Changing Minds: How the Application of the Multiple Intelligences (MI) Framework Could Positively Contribute to the Theory and Practice of International Negotiation



On a bus trip in upstate New York, writer Nicholson Baker fantasized about how he might furnish his apartment. He thought about an imaginative way in which to seat people: He would purchase and install rows of yellow forklifts and orange backhoes throughout his apartment (A backhoe is an excavating machine in which a bucket is tied rigidly to a hinged stick and can be pulled toward the machine). Visitors could sit either on the kinds of buckets used in excavating backhoes or the slings hanging between the forks of the forklifts. Finding whole vision quite intriguing, he began to calculate how many forklifts the floor in his apartment would sustain. But when his thoughts turned again to this exotic form of furnishing some years later, Baker reflected, “I find that, without my knowledge, I have changed my mind. I no longer want to live in an apartment furnished with forklifts and backhoes.… Yet I did not experience during the intervening time a single uncertainty or pensive moment in regard to a backhoe” (p. 5, 1982). Baker uses this experience to ponder a topic that has come to engage my own curiosity: What happens when we change our minds? Baker suggests that seldom will a single argument change our minds about anything really interesting or important. And he attempts to characterize the kinds of significant mind changing that he seeks to understand: “I don’t want the story of the feared-but-loved teacher, the book that hit like a thunderclap, the years of severe study followed by a visionary background, the clench of repentance: I want each sequential change of mind in its true, knotted, clotted, viny multifariouness, with all of the color streams of intelligence still tapped on and flapping in the wind” (p. 9).


Transformational Leader Real World Event Multiple Intelligence Cuban Missile Crisis Social Psychological Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Graduate School of EducationCambridgeUSA

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