continuously repeated the same phrases over and over again, including "such as," and people were left baffled as to what she just said. This shows that Caitlin Upton possibly has weak interpersonal skills because people who possess this characteristic are known for inspiring people with their words. Nevertheless, correlation does not equal causation and a third variable may be involved. Her confusing speech could be due to a fear of speaking in front of big crowds, for example. After doing some research on her, one quickly learns that Caitlin Upton was an honor student and varsity soccer player in high school. As a result, she could be a high scorer in the logico-mathematical, linguistic, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence categories. Every person has their own unique abilities.

Although it is uncommon for people to score dramatically high in a few intelligence types and low in the remaining ones, people do tend to do better in some categories and worse in others. Multiple intelligences can teach everyone an important lesson: before you judge a person for not being smart in math, for example, remember that they could be the next great musician or athlete.

Sources:

-http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/20473692/ns/today-today_people/t/miss-south-carolina-teen-usa-explains-herself/

-Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, p. 322

## The Sensitivity of Written Language

As this commercial suggests, many people's lives now revolve around technology. No longer do people meet up with their friends at the local coffee shop to have a cup of coffee together while catching up on the latest gossip or even use their phones to call people. Instead, people are relying more on technology to communicate with each other, such as emails, text messages, and facebook, to name a few. However, there are multiple downfalls that come with replacing face to face communication with technology.

It is very easy for people to misinterpret written language. According to techdirt.com, around fifty percent of emails are interpreted the wrong way. A lifelong friendship can be destroyed in seconds after simply clicking the send button on an email or text message. One phrase that often appears in text messages is, "Oh okay." For example, I may ask a person if they want to go to the dining hall for dinner together or if they would be interested in going to the recreational center with me to go swimming. They may respond that they cannot go because they have already used up all of their meals for that week at the dining hall or that they have too much studying to do. After viewing their response, I may text back, "Oh okay." This can be interpreted in various ways depending on what syllable the emphasis is put on. A person may think it should be pronounced, "OH. OH-KAY." This makes it sound as if I am angry at them for not wanting to do anything with me. On the other hand, they could interpret the phrase as though my voice gets higher at the end, such as "oh oKAY!" This would mean that I respect their reason for not going and am just acknowledging that I received their text message. People often fail to realize the importance of facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice in successful communication.

There are many ways people can protect themselves from misinterpreted emails. Emoticons are becoming popular in communication technologies. People can place a smily face, consisting of a semi-colon followed by a left facing parenthesis, after something they say in an email to ensure that the comment is received lightheartedly and to let the recipient know that it was meant as a joke. Another technique that people could use would be to underline or italicize the word in the sentence that the emphasis is on. This would allow the person to hear the sentence in their head similar to the way that the person would actually say it. In addition, people should think twice before sending an email and reread their email to ensure that the wording of the email correctly depicts what they are trying to say. The safest thing to do, however, is to turn off the computer and meet with the person face to face.

Information courtesy of: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060213/1558206.shtml