Discussion and conclusion

The research results support the hypothesis that some MI intelligence types could be related to trait El. Interpersonal intelligence is related to the global trait El level, though the intrapersonal intelligence was not. Linguistic and logical-mathematical were also significantly weakly related to global level of trait El with a prediction level of 3 percent for linguistic and 6 percent for the logical-mathematical intelligence unique variance in trait El.

The explanation of trait El and interpersonal intelligence relation was expected. However, Gardner (1993, 1999) defines the personal intelligence types in respect to the personal inner perception. Interpersonal intelligence emphasizes the social abilities and skills, the ability to perceive the character, emotions, motivations, desires, intentions, and mood of others, to differentiate between them, and to work effectively with others. Gardner (2015) claims this intelligence type can be seen as a base for emotional intelligence, even though he does not accept the concept of El into his theory. A deeper content item analysis of both instruments found that the items assessing the interpersonal intelligence by MI test were covering the aspects of relationship creation and maintenance (e.g., the numbers of items: 14. People often come to me for a chat; 46.1 am a natural leader and can get people to come around to my train of thought; 56. I can easily pick up on people’s feelings and body language; ...) similarly to the items from TEIQue-SF covering the sociability factor (supporting strong significant relation by analysis especially with this factor of r=.467, p<.001; nmb. of items from TEIQue-SF: 6.1 can deal effectively with people; 11. I’m usually able to influence the way other people feel; 21. I would describe myself as a good negotiator; ...). The results are in concordance with Pourfeiz (2014) and also Shearer (2006), although in contrast to Shearer, who found medium-to-strong relations between intrapersonal intelligence and emotional intelligence components from Bar-On EQ-i test.

The intrapersonal intelligence correlated neither with the global level of trait El nor with its individual factors. According to the original conceptualization of Gardner’s theory, the intrapersonal intelligence based on introspective and self-respective capabilities is explained as an ability aimed at oneself. It is viewed as an ability to differentiate the border between the experience of happiness and the experience causing harm to an individual, being aware of one’s own emotional states, feelings, and motivations aimed at selfreflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing personal strengths (Gardner, 1993, 1999). Intrapersonal intelligence covers the aspects of self-awareness, temperament, and individual social-autonomy as internal affective variables (Morgan, 1992). An explanation of the non-significant relationship between trait El and intrapersonal intelligence is based on conceptions of trait El as the affect-related aspects of personality lying outside the taxonomy of human cognitive ability and individual differences in people’s self-perceptions of their emotional abilities (Petrides et al., 2010). The item content analysis points to the fact that the

MI test items emphasize self-awareness individualization and introversion tendencies (e.g., items nmb.: 19. I have hobbies or play sports that involve only me; 50. I like spending time alone; 73. I would rather work alone than as a part of a team; ...) while trait El assessed by TEIQue-SF is aimed at one’s own emotion related self-perceptions (e.g., items nmb.: 1. Expressing my emotions with words is not a problem for me; 4. 1 usually find it difficult to regulate my emotions; 8. Many times, I can’t figure out what emotion I’m feeling; ...). These differences in items could explain the non-significant relationships as well as support the idea of a clear differentiation between trait El and ability El.

Surprisingly, there were two weak positive relations between trait El and both linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence, indicating their significant importance in the prediction variability of trait El (linguistic up to 3 percent variance and logical up to 6 percent variance). These findings correspond to Bay and Lim’s (2006) results supporting those students’ linguistic abilities that are positively correlated to their overall emotional intelligence quotient assessed by MSCEIT. In addition, MI in relation to trait El assessed by the SEIS instrument provided positive correlation between linguistic and also logical-mathematical intelligences as well as other El abilities (e.g., perception of emotions, managing one’s own emotions, and the overall level of El; Pourfeiz, 2014). The assumption of one factor determining this relation can be based on the cognitive style activated in the El processes. Since the first presentation of this theory, critics have questioned, and Morgan (1992) emphasized, a strong resemblance to cognitive style constructs explaining Gardner’s personal intelligence styles as defined within the construct of social intelligence (Thorndike, 1920). This would be a single construct among Gardner’s seven intelligences (Morgan, 1992). Another presumption is based on the fact that these two intelligences are highly related to a g-factor that was not assessed in this study, so the relation between these two intelligences and the global level of trait El could be possibly mediated by the general level of intelligence.

Shearer (2006), conducting the research with the MIDAS and emotional intelligence assessed by the EQ-i Emotional Intelligence Inventory (Bar-On, 1997) with a research sample of 85 university students and 54 doctoral students, verified that his intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence types are related to this concept of El. There were identified significant correlations between the EQ-i main scale and the MI scales that range from a low of r=.23 (EQ-i total with Spatial) to moderate r=.55 (EQ-i Interpersonal with MI Interpersonal). The methodological conclusion can be that the self-report measures (also of El and MI) do have low correlations with objectively measured intelligence, although this needs to be explored further. Additional conclusions can include the biological explanation of various intelligence types. Studies exploring the neurological basis of the ability El by the MSCEIT test, and by trait El of Bar-On Total EQ-i (Killgore et al., 2017), were looking for the association between intrinsic connectivity and many brain regions implicated in emotion processing. These studies found no relation between investigated brain region and trait El potential, while ability El assessed by MSCEIT was significantly negatively associated with the functional connectivity of the Basal Ganglia/Limbic network and the Posterior DMN network, with other brain regions involved in a wide range of emotion-related processes (Killgore et al., 2017). This study supported the notion that trait and ability models of El were uncorrelated. Their findings suggest that the ability to reason about emotional information (ability El) does not necessarily cover perceived self- efficacy with regard to emotional competencies (trait El). It is associated with greater negative functional connectivity between diverse brain regions and networks involved in the rapid assessment and inter-receptive aspects of emotional experience, autobiographical memory, and regulatory control, but not significantly with the intrinsic connectivity of areas involved in reward learning or self-referential processing (Killgore et al., 2017). This is an area requiring further complex and sophisticated research investigation.

This current study is one of the few studies examining Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory in relation to Petrides’s trait emotional intelligence and supported the complementarity of interpersonal intelligence and trait emotional intelligence, especially involving trait sociability skills. There are several limitations in the research. The sample included only university students with a prevailing number of females in it; so this specific research sample does not allow for generalizing the results to other subject groups, and can be considered only as a pilot study to this research area. In addition, a preliminary version of the MI test may not have fully established validity. Another limitation was the use of both the self-report instruments that would be influenced by the desirability effect, and also the study design itself. Further explorations should be aimed at deeper and more precise verification of the MI test itself, and the complex complementarity estimation between general cognitive (e.g., fluid and crystallized), personal (inter and intra), and emotional intelligence (ability and trait) types. In sum, the El concept has potential as a distinguishing factor of human social exchange and could be viewed as a complement to cognitive intelligence and to other intelligence types providing a more complete understanding of human behavior.

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