10 Signs of High Spatial Intelligence: Are You Spatially Intelligent?
Being familiar with the signs of high spatial intelligence will help anyone who wants to improve in this skill.
Being spatially intelligent is an important ability crucial in doing daily tasks.
However, most of us are not familiar with these signs.
Spatial intelligence has been defined as visual intelligence or spatial awareness.
And as I have mentioned, most of us want to be superior in our spatial awareness.
But, do you have doubts about your skills related to this cognitive skill?
In this article, there will be answers to your questions about spatial intelligence.
Spatial awareness is essential to our tasks, both our daily ones and to some specialized ones.
And so, it’s essential to discuss the signs of high visual intelligence manifested by a person.
Therefore, it helps to know if you have high spatial intelligence and which activities to do to train your spatial intelligence.
Table of Contents
What is the Concept of Spatial Intelligence?
Cognitive skill associated with space and physical orientation and visualization of objects and figures is spatial intelligence or visual intelligence or spatial awareness.
In that sense, spatial intelligence is used when a person imagines a three-dimensional figure and tries to rotate it mentally.
It’s also used when a person looks at a map and attempts to localize themselves in the world, just by analyzing that map.
Another common use is when a driver needs to park their car somewhere.
And thus, the driver must picture and mentally measure their car’s dimensions and the parking lot’s space.
And last but not least, spatial awareness is also essential for sports and physical exercise.
This is because our body perception is used while exercising or practicing sports.
Thus, the perception of the physical environment around us is closely connected to our spatial intelligence.
So, all in all, visual intelligence is the ability to navigate around spaces, mentally visualize and interact with two and three-dimensional objects, and have a sense of one’s own body.
The psychologist Howard Gardner defines spatial intelligence as one of many bits of intelligence present in human cognition, such as musical and interpersonal intelligence.
Howard Gardner’s theory is called the theory of multiple intelligences, and you can find out more about it here.
Spatial awareness is a concept psychologists and neurologists work on.
It is tested in many procedures, such as getting a driver’s license or a specific job.
Now, let’s take a look at the signs of high spatial intelligence below.
First Sign: Remembering Routes
It isn’t uncommon for someone to forget the way to their recently-met friend’s house or the streets they should take to arrive at their new workplace.
Some people, however, are very good at those tasks.
They can even visualize better paths to their new workplace or remember each street’s behavior on the way to their friend’s home.
Therefore, when they perform so well at remembering routes.
They show signs of good spatial intelligence.
We use our visual intelligence whenever we take a path or have to learn a new one.
That was significant to our ancestors in prehistoric times because taking the right path was a matter of life or death.
For example, if path A leads to a tree full of edible fruits and path B leads to an area full of bears, it would be wise to follow fruitful path A and then dangerous path B.
In a physical, wide, confusing world with many ways and roads, it can be challenging to memorize specific paths and know which direction is A or B.
But, with spatial intelligence, the task of learning and memorizing routes is much easier.
And thus, humans with high spatial awareness will know which roads and landmarks are related to path A and which ones are related to path B.
As a result, they probably won’t perish at the claws of a big bear.
That skill became common in modern humans.
Moreover, it’s still applicable today, since we tend to live in big cities with many streets and alleys.
Which require our memory and spatial abilities in order to navigate through them.
Second Sign: Map Localization
Just as in remembering routes, people with high spatial intelligence will also have expertise in localizing and orienting themselves through maps.
Spatial awareness involves interacting with three and two-dimensional objects.
People consider the world as a big, three-dimensional object.
And so, a map is a two-dimensional representation of the world.
Somehow, interpreting a map involves a lot of spatial intelligence.
A person with good spatial awareness can go into the wild, get lost, look at a paper map, and know where he should go.
That’s why navigators require high visual intelligence.
Going into the sea or piloting a transcontinental plane are activities that require a lot of self-localization with the use of GPS, maps, or even the stars, the Sun, and the Moon.
Before the existence of high-tech maps and satellite localization, few people were brave and knowledgeable enough to set to the seas or the wild unknown.
Those activities required a lot of knowledge about the Sun, the other stars, and the Moon.
And they also required good spatial intelligence in order to connect a star formation’s place to a ship’s location in the world.
Third Sign: Enviable Driving Skills
To know routes and reading maps are activities involved in navigating cities and roads.
But, to navigate inside a traffic-loaded city, or to control a car at high speed through a long road, requires not only route knowledge and map reading but also driving skills.
To drive is to know how much to accelerate, when to use brakes, how to turn, and how big your car is.
When a person has to park their car, they must know how big their car is.
A driver must know if the car will bump something because of a particular object during the process.
When a driver has to avoid an oncoming vehicle, they need to know how much to turn, if the street is big enough for them to evade, how much to brake or accelerate, etc.
Those skills involve the use of a lot of spatial intelligence.
Since part of spatial awareness is to visualize and mentally interact with three-dimensional objects, maneuvering a car, which is a three-dimensional object, is to be spatially aware.
And so, people with high spatial intelligence are, most likely, good drivers.
Fourth Sign: Geometry Expert
Visualizing and interacting with two and three-dimensional objects is one of the main tasks in mathematics, specifically geometry.
To visualize a rotating dodecahedron’s faces, to mentally cut an upper section of a sphere, or to fold a triangle four times, use spatial intelligence.
It’s possible to see people with good spatial awareness getting good grades in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
Those topics involve a lot of fiddling with shapes, figures, and objects, such as a moving car, a carbon chain, or a triangular pyramid.
That’s why children often show signs of excellent spatial intelligence at school, through their geometry grades, for example.
A person who shows those signs will also do good in questions of spatial reasoning tests.
Fifth Sign: Engineering Inclination
Just as people good with geometry can become mathematicians, people with high spatial awareness are mostly into engineering.
Those that get good grades in physics because of their good visual intelligence can easily become professional engineers.
Many areas common to engineering involve the use of spatial intelligence.
For example, it is essential to visualize an object in the world in aeronautics and imagine that object in many situations.
Another example is in construction.
Civil engineers must consider how much weight a building can sustain and how many pillars are necessary for a structure, among other things.
Those tasks require good spatial intelligence.
And that’s why people with a knack for engineering are probably spatially intelligent.
Sixth Sign: Talent in Visual Arts
To see an object, remember its shape, its angles, and curves, and then reproduce that object on paper.
Reproducing through drawing uses a lot of visual intelligence.
Thus, those with talent in the drawing are very spatially intelligent.
Besides, to know which angle is more satisfying for a picture or to know which place is more adequate for a film scene is also to understand how to use your spatial awareness.
Visual artists such as filmmakers, painters, and photographers use their spatial intelligence all the time.
Therefore, they need to interact with the three-dimensional world a lot.
We all have that friend who knows how to flawlessly draw other people, other objects, or even other scenes.
Or maybe we are that friend.
And it’s also worth noting that it’s been a long time since humans started reproducing the physical world through art.
It is visible in structures, statuettes, and drawings dating back to the prehistoric era.
Skill with visual art was, and still is, an important skill, even more so in a cultural society such as the ones humans live in.
Being an able visual artist is a sign of high spatial intelligence, present in the human world since a long time ago.
Seventh Sign: Good Furniture Arrangement
Whenever someone buys a new, spacious house, they are tasked with buying and arranging furniture inside that house.
Some places are probably easy to set up, such as a bathroom.
But others, like a living room, require a lot of thinking.
That thinking is related to spatial intelligence.
To decide on the arrangement of furniture inside a room is to visualize three-dimensional objects fitting in an environment.
Some people have difficulty with that.
Or can’t go further than a simple, practical arrangement for their furniture.
Other people, however, are natural architects and interior designers.
Those people can combine what is useful with what is pretty.
They can make practical, beautiful interiors just by arranging furniture using an aesthetic and innovative mental method.
When we see an empty room and picture that room with furniture, we use our spatial intelligence.
That is, we need to fit the furniture’s dimensions inside the living room space.
We also need to know where an object will look pretty and where it won’t.
And so, people with good spatial intelligence are most likely to show their intelligence by having stunning interiors with practical yet beautiful furniture arrangements.
Eighth Sign: Material Organization
Arranging furniture aesthetically is a sign of good spatial intelligence.
It is possible to see signs of good spatial intelligence by looking at a person’s home interior.
More specifically, by looking at their personal objects.
With books that perfectly fit in place, an assembled bookshelf is a sign of good spatial intelligence.
Similarly an organized office with well-placed study or working items or a wardrobe with neatly arranged clothes.
To have material organization is to know which items to put somewhere and how to put them there.
That requires visualization and mental and physical interaction with three-dimensional figures.
Knowing if a book fits with other books on a bookshelf or a laptop that has to be near a lamp requires spatial intelligence.
Since those tasks most likely aren’t done by a hired professional, someone’s items are a great way to look into their spatial awareness.
And those with good spatial intelligence have the most organized personal items.
Ninth Sign: Great Athlete
Spatial awareness involves the perception of one’s own body since it is also a three-dimensional object which interacts with the world around itself.
Whenever a person runs, they need to know how to move their body in order to run effectively.
The same works for a bodybuilder.
For example, to properly lift a weight, they need to know how their muscles work.
Moreover, they also need to know which part of their body needs to keep still and move, and how much those parts will move.
Because of that, athletes are people with good spatial awareness, especially those who practice sports such as basketball and soccer.
Knowing how strong a ball needs to be kicked to reach a certain point is a skill that requires spatial intelligence.
It’s possible to conclude that most athletes have good spatial intelligence.
This is when they know how to use their bodies and interact with the world around them in a specific way.
Being good at sports is a sign of high spatial awareness.
Moreover, working with sports is a way to improve spatial awareness as well.
Children and people with spatial intelligence impairment should frequently work out or practice sports.
For instance, it helps people build up their spatial intelligence.
Tenth Sign: Delightful Dancer
Even more so than an athlete, a dancer needs to know how to use and move their body.
That ability requires spatial awareness to visualize one’s curves and angles and use those characteristics to create aesthetic, physical, and bodily art.
Dancers need to know their own measures and how their body works, using proprioception and spatial intelligence.
A person with good body expressions also knows how to use their spatial awareness.
It helps to influence their own body, and thus, might also be good dancers.
That’s why people consider skilled dancing and other forms of body expression as signs of high spatial intelligence.
More information on dancing and spatial awareness can be found here.
It’s also worth noting that body expression was a form of art present in the prehistoric ages.
Humans, as a social species, know how to express themselves in several ways.
One way is through the body itself, such as dancing, a practice essential to any culture.
Thus, spatial intelligence is effective in helping us communicate since our bodies can be as communicative as our mouths.