The introspective domain consists of the existential, intrapersonal and visual intelligences. These are the intelligences that have a distinctly affective component to them.

In the case of the visual intelligence, consider Michelangelo celebrating the discovery of a large slab of marble because he wants to free the angel encased therein through his act of sculpting. There is a uniquely emotional component to envisioning a piece of art before the artist actually creates it. In the same way, recall a student you have worked with who served as a class leader simply because s/he was able to visualize where s/he wanted to go with a project before the rest of the group even got its collective self together to begin discussing the possibilities. There is an intuitive release of energy that sparks the enthusiasm and imagination of others when the visual intelligence is unleashed.

The existential intelligence displays similar emotional, introspective characteristics. When Soeren Kierkegaard described looking at the infinite depth of the night sky and having an emotionally charged response that "Yes, I am part of something bigger in the universe!" he was referring to this experience. It is necessary to make that leap of faith in order to contribute to the collective human experience. By the same token, place yourself in the presence of the Pieta and feel the emotional response as your senses take in the aesthetic beauty of one of mankind's great expressions of human love and suffering. It moves many unsuspecting onlookers to tears. It is another example of that emotional response to cognitive stimulus.

The intrapersonal intelligence may be the most obvious example of this. Consider fourteen year old Kathleen who filters everything she is learning through her strong sense of social justice. She lights up when learning about the plight of Native Americans in the nineteenth century, the ethical dilemmas presented by genetic engineering, and reading Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country. In fact, with an upcoming presidential election in the Fall, Kathleen is very interested in helping out at her local party headquarters and campaigning for the candidates of her choice. Everything Kathleen is learning is reinforced and mastered by the emotional connection she has with the different kinds of content she is studying.

I characterize these three intelligences as introspective because they require a looking inward by the learner, an emotive connection to their own experiences and beliefs in order to make sense of new learning. The introspective intelligences are by their nature affective processes.



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