6 Activities to develop naturalistic intelligence

What is naturalistic intelligence?

According to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences proposed in 1983 by the American psychologist Howard Gardner (1943) and, especially, to its later additions in 1995, naturalistic intelligence is the type of human intelligence that determines human sensitivities regarding nature. and their dynamics, animals and people.

The characteristics attributed to this model of intelligence were previously assigned in Gardner’s theory to logical-mathematical or visual-spatial intelligence, but later they seemed solid enough to propose his own type of intelligence, endowed with its own spirit and characteristics. tools.

Thus, individuals with high naturalistic intelligence are comfortable in wild environments, given their high sensitivity to this type of environment, their ease of bonding with other species and their recognition of the climatic, biological or other nature dynamics that occur in them. way independent of the human being.

It may help you: Natural landscape

Characteristics of naturalistic intelligence

Environmental understanding can also occur in urban areas.

Despite its name, this type of intelligence is not necessarily linked to rural or urban environments, but rather has to do with the sensitivity of human beings to their environment, especially to forces that do not depend on their will or ability. of others.

A person with high naturalistic intelligence will be able to recognize patterns around them and make predictions, whether about the climate, plant life, etc.

However, the talents of natural intelligence can also be applied to environmental recognition, classification and understanding in industrial, urban and “artificial” environments, since at its core it is the human talent to observe its environment and quickly recognize the forces interacting in it. he.

Examples of naturalistic intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence represents a rather undervalued aspect of the human mind, which is its primal connection with reality. Throughout a history that has worshiped reason and innovation, these aspects have been relegated as primitive, outdated or basic, but that has not prevented them from being more developed in certain types of individuals than in others.

Thus, it is common to observe a high naturalistic intelligence in biologists, environmentalologists, climatologists, forestry engineers, paleontologists, agronomists, veterinarians or even in explorers, forest guards, gardeners, hunters or exterminators. That is, it is present in all those who work in the observation of the environment or different species.

The usual paradigm of this type of individuals were the scientists and explorers Alexander von Humboldt or Charles Darwin, whose observations of nature answered many fundamental questions of humanity.

Activities to develop naturalistic intelligence

Practicing gardening allows you to develop naturalistic intelligence.

Some simple activities to develop this type of intelligence are:

  1. Practice mindfulness or full awareness, to exercise the ability to observe our environment.
  2. Make frequent trips to the countryside, trips or changes of environment.
  3. Practice gardening, veterinary care or similar activities that encourage encounters with non-human living beings.
  4. Cultivate herbal knowledge, that is, of plants and their processes.
  5. Cultivate zoological knowledge, that is, of animals and their dynamics.
  6. Have a pet.

Other types of intelligence

Other types of intelligence within Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence are:

  • Linguistic intelligence. That which links individuals with verbal language, and that facilitates the acquisition and practice of new languages.
  • Musical intelligence . That which links individuals with rhythmic patterns and music.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence. That related to the use of formal languages based on logic and abstract reasoning, such as mathematics.
  • Kinesthetic-bodily intelligence. That which has to do with the body and touch, with the sensations and movement of the body.
  • Spatial intelligence. That which is related to spaces, that is, to the perception of size, proportions and physical relationships of things.
  • Interpersonal intelligence . That which is linked to what we traditionally call charisma: the ability to mobilize others, to affect them or to empathize with them.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence . That which, unlike the previous one, allows the individual a deep understanding of his being, his interiority and his own world.


  • “Naturalistic intelligence” on Wikipedia.
  • “Naturalistic intelligence” at the National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (Spain).
  • “Multiple intelligences: naturalistic intelligence” in Psicoactiva.
  • “Multiple intelligences” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.