When I was in school, if teachers had told me that math is really about patterns, I think I would have done much better in these classes. I thought math was about numbers. I really don’t care much for numbers. But I love patterns. Numbers are really abstract symbols which point to concrete patterns we have seen.

LogicSmart is the pattern-seeking intelligence. You experience a problem. You try to find answers to problems based on or created by the patterns. You make calculations. You hypothesize about cause and effect.

You work with mathematical formulas to figure out everything from how much paint will be needed to change the color of your bedroom, to how much to tip a waitperson in a restaurant, to figuring out a budget for your family vacation.

We start doing math (that is, hunting for patterns!) very early in our human development.

How many of the following are true for you?

You tend to think more conceptually and abstractly.

You often see patterns and relationships that others miss.

You like to conduct experiments, to solve puzzles and other problems.

You enjoy asking cosmic questions and analyzing circumstances and people’s behavior.

You enjoy working with numbers and mathematical formulas and operations.

You love the challenge of a complex problem to solve.

You are systematic and organized.

You almost always have a logical rationale or argument for what you are doing or thinking at any given time.

One of the best articulations of what this intelligence is all about can still be found Jean Piaget’s classic work on child development. In his book Child Development, Piaget traces the various stages of how this intelligence develops.

The first stage of the development of LogicSmart begins with our manipulation of and play with a variety of concrete objects in the real physical world around us.

It then moves to the recognition of familiar, previously-manipulated objects placed among a range of other unfamiliar objects. We develop the capacity to recognize familiar objects in pictures of them and to pick them out of pictures containing many other objects that are unfamiliar.

Eventually, as this intelligence continues to grow, we are able to visualize and imagine these objects when they are not actually physically present.

As we acquire language, we also gain abstract verbal symbols which can point to the concrete objects we have manipulated.