Is Daniel Tammet Intelligent? Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 23 September 2016

Is Daniel Tammet Intelligent?

Daniel Tammet can be regarded as a genius having shown exemplary abilities in areas such as math, linguistic skills and memory. As a child, he experienced seizures and was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy. After the phase diagnosed as epilepsy and seizures, signs of his exceptional skills manifested.

He could do massive calculations at the age of four. The seizures seemed to have caused positive deviations on his mind into functioning better and faster. But brilliant as he is, he had to undergo tests which could be attributed to the traditional psychometric approach (Wikipedia) to prove and/or measure his intelligence. Prof. V.S.Ramachandran tested Daniel’s math skills, asking him to perform math operations and put him on the lie detector test as to prove Daniel’s claim on mathematical synestheasia.

Consistency and accuracy were present in Daniel thus, passing the tests. But is he really intelligent? Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory states a few of Daniel’s attributes which are mathematical and linguistic intelligence, evident in most savants.  This means that he relies on cognitive skills which can be destroyed by brain damage.

On the other hand, another approach, the triarchic theory of intelligence would suggest that Daniel is intelligent especially on the episode where he goes to a casino in Las Vegas (Youtube).  The basis of which was that he is able to analyze situations (analytic) as evidenced by his extensive mathematical skills used at the casino (experiential / creative). Most especially that he is able to maximize these skills in everyday tasks (practical).

It is important to note that beyond the fact that Daniel had passed all tests that were given by different institutions and recognized individuals, his intelligence is more so proven by the extent of use that he is able to maximize his skills with.


Tammet, Daniel. Documentary.  12 February 2007. Retrieved from <>; <>; <>; <>; <>

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