An Empirical Analysis of Three Intelligences

By Crowne, Kerri Anne | Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, April 2013 | Go to article overview

An Empirical Analysis of Three Intelligences


Crowne, Kerri Anne, Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science


This article tests a new model of social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence. Online surveys were collected from 467 students in business courses at a large university in the northeastern part of the United States (N = 467). Analyses were conducted using principal component analysis and structural equation modeling. Using AMOS, multiple models of the relationship among these intelligences were developed to determine, as hypothesized, if social intelligence was superordinate to emotional and cultural intelligences, which are presented as distinct but overlapping constructs. Results did not support social intelligence being superordinate to emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence. Findings did support emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence being distinct but related.

Keywords: social intelligence, emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence

A new, untested model of social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence (see Figure 1) previously presented (Crowne, 2009) is analyzed here. Many theorists have stated that social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence are aspects of multiple intelligence theory ( Albrecht, 2004; Alon & Higgins, 2005; Ang, Van Dyne, Koh, & Ng, 2004; Dulewicz & Higgs, 2000; Dulewicz, Higgs, & Slaski, 2003; Earley & Ang, 2003; Huy, 1999; Law, Wong, & Song, 2004; Matthews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2002; Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Wong & Law, 2002), even though no scholars have previously empirically examined them together.

As noted in Crowne (2009), emotional intelligence was previously established as a subset of social intelligence (Ascalon, Schleicher, & Born, 2008; Goleman, 2006; Salovey & Mayer, 1990), and since its establishment, many scholars have acknowledged that emotional intelligence is grounded in social intelligence (Cartwright & Pappas, 2008; Dulewicz & Higgs, 2000; Dulewicz et al., 2003; Huy, 1999; Law et al., 2004; Matthews et al., 2002; Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Wong & Law, 2002). Other investigators have argued that social intelligence and emotional intelligence are one construct (Bar-On, 2005; Bar-On, Tranel, Denburg, & Bechara, 2003; Kobe, Reiter-Palmon, & Rickers, 2001). Some researchers state that emotional intelligence is actually the broader intelligence that includes social cognition (Quaker, Gardner, & Whiteley, 2007).

With respect to cultural intelligence, researchers argue that cultural intelligence builds on social intelligence (Thomas, 2006) and emotional intelligence (Thomas & Inkson, 2004) and is grounded in multiple intelligence theory (Alon & Higgins, 2005; Ang et al., 2004; Earley & Ang, 2003). A recent study did find that cultural intelligence was distinct but related to emotional intelligence (Moon, 2010), yet, Brislin, Worthley, and Macnab (2006) stated that social intelligence skills may not carry over to other cultures.

Testing the model presented by Crowne (2009) should provide insight into how social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence are associated because a variety of relationships among these constructs have been proposed; therefore clarification of their relationship is warranted. As these intelligences are all important in the business world, better understanding them should assist organizational leaders in many areas, such as training, leadership and team development, and/or effectiveness (Koman & Wolff, 2008; Prati, Douglas, Ferris, Ammeter, & Buckley, 2003a; Rapisarda, 2002; Weiler, 1999).

Theoretical Development

The Relationships Among Social Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Cultural Intelligence

Early researchers defined social intelligence as the ability to understand and manage people (Thorndike & Stein, 1937). ' Emotional intelligence, which was defined later, was thought to also be an ability and involves the perception and expression of emotion accurately, as well as the ability to adapt emotions and understand emotions while using emotional knowledge in thought processes (Salovey & Pizarro, 2003). …

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