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Multiple Intelligences, the Mozart Effect, and Emotional Intelligence: A Critical Review



This article reviews evidence for multiple intelligences theory, the Mozart effect theory, and emotional intelligence theory and argues that despite their wide currency in education these theories lack adequate empirical support and should not be the basis for educational practice. Each theory is compared to theory counterparts in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuro- science that have better empirical support. The article considers possible reasons for the appeal of these 3 theories and concludes with a brief rationale for examining theories of cognition in the light of cognitive neuroscience research findings.
Multiple Intelligences, the Mozart Effect, and
Emotional Intelligence: A Critical Review
Lynn Waterhouse
Child Behavior Research
The College of New Jersey, Ewing
This article reviews evidence for multiple intelligences theory, the Mozart effect theory, and
emotional intelligence theory and argues that despite their wide currency in education these
theories lack adequate empirical support and should not be the basis for educational practice.
Each theory is compared to theory counterparts in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuro
science that have better empirical support. The article considers possible reasons for the appeal
of these 3 theories and concludes with a brief rationale for examining theories of cognition in
the light of cognitive neuroscience research findings.
Multiple intelligences (MI) theory (Gardner, 1983), the Mo-
zart effect (ME) theory (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993), and
emotional intelligence (EI) theory (Salovey & Mayer, 1990)
have had widespread circulation in education. All three theo-
ries have been recommended for improving classroom learn-
ing (Armstrong, 1994; Campbell, 2000; Gardner, 2004;
Glennon, 2000; Rettig, 2005), and all three theories have
been applied in classroom activities (Elksnin & Elksnin,
2003; Graziano, Peterson, & Shaw, 1999; Hoerr, 2003).
Although MI theory (Gardner, 1983) and EI theory (Salovey
& Mayer, 1990) were proposed before the emergence of public
Internet use and the ME was postulated just as Internet use be
gan to flourish (Rauscher et al., 1993), education (.edu) Web
sites representing these theories have increased at 10 times the
rate of increase of professional journal articles on these theories.
Table 1 reports a 3-year, six time point snapshot of the increase
in both professional journal articles and Web sites. Between
June 1, 2003 and December 1, 2005 Google™-accessed MI
.edu Web sites increased from 25,200 to 258,000, ME .edu Web
sites increased from 1,082 to 12,700, and EI .edu Web sites in
creased from 14,700 to 220,000. By contrast, between these
same two dates, Pubmed database accessed professional journal
articles did not even double: MI articles increased from 12 to 17,
ME articles increased from 33 to 41, and articles on EI in
creased from 464 to 801.
In addition to the increase in Web sites and articles out
lined on Table 1, there has also been an increase in the num
ber of education workshops on these three theories. In the
6-month period between June 1, 2005 and December 1, 2005,
Google™ site:edu workshops identified for MI increased
from 10,600 to 48,300, ME workshops increased from 124 to
192, and EI workshops increased from 9,180 to 45,100.
Because these three theories have wide currency in educa-
tion they should be soundly supported by empirical evidence.
However, unfortunately, each theory has serious problems in
empirical support. This article reviews evidence for each the-
ory and concludes that MI theory has no validating data, that
the ME theory has more negative than positive findings, and
that EI theory lacks a unitary empirically supported con
struct. Each theory is compared to theory counterparts in
cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience that have
better empirical support. The article considers possible rea
sons for the appeal of these three theories and closes with a
brief rationale for examining theories of cognition in the light
of cognitive neuroscience research findings.
MI theory was first outlined by Gardner in 1983. He pro
posed the existence of seven distinct intelligences: linguistic,
musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic,
intrapersonal sense of self, and interpersonal. In 1999
Gardner revised his model, combining intrapersonal and in
terpersonal into a single intelligence and adding another in
telligence, naturalistic intelligence, the empathy for, and cat
egorization of, natural things. Gardner (1999) also proposed
a possible additional intelligence, called existential intelli
Copyright © 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Correspondence should be addressed to Lynn Waterhouse, Child Behav
ior Research, The College of New Jersey, 234 Bliss Hall, Ewing, NJ 08628.
gence, the ability to see oneself “with respect to the further
reaches of the cosmos … or total immersion in a work of art”
(p. 60). More recently Gardner (2004) proposed two addi-
tional intelligences, the “mental searchlight intelligence” and
the “laser intelligence” (p. 217). Gardner (2004) claimed that
people with high IQ test scores have “a mental searchlight,
which allows them to scan wide spaces in an efficient way
thus permitting them to run society smoothly” (p. 217),
whereas specialists in the arts, sciences, and trades are more
likely to have a laser intelligence that permits them to gener-
ate “the advances (as well as the catastrophes) of society” (p.
217). Gardner has not yet theorized a connection between la
ser intelligence, mental searchlight intelligence, and his eight
other intelligences. If he does so he will face the problem of
reconciling the use of standard IQ scores as the basis for the
mental searchlight intelligence while arguing that MI theory
reveals the standard IQ measure to be a flawed concept
(Gardner, 1983, 1999).
Gardner (1999) posited that “each intelligence comprises
constituent units” (p. 103) and stated that “there are several
musical, linguistic, and spatial subintelligences” (p. 103).
Similarly, Gardner and Connell (2000) proposed that all
eight of the intelligences are supermodules that organize 50
to 100 micromodules (p. 292). Gardner (1999) argued that
specifying subintelligences “would be more accurate scien
tifically, but the construct would be unwieldy for educational
uses” (p. 103).
Gardner (2004) asserted that his intelligences were “con
sistent with how most biologists think about the mind and
brain” (p. 214). Gardner (1999) claimed that each intelligence
operates from a separate area of the brain, arguing that “MI
theory demands that linguistic processing, for example, occur
viaadifferentsetof neuralmechanismsthan doesspatial orin
terpersonal processing” (p. 99). Gardner (1999) further pos
ited that if “musical and spatial processing were identically
represented” in the cortexes of individuals “that fact would
suggest the presence of one intelligence, and not two separate
intelligences” (p. 99). Similarly, in addressing the 2004 Na-
tionalDance AssociationmeetingGardnerclaimedthat“parts
of the brain are dedicated to the arts, and it’s a shame not to de-
velop these parts” (Hildebrand, 2004, p. 59). Gardner (1999)
assertedthatnot onlyaretheintelligencesbrain-basedbutthey
arealsoinnate and that if tests for the intelligences weredevel-
oped,“mathematical, spatial,andmusicalintelligenceswould
have higher heritabilities than linguistic, naturalist, and per-
sonal intelligences” (p. 88). Gardner (1999) concluded that
of the general thrust of MI theory. Research supports the par
ticularintelligences Ihavedescribed”(p.99).Healso reported
that neuroscientists “are in the process of homing in on the na
ture of core operations for each of the intelligences” (Gardner,
2004, p. 217).
The Lack of Empirical Evidence for MI Theory
To date there have been no published studies that offer evi
dence of the validity of the MI. In 1994 Sternberg reported
finding no empirical studies. In 2000 Allix reported finding
no empirical validating studies, and at that time Gardner and
Connell (2000) conceded that there was “little hard evidence
for MI theory” (p. 292). In 2004 Sternberg and Grigerenko
stated that there were no validating studies for MI, and in
2004 Gardner asserted that he would be “delighted were such
evidence to accrue” (p. 214), and he admitted that “MI theory
has few enthusiasts among psychometricians or others of a
traditional psychological background” because they require
“psychometric or experimental evidence that allows one to
prove the existence of the several intelligences” (p. 214).
Multiple Intelligences, Mozart Effect, and Emotional Intelligence Article Abstracts Accessed From ERIC, PsycINFO,
Pubmed Databases, and Web Sites Accessed Through the Search Engine Google™ and Google™ site:edu
XXHeading?XX June 1, 2003 December 1, 2003 June 1, 2004 December 1, 2004 June 1, 2005 December 1, 2005
Multiple intelligences citations and Web sites
ERIC 1982 838 883 870 954 954 977
PsycINFO 1978 173 185 190 218 241 253
Pubmed 1978 12 14 14 15 17 17
Google search 81,600 108,000 112,000 222,000 637,000 2,160,000
Google site:edu search 25,200 27,500 37,700 83,000 104,000 258,000
Mozart effect citations and Web sites
ERIC 1982 10 13 13 17 17 17
PsycINFO 1978 22 26 30 35 37 38
Pubmed 1978 33 35 36 37 40 41
Google search 18,900 34,200 38,400 63,800 86,000 316,000
Google site:edu search 1,082 1,310 799 782 845 12,700
Emotional intelligence citations and Web sites
ERIC 1982 135 167 179 196 196 217
PsycINFO 1978 378 434 482 628 755 853
Pubmed 1978 464 504 524 560 663 801
Google search 198,000 266,000 339,000 761,000 640,000 5,160,000
Google site:edu search 14,700 15,200 15,900 32,600 44,000 220,000
Defending the Lack of Empirical Evidence for
MI Theory
Chen (2004) defended MI theory against the claim that it
lacks empirical support arguing that “a theory is not neces
sarily valuable because it is supported by the results of em
pirical tests” (p. 22) and that intelligence is not a tangible
object that can be measured” (p. 22). She also claimed that
the novelty of the intelligences requires new measures and
that MI theory has already been validated in its successful
classroom application. Chen further claimed that MI theory
better accounts for cognitive skill profiles in both brain-in
jured and typical individuals than do IQ measures.
Argument 1: Empirical evidence for MI is not
Chen (2004) claimed that as the 20th century
debate over scientific method showed that “the absolute ob
jectivity of any methodology is illusory” (p. 17), therefore
concern over the lack of evidence for MI theory is mistaken.
However, although both Kuhn and Popper recognized that
experimental methods may be subject to bias, nothing in the
debate between Kuhn and Popper and their followers argued
against the need for empirical data collection (Fuller, 2004;
Nersessian, 1998). In fact, Kuhn’s thesis rested on the obser-
vation that “the track records” of validating experiments are
the normative basis for evaluating theories (Fuller, 2004, p.
29). MI theory has no such track record.
Argument 2: Intelligence is not a tangible
Chen (2004) asserted that “intelligence is not a
tangible object that can be measured; it is a construct that
psychologists define” (p. 22). Yes, MI, like general intelli-
gence, memory, or attention, are defined constructs and not
tangible objects. However, defined constructs can be mea
sured if they have clearly specified testable components
(Allix, 2000; Ceci, 1996; Johnson & Bouchard, 2005). Al
though Gardner (2004) admitted that “it is important to iden
tify defining features” (p. 214), he stated that he has not pro
posed testable components for the intelligences because his
“basic paradigm clashes with that of psychometrics” (p.
214). Without defined components the intelligences cannot
be tested for validity (Allix, 2000; Fuller, 2004).
Argument 3: MI are novel constructs requiring new
Chen (2004) arguedthat because the MI are not
responsive, pluralistic nature” (p. 19), they can only be vali
dated with new measures that identify “the different facets” of
each intelligence as it functions over time (p. 20). However,
because, as noted previously, Gardner’s (2004) paradigm
stands against defining testable components (“facets”) for his
intelligences (p. 214), this may prove difficult.
In addition, Allix (2000) argued that even if Gardner
were to generate testable components, the validity of indi
vidual intelligences still could not be explored because
Gardner has not specified the functional links he has theo
rized to exist between the intelligences. Gardner (1999)
proposed that the intelligences are only “semi-independent”
(p. 89), that they function together in development, that the
linguistic intelligence operates by receiving input from the
other intelligences (Gardner, 1983), and that there is likely
to be a “Central Intelligences Agency” that “emerges from
other intelligences” (Gardner, 1999, p. 106). Gardner re
sponded to Allix (2000) that “it is difficult to specify how
multiple intelligences work synergistically on complex
tasks” (Gardner & Connell, 2000, p. 292).
Argument 4: MI theory has been validated by its
classroom applications.
Chen (2004) claimed that “MI
theorycan also be validatedby evaluating the results of apply
ing the theory in a range of educational settings” (p. 20), and
Gardner, too, asserted that the positive outcomes of education
methods based on MI can be viewed as empirical support for
292).However, thesuccessful applicationof MItheoryinedu
cation practice (Hoerr, 2003; Shearer, 2004) cannot provide a
testofthe validityofthe intelligencesbecause the actof apply-
ing MI theory assumes the validity of the intelligences. More-
over, anyimprovement in student learning under an MI frame-
workis confoundedwith the positive effectsof thenoveltyofa
new method engendered by teacher enthusiasm and student
excitement. Furthermore, it is also possible that some MI ap-
plications have been successful by serendipity, that is, they
have induced improved learning because, coincidentally,
some aspect of that method was effective independent of the
MI framework of the application.
Argument 5: MI theory profiles cognitive skills better
than do IQ subtests.
Chen (2004) claimed that MI the
ory better accounts for cognitive skill profiles of typical stu
dents, savants, prodigies, individuals with brain injuries, and
individuals in specialized professions than do IQ measures
(p. 18). However, no empirical research has been published
to support this claim (Allix, 2000; Chen, 2004; Gardner,
2004; Sternberg, 1994; Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2004).
Equally important, Watkins and Canivez (2004) argued that
IQ subtest profiles are not stable, not reliable, do not ade
quately discriminate “among diagnostic groups and do not
covary with socially important academic and psychosocial
outcomes” (p. 137). Therefore, if the discriminating power of
MI cognitive skill profiles were to be empirically compared
with a standard system, it should not be IQ cognitive profiles.
The current standard for assessing variation in an individ
ual’s cognitive skills is a battery of valid and reliable
fine-grained independent measures of specific aspects of
skills such as language, perception, memory, attention, and
reasoning (See Lezak, 1995, and C. R. Reynolds &
Kamphaus, 2003, for examples of batteries).
Summary: The Lack of Empirical Evidence for
MI Theory Remains a Problem
None of Chen’s five arguments can serve to exempt MI
theory from the need for validating empirical data. Noth
ing in the Kuhn-Popper debate suggested that theories
should not be tested by experimental methods. MI are in
tangible theorized constructs, but, if their components are
specified, they can be tested. MI may require new mea
sures, but new measures depend on clearly defined compo
nents for the intelligences, and Gardner (1999, 2004)
stated that he will not define such components. MI theory
cannot be validated through application research because
such research assumes the validity of the intelligences and
because positive application effects may be caused by con
founding independent factors such as novelty and excite
ment. No published research has reported that the cogni
tive skill profiles generated by MI are more discriminating
than those generated by IQ subtests. Moreover, for reasons
outlined previously, IQ subtest profiles are not an appro
priate comparison, should such an empirical comparison
be conducted.
Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience Are Not
Exploring MI Theory
Gardner asserted that his intelligences were developed “from
an evolutionary perspective” (2004, p. 214)and were sup-
ported by research (1999, p. 99) and that neuroscientists were
“in the process of homing in on the nature of core operations
for each of the intelligences” (2004, p. 217). However, there
are no publications from cognitive psychologists, cognitive
neuroscientists, or evolutionary psychologists to suggest that
they have conducted research directed at defining or validat
ing Gardner’s intelligences. Research has explored the nature
of human perceptual processes such as vision, hearing, smell,
and taste, but these processes have not been determined to be
a seeing intelligence, smelling intelligence, tactile intelli
gence, or the like (Born & Bradley, 2005; Eibenstein et al.,
2005; Goodwin & Wheat, 2004; J. H. Reynolds & Chelazzi,
2004). Research has also explored language skills, reading
skills, music skills, mathematics skills, reasoning skills, spa
tial skills, and social skills, but these skills have not been
found to be functioning as separate intelligences (Cacioppo
& Berntson, 2004; Josse & Tzourio-Mazoyer, 2004; R. C.
Martin, 2003; Miller, 1999; Parris, 2005; Peretz & Zatorre,
2005; Shafir & LeBoeuf, 2002; Singer-Dudek & Greer,
2005; see also Gazzaniga, 2004).
The majority of recent cognitive psychology, cognitive
neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology research pro
grams on human mental abilities have focused on three core
explanatory paradigms for human cognition. These are gen
eral intelligence, multiple information processing systems,
and adapted cognition modules.
Research Findings for General Intelligence “g”
The theory of g claims that a unitary general intelligence
exists that is identified by an IQ test factor g (Geake &
Hansen, 2005; Johnson & Bouchard, 2005; Johnson,
Bouchard, Krueger, McGue, & Gottesman, 2004; McRorie
& Cooper, 2004). Gardner (1983) devised MI theory
against this paradigm of a unitary general intelligence.
Whether g has two forms, a fluid intelligence that reflects
mental ability independent of culture and a crystallized in
telligence that reflects both fluid intelligence and learning,
remains a matter of empirical debate (Johnson & Bouchard,
2005). General intelligence has been theorized to reflect
overall brain efficiency or the close interconnection of a set
of mental skills or working memory.
There are many lines of evidence supporting a general in
telligence function. Individual cognitive skills have been
shown to be significantly correlated with g (Larson &
Saccuzzo, 1989; Watkins & Cavinez, 2004), and g has been
shown to predict intellectual performance across different
sets of measures (Johnson et al., 2004). Oberauer, Schulze,
Wilhelm, and Suss (2005) reported that a substantial portion
of g variance is predicted by working memory skill. Colom,
Rebolloa, Palaciosa, Juan-Espinosaa, and Kyllonenb (2004)
reported that measures of g predicted nearly all the variance
in a measure of working memory, and they concluded that g
is likely to be working memory, a function of the frontal lobe
of the brain that maintains and manipulates information in a
limited timeframe.
Toga and Thompson (2005) reported that there is con-
siderable evidence for the heritability of general intelli-
gence, for the heritability of MRI-measured brain volumes,
and for the significant positive correlation of IQ measures
and brain volumes. McDaniel (2005) reported that a
meta-analysis of 37 studies including 1,530 men and
women found whole brain volume to be significantly posi
tively correlated with full scale IQ in both men and women,
but the correlation between IQ and brain volume was
higher in women than in men (p. 343). This sex difference
may be linked to the finding that although men, on average,
have larger brains than women, women have more brain
gray matter than do men (Luders et al., 2005).
Thatcher, North, and Biver (2005) reported that frontal
lobe brain activity was positively correlated with IQ. Frontal
lobe activity level, as measured by fMRI was also reported to
be positively associated with verbal IQ (Geake and Hansen,
2005). McRorie and Cooper (2004) found that motor reac
tion speed of removing the hand following electric shock cor
related significantly with Wechsler full scale IQ and verbal
IQ and with a measure of visual search speed. Moreover, it
has been argued that the number of cortical neurons com
bined with conduction velocity of cortical fibers is the best
correlate for intelligence in phylogenetic cross-taxon com
parisons (Roth & Dicke, 2005).
How do research findings for general intelligence
argue against MI theory?
Although the empirical evi
dence for general intelligence does not exclude the possibil
ity of MI, it identifies serious difficulties for MI theory. The
significant intercorrelations of IQ subskills (Johnson et al.,
2004; Larson & Saccuzzo 1989; Watkins & Cavinez, 2004)
argue against the possibility of discrete intelligence-by-intel
ligence content processing that Gardner (1999) claimed was
a requirement of MI theory (p. 99). The findings for a signifi
cant positive correlation between intelligence and the size of
the human brain (McDaniel, 2005; Toga & Thompson, 2005)
and the level of brain activity (Geake & Hansen, 2005) argue
against Gardner’s (1999) criticism that g is merely the ab
straction of a statistical factor (p. 14).
Equally important, because evidence has suggested that g
represents working memory, and working memory is the
core frontal lobe executive function (Colomb et al., 2004;
Oberauer et al., 2005), therefore, g is likely to be the same en
tity as Gardner’s (1999) “Central Intelligences Agency,
which he defined as the frontal lobe executive function (pp.
105–106). This stands against Gardner’s (1999) assertion
that “MI theory is incompatible with ‘g’” (p. 87). Further
more, evidence that g may be working memory also argues
that Gardner’s (2004) proposed high-IQ “mental searchlight”
intelligence (p. 217) would be a high g working-memory
ability. As there is nothing inherent in working memory that
allows individuals “to scan wide spaces in an efficient way
thus permitting them to run society smoothly” (Gardner,
2004, p. 217), the definition of the mental searchlight intelli-
gence becomes problematic. Finally, logically, if g is a mea-
sure of working memory, then the “Central Intelligences
Agency may be the mental searchlight intelligence. If so,
then this would need clarification.
Research Findings for Multiple Information
Processing Systems
Although much research investigating possible brain pro
cessing systems has concentrated on the functions of specific
regions of the brain (Born & Bradley, 2005; Squire, Craig, &
Clark, 2005), research has identified two large-scale infor
mation processing pathways or processing streams in the
brain. One pathway synthesizes the perceptual analyses of
what we see and hear to answer the question “What is it?” In
this processing pathway the “it” is an object, animal, person,
place, or other element in our environment. The other pro
cessing pathway synthesizes the perceptual analyses of what
we see, hear, and feel to answer the question Where is it?”
(Arnott, Binns, Grady, & Alain, 2004; Himmelbach &
Karnath, 2005; Irwin & Brockmole, 2004).
These two processing pathways might themselves seem to
be two “intelligences”—the “What is it?” object intelligence
and the “Where is it?” place intelligence. However these pro
cessing pathways are not functionally isolated from one an
other. Gardner (1999) asserted that “MI theory demands that
linguistic processing, for example, occur via a different set of
neural mechanisms than does spatial or interpersonal pro
cessing” (p. 99), but the “What is it?” and the “Where is it?”
processing pathways are interconnected. For example,
Prather, Votaw, and Sathian (2004) reported that touching
things activates not only the “Where is it?” pathways but also
the “What is it?” processing pathway. Similarly,
Himmelbach and Karnath (2005) argued that there is system
atic interactive switching between the “What is it?” pathway
and the “Where is it?” pathway. It has also been suggested
that these two processing pathways may actually be different
activity patterns of the same overall anatomical processing
stream (Deco, Rolls, & Horwitz, 2004).
Cognitive neuroscience research also has reported that
many other cognitive skills share brain processing pathways.
Researchers reported evidence for shared and overlapping
processing pathways for language and music (Koelsch et al.,
2004). Norton et al. (2005) found associations between the
music perceptualskillsandbothnonverbalreasoningandpho
nemic awareness in children, and theyargued that these corre
lations suggest a shared neural substrate for language and mu
sic processing. A research review suggested that the same
aggregations of subcortical neurons in basal ganglia and cere-
bellum, and the same aggregations of neurons in many sepa-
rate cortical regions together share control of many different
complex behaviorsincluding walking, talking, gesturing, rea-
soning,speaking, tool-making, andcomprehendingthemean-
ing of sentences (Lieberman, 2002). Evidence has been re-
ported to suggest that brain circuits for emotions share in a
distributed network of processing pathways for reasoning,
memory, and action (Adolphs, Tranel, & Damasio, 2003;
Morgane, Galler, & Mokler, 2005; Phelps, 2006).
The shared and overlapping brain pathways for cognitive
skills may be the result of genes that determine shared path
ways. Kovas, Harlaar, Petrill, and Plomin (2005) reported
that “most of the genes that contribute to individual differ
ences in mathematics ability also affect reading and g” (p.
485). The researchers argued that because reading, mathe
matics, and g are complex skills, therefore “a great variety of
non-specific abilities, such as long-term memory, working
memory and attention” (p. x) must be involved in these skills.
Kovas et al. asserted that generalist genes are responsible for
the “genetic overlap between mathematics, reading, and g”
(p. 485). They predicted that future studies will find more
generalist genes that determine shared pathways for different
forms of cognition.
In addition to the “What is it?” and “Where is it?” path
ways model, there is another model that has claimed the exis
tence of a set of distinctive functional brain systems.
Kahneman (2003) concluded that there are two separate deci
sion-making systems in the brain: System 1 generates fast,
intuitive, automatic decision making; System 2 generates
slow, effortful, consciously monitored decision making.
Kahneman argued that System 1 and System 2 interact, with
System 1 as primary: “impressions produced by System 1
control judgments and preferences, unless modified or over
written by the deliberate operations of System 2” (p. 20).
Kahneman further claimed that System 1 judgments improve
with practice, such that experts can make System 1 judg
ments that are both faster and more accurate than they would
using the slow, conscious System 2.
Kahneman’s (2003) Systems 1 and 2 might, like the “What
is it?” and “Where is it?” pathways, also seem to be potential
intelligences: the “intuitive intelligence, and the “delibera
the varied types of content information—language, music,
numbers, social information—that Gardner argued are chan
neled into the separate intelligences. Moreover, Kahneman’s
two theorized systems each have only one task—to compute a
decision.Conversely, Gardner’sMIeach have manytasks. For
example, the musical intelligence determines “the perfor
mance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns”
(Gardner, 1999, p. 42). Neither System 1 nor System 2 is theo
rized to create, compose, appreciate, or perform.
How does evidence for these processing systems
argue against MI theory?
Evidence for the neural pro-
cessing systems reviewed here argues against the core of MI
theory in two important ways. First, the evidence for the
functional overlap of the “What is it?” and the “Where is it?”
processing pathways, along with the evidence for the shared
and overlapping neural pathways for emotion, music, lan-
guage, logic-mathematics, spatial, body sense, and social
skills (Koelsch et al., 2004; Lieberman, 2002; Morgane et al.,
2005; Norton et al., 2005) argue against Gardner’s (1999)
theoretical provision that each intelligence must have its own
separate neural processing pathway (p. 99). Second, the basic
operating plan of the “What is it?” and “Where is it?” path
ways and System 1 and 2 works in a manner that is the direct
opposite of the basic operating plan theorized for the MI.
Each multiple intelligence is a multipurpose processor that
operates on a single content. Conversely, “What is it?” and
“Where is it?” pathways and System 1 and 2 are unipurpose
processors operating on a multiple contents.
Research Findings for Adapted Cognition
Evolutionary psychologists have proposed the existence of
innate cognitive modules that generate specific adaptive be
havior patterns (Cosmides & Tooby, 1992; Cummins, 2002;
Gallistel, 1998; Hauser & Spelke, 2004). Gallistel argued
that “Because different representations have different mathe
matical structure and because they are computed from sen
sory inputs with widely differing properties, learning mecha
nisms must be domain- or problem-specific” (p. 55).
Gallistel speculated that there may be 100 human do
main-specific cognition modules wherein each evolved to
solve a different environmental computational problem.
Many unique neural computational devices have been
found in animals (Burghardt, 2002; Hauser, 2000). Research
on possible human adapted cognition modules is not as exten
sive but is increasing. Evidence has offeredsupport for the ex
istence of a range of adapted cognition modules including one
for detecting social cheating (Cummins, 2002; Velicer, 2005),
one for knowledge of number (Gelman & Gallistel, 2005; Xu,
Spelke,& Goddard, 2005), and one for the mental imitation of
others through automatic firing of mirror neurons (Fadiga,
Craighero, & Olivier, 2005; Mottonen, Jarvelainen, Sams, &
Hari, 2005; Rizzolatti, & Carighero, 2004;).
Social cheating occurs in many species. Cheating bacteria
do not make the beneficial extracellular compounds that their
noncheating neighbors do (Velicer, 2005). Insect queens en
gage in social cheating when they steal workers from other
colonies to tend their own larvae. Birds engage in social
cheating when they deposit their eggs in other nests thus
avoiding the effort of raising their own chicks. Although hu
mans are unusual in their altruistic cooperation (Fehr &
Fischbacher, 2003), human social cheating includes theft,
sexual infidelity, and shirking group work. Evidence has sug
gested that humans are better at detecting cheaters than they
are at solving parallel detection problems that do not involve
cheating (Gigerenzer & Hug, 1992).
Evidence that human number knowledge may be innate
has been accumulating (Hauser & Spelke, 2004). Studies
have reported that children’s acquisition of number knowl-
edge is separate from their initial language development (Xu
et al., 2005) and that number knowledge exists in primates
(Gelman & Butterworth, 2005).
In addition to cheater detection and number knowledge,
still another proposed adapted cognition module is that of the
mirror neuron system. The mirror neuron system was first
discovered in monkeys, but there is now clear evidence that
humans have a mirror neuron system (Rizzolatti &
Carighero, 2004). When we observe the behavior of another
person, mirror neurons automatically fire, triggering neurons
in our brains to copy or “mirror” the observed person’s mouth
movements (Mottonen et al., 2005), gestures, and actions
(Rizzolatti & Carighero, 2004). However, because this firing
is below the threshold needed to engage our muscles, we
rarely explicitly mimic those we observe (Fadiga et al.,
2005). The mirror neuron system of mental imitation enables
us to more easily understand the emotional state of those
around us and also learn complex behaviors from others.
Adapted cognition theory has engendered a lively debate
(Butler, 2005). Hernandez, Li, and MacWhinney (2005) ar
gued that modules are not innate but emerge in development.
Lickliter and Honeycutt (2003) argued that it was unlikely
that adapted cognition modules could sit dormant in the brain
waiting to be activated by life experience. Bjorklund (2003)
countered that most adapted cognition modules are likely to
be architectural, resulting from genes that determine the
structure of brain regions, or chronotopic, resulting from
genes that determine critical periods of development.
Bjorkland posited that very few adapted cognition modules,
such as the module for number, would be content-representa
tional, that is resulting from genes that determine specific in
nate knowledge. In another entry in this ongoing debate
Kanazawa (2004) argued that g itself is an adaptive module
that evolved to enable humans to solve new or more general
problems in the environment, and other modules such as the
detection of social cheating and number knowledge evolved
to solve specific recurring problems in the environment.
How do research findings for adapted cognition
theory argue against MI theory?
The research findings
for the adapted cognition modules of detecting social cheat
ing, number knowledge, and the mirror neuron system might
seem to suggest that such modules are themselves
“intelligences, thus indirectly supporting Gardner’s con
struct of MI. However, adapted cognition modules operate
both more narrowly and more broadly than do Gardner’s
intelligences. For example, mirror neurons do nothing more
than activate an observer’s brain circuits for those motor pat
terns that are being enacted by the observed individual. This
narrow function argues that mirror neurons are not an “intel-
ligence.” At the same time, however, because mirror neurons
are activated by a very wide range of behaviors including fa-
cial motor movements of others, gesturing, grasping, touch-
ing, and tool use (Rizzolatti & Carighero, 2004; Mottonen et
al., 2005), the mirror neuron system operates over a much
broader range of content than that identified by Gardner for
each of his intelligences.
More specifically, evidence for the module of number
knowledge might appear to provide support for Gardner’s
logical-mathematical intelligence. However, the numerosity
module is a much narrower cognitive specialization than
Gardner’s logical-mathematical intelligence. The module in
cludes only counting using the natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4,
) and estimating the numerosity of objects in groups (Gelman
& Butterworth, 2005). Neither logic nor mathematics as a
system of operations on numbers is included in the number
knowledge module. Equally important, because numerosity
estimations could occur in all of Gardner’s intelligences, the
numerosity module operates much more broadly than was
theorized by Gardner for his intelligences.
Like the mirror neuron system and number knowledge
module, the theorized social cheating detection module also
involves processing that would operate across all of
Gardner’s theorized intelligences and would also, nonethe
less, focus on a problem much narrower—who is cheat
ing?—than that assumed by Gardner for each of the MI.
In fact, adapted cognition modules are theorized to have
evolved to aid us in solving quite specific recurrent problems
in our environment. Mirror neurons can help us learn what
our neighbor is doing and feeling by providing automatic
mental imitation of our neighbor’s behaviors. Innate
numerosity skill can assist in quickly counting resources or
elements of danger. Social cheating detection can help us dis
cern unjust access to resources.
Although Gardner argued that MI are evolved brain spe
cializations (1999, p. 88; 2004, p. 214), he claimed that “each
intelligence probably evolved to deal with certain kinds of
contents in a predictable world” (1999, p. 95). Thus, the lin
guistic, musical, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic,
spatial, personal, and naturalistic intelligences were not theo
rized to each solve a specific environmental problem but to
each deal with a different general content. If MI are innate
brain specializations, as claimed by Gardner, and if they have
not each evolved to solve a particular recurrent problem in
our environment, why did they evolve? For example, if the
musical intelligence is a cognitive brain specialization that
evolved to determine “skill in the performance, composition,
and appreciation of musical patterns” (Gardner, 1999, p. 42),
what recurrent human environmental problem did music per
formance, composition, and appreciation evolve to solve?
Despite Gardner’s (1999) assertion that once an intelligence
“emerged, there is nothing that mandates that it must remain
tied to the original inspiring content” (p. 95), nothing in MI
theory answers the following question: How could the con
tent of music inspire the evolution of the musical intelligence
as a distinct brain specialization?
Summary: Cognition Research Evidence Does
Not Support MI Theory
Albeit neuroscience researchers have not claimed that indi-
vidual human perceptual processes such as taste or vision are
intelligences or that innate skills, such as spatial navigation,
or learned skills, such as music composition, are
intelligences, nonetheless, this provides no evidence against
MI theory. However, the empirical evidence reviewed here
does argue that the human brain is unlikely to function via
Gardner’s MI. Taken together the evidence for the
intercorrelations of subskills of IQ measures; the evidence
for a shared set of genes associated with mathematics, read
ing, and g; and the evidence for shared and overlapping
“What is it?” and “Where is it?” neural processing pathways
and shared neural pathways for language, music, motor
skills, and emotions suggest that it is unlikely that that each
of Gardner’s intelligences could operate “via a different set
of neural mechanisms” (Gardner, 1999, p. 99). Equally im
portant, the evidence for the “What is it?” and “Where is it?”
processing pathways, for Kahneman’s two decision-making
systems, and for adapted cognition modules suggests that
these cognitive brain specializations have evolved to address
very specific problems in our environment. Because Gardner
claimed that that the intelligences are innate potentialities re
lated to a general content area, MI theory lacks a rationale for
the phylogenetic emergence of the intelligences.
MI theory should not be taught without consideration of
the absence of empirical validating evidence for MI theory or
without consideration of alternate evidence-based models of
human cognition.
Beginning in 1993 a series of studies reported that experienc
ing Mozart might generate improved spatial skill. Rauscher
et al. (1993) reported that college students scored eight to
nine points higher on a spatial IQ test after listening to 10 min
of a Mozart piano sonata. In 1995 the same group found that
college students improved 62% in their ability to mentally
unfold a folded abstract figure after listening to the same Mo
zart sonata. Rauscher et al. (1997) then reported that pre
school children given 6 months of piano instruction showed
significant improvement in spatial tasks. In 1998, Rauscher,
Robinson, and Jens described finding that even rats improved
maze learning with exposure to a Mozart sonata. In 1999
Graziano et al. reported finding improved math skills in chil
dren who had been given music and spatial training sessions.
Hetland (2000) found that children given music lessons im
proved in spatial reasoning for up to 2 years after the music
lessons were over.
In 2004 Jackson and Tlauka reported finding that both a
Mozart sonata and a piece by Philip Glass improved study
participants’ ability to negotiate through a fixed space. In
2005 Jausovec and Habe reported that listening to a Mozart
sonata improved study participants’ performance on a set of
spatial rotation tasks but slightly impaired their performance
on number tasks. The researchers also reported that partici-
pants’ brain waves were altered in the direction of greater
cortical activity while listening to this sonata. The research
findings from 1993 onward led to the conclusion that experi
ence of music, and especially of Mozart’s music, whether for
a brief time or over a longer period, whether listened to or
played, significantly improved spatial cognitive skills.
Research even suggested Mozart as medicine. Hughes,
Daaboul, Fino, and Shaw (1998) reported that playing a Mo
zart sonata to 29 patients with seizures caused a reduction in
epileptiform activity in 23 patients. The researchers argued
that the superior pattern structure of Mozart’s music was
likely to be reorganizing the abnormal neuronal firing of sei
zures. Jenkins (2001) argued that the high level of long-term
periodicity (e.g., repeated sequences of note patterns) in Mo
zart’s music operated both to decrease seizure activity and to
enhance spatial skills. Kimata (2003) reported that listening
to Mozart, but not to Beethoven, reduced skin wheals in pa
tients with latex allergies.
The ME sparked tremendous interest in educators and the
public. In a state budget address, Governor Zell Miller of
Georgia requested $105,000 to provide a tape of classical
music for each of Georgia’s 100,000 newborns to help their
brains develop better (Gavin, 2000). A small CD industry
based on mental improvement through listening to classical
music emerged (Rauscher, 2002). Music educators, journal
ists, music companies, and even politicians extended the
findings of the researchers to mean that listening to Mozart
can make you smarter (Campbell, 2000; Gavin, 2000), thus
creating a “scientific legend” version of the researchers’orig
inal claim (Bangerter & Heath, 2004).
When asked whether children’s spatial skills might be
better improved directly through practice rather than indi
rectly through music, Rauscher (2002) argued that music
brings joy into our lives and offers “free” improvement of
spatial skill—that is, the enhancement of skill without any
practice. Music does provide pleasure for most people.
Menon and Levitin (2005) found that listening to music ac
tivates the connections between several brain systems and
strongly modulates activity in brain structures (amygdala,
hypothalamus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex) and brain
chemical pathways (dopamine) that determine our feelings
of pleasurable reward. Although music is rewarding, does it
really offer free improvement in spatial intelligence?
The ME and Evidence for the Basis of the
Learning Process
When we learn something that we can recall again and
again, it is represented in our long-term memory. Cognitive
neuroscience research suggests that much of what is typi-
cally learned in a classroom depends a combination of the
incremental enhancement of procedural skill memory for
sequences of behaviors, such as knowing how to write
words, and of declarative content memory for knowledge,
such as knowing why bacteria are important (Eichenbaum,
2004; Willingham, 1998). Cognitive neuroscience research
has discovered six processes that influence the establish-
ment of long-term procedural and declarative memory.
These processes are repetition of the procedure or informa
tion (Squire & Kandel, 2000; Wickelgren, 1981), excitation
at the time of learning (LeDoux, 2002; McGaugh, 2004;
Phelps, 2006), association of reward with the material to be
learned (Wise, 2004), eating carbohydrates before or during
learning (Korol, 2002; Rampersaud, Pereira, Girard, Ad
ams, & Metzl, 2005), sufficient sleep after a learning ses
sion (Walker & Stickgold, 2006), and avoidance of drugs of
abuse and alcohol (Grant, Gonzalez, Carey, Natarajan, &
Wolfson, 2003; Marinkovic, Halgren, & Maltzman, 2004).
Although researchers have found that the process of con
solidating long-term memory does take place “for free” while
we sleep (Walker & Stickgold, 2006) and that some learning
takesplace outside of focal attention while we are consciously
attending to other to other tasks (Yi & Chun, 2005), there is no
evidence, other than evidence for the ME, to suggest that sig
nificant cognitive skill improvement can take place without
one of the first two memory enhancement processes: repeti
Repetition induces learning.
In a review of research
on human learning, Wickelgren (1981) concluded simply
that “practice makes perfect, and stated that “learning
curves are almost always continuous incremental functions
of study time” (p. 38). Squire and Kandel (2000) summed up
the findings for the neurobiology and psychology of learning
with the conclusion that improvement of procedural skills
and enhancement of content memories depends on “the num
ber of times the event or fact is repeated” and “the extent to
which we rehearse the material after it has first been pre
sented” (p. 71). James and Gauthier (2006) reported that
learning improved following repetition and was associated
with a time-shifted increase in relevant brain activation. A.
Martin and Gotts (2005) found that, although object identifi
cation improved with repetition of images of the object, ob
ject learning was impaired when individuals’frontal lobe ac
tivity was disrupted during the repetitions.
Excitement induces learning.
Emotional arousal en
hances memory formation by positively influencing the pe
riod of neurobiological activity called consolidation that es
tablishes a memory in the brain (McGaugh, 2004; Phelps,
2006). LeDoux (2002) outlined that we “remember particu
larly well … those things that arouse our emotions” and that
heightened emotional excitation engendered by hormones
and amygdala activity strengthens both conscious and
nonconscious memory formation (p. 222). Many animal
studies have demonstrated that the arousal-linked hormones
including epinephrine and corticosterone support the consol-
idation of long-term memory (LeDoux, 2002). Nielson, Yee,
and Erickson (2005) found that human learning was signifi-
cantly enhanced by an emotionally arousing videotape, and
Cahill, Gorski, and Le (2003) reported evidence that human
cortical arousal, with increased epinephrine, enhanced hu-
man memory consolidation. McGaugh’s (2004) review of re
search on the brain basis of emotion and memory led him to
conclude that “emotionally significant experiences, whether
pleasant or unpleasant, activate hormonal and brain systems”
through which “our emotionally exciting experiences be
come well remembered” (p. 18).
Because the ME claims that spatial skills of children and
adults and even the spatial skills of rats improve after music
experience without repetition of the spatial material, and
without any increased emotional excitation (Rauscher et al.,
1993, 1995), therefore, the ME theory contradicts the cur
rent cognitive neuroscience understanding of the basis of
skill improvement.
Cortical Arousal May Be the Source of the ME
It is interesting to note that evidence has been reported to
suggest that the ME may actually be the result of positive
emotional arousal of study participants (Husain, Thompson,
& Schellenberg, 2002; Jausovec & Habe, 2005; Thompson,
Schellenberg, & Husain, 2001). Thompson et al. tested study
participants’spatial abilities after they sat in silence and after
they listened to a brisk upbeat Mozart sonata and a slow sad
Albinoni adagio. The participants’ performance on the spa
tial task was better following the Mozart than following the
silence but not better following the Albinoni. The authors
concluded that the ME is a result of positive arousal. In a sub
sequent study, Husain et al. (2002) reported that four versions
of the same Mozart sonata (fast, slow, major, minor) had dif
fering effects on spatial skill. Spatial task scores were higher
for subjects who listened to the fast version and the major
version of the Mozart sonata. The higher scoring subjects
were in a more positive emotional state, suggesting that posi
tive emotional arousal was likely to be the source of the ME.
Jausovec and Habe (2005) reported that listening to a Mozart
sonata enhanced participants’ performance on a set of spatial
rotation tasks while increasing participants’brain wave activ
ity. The researchers theorized Mozart’s music selectively in
creases brain activity in certain areas that results in the bind
ing of sensory stimuli into a unitary whole.
If these findings are upheld, they suggest that listening to
Mozart improves spatial learning for a brief period because
music, and particularly some of Mozart’s fast tempo, major
key compositions, can cause positive emotional arousal and
increased cortical activity.
Other Proposed Brain Mechanisms for the ME
Several other brain mechanisms for the ME have been pro-
posed. Rauscher (2002) suggested that the ME might work ei-
ther through transfer of learning from the music domain to the
visual-spatial domain or through changing the physical struc-
ture of the brain. Although no evidence for the cross-domain
transfer of learning from music to spatial skill has been found
(Schellenberg, 2003), certain types of skill learning have been
shown to result in an increase in brain tissue dedicated to that
skill. The brains of violinists, for example, had more brain tis
sue representing their fingers than did the brains of
nonmusicians (Schlaug, 2003), and expert musicians had
greater left hemisphere activation in response to music than
did nonmusicians (Schlaug, 2003). However no correlation
was found between representation of fingers in the brain and
visual-spatial skill (Schellenberg, 2003), and professional
musicians were not shown to have a significantly greater spa
tial skill than nonmusicians (Schlaug, 2003).
Schellenberg (2003) wondered whether priming—an ini
tial firing of neurons in a brain circuit that makes a subse
quent firing more rapid and more likely—could be the source
of the ME, but he discounted priming because it was not clear
how hearing musical notes could prime spatial patterns.
However, given the evidence for overlapping neural process
ing of music and other cognitive skills, as reviewed here pre
viously, it may be that music can prime overlapping path
ways for in spatial information processing.
Some Research Disconfirms the ME
Contrary to the evidence reported for the ME, a considerable
number of studies have reported evidence disconfirming the
ME (Chabris, 1999; Husain et al., 2002; McKelvie & Low,
2002; Nantais & Schellenberg, 1999; Steele, 2003; Steele,
Bass, & Crook, 1999; Steele, Brown, & Stoecker, 1999;
Thompson et al., 2001; Twomey & Esgate, 2002). Chabris
reported that a meta-analysis of 16 ME studies found no
change in IQ or spatial reasoning ability. Chabris also re
ported that a replication of the Rauscher et al. 1995 study
found no significant change in spatial IQ. The experiments of
researchers Steele, Bass, and Crook (1999) and Steele,
Brown, and Stoecker (1999) also failed to replicate the ME.
Similarly, McKelvie and Low reported that, compared to
control participants, there was no improvement in the spatial
IQ scores of two groups of children who listened to a Mozart
sonata. Twomey and Esgate reported that they could find an
ME only in nonmusicians, and Fudin and Lembessis (2004)
criticized the original Rauscher et al. (1993) study as flawed
in its methodology. Steele pointed out that the rats studied by
Rauscher et al. (1998) were unlikely to have improved their
maze learning from hearing a Mozart sonata because rats are
deaf in the womb and are born deaf, and adult rats are deaf to
the majority of tones in a Mozart sonata.
Summary: What is a Reasonable Interpretation
of the ME?
The present available evidence does not support the belief that
the ME is a newly discovered mechanism that can improve
spatial skill without practice or emotional arousal. The evi-
dence disconfirming the ME suggests that there is no effect at
all. The evidence confirming the ME, however, suggests that
Mozart’s music may be a pleasant means of inducing emo-
tional arousal and may thus provide a brief improvement in
spatial-temporal skills precisely because it induces such
clusion that music cannot prime spatial processing, cortical
arousalstimulatedbymusiccanprimecorticalcircuitsfor spa
tial processing where the circuits for music and spatial pro
cessing overlap (Koelsch et al., 2004).
In sum the evidence to date does not justify advocating
music as means to improve spatial skills “for free.” The ME
theory should not be taught without consideration of the
disconfirming evidence or without consideration of the pos
sibilities of the mechanisms that may underpin the ME.
Salovey and Mayer first outlined the construct of EI in 1990.
In 1995 Goleman popularized a version of their construct in
his book Emotional Intelligence. Goleman’s idea of a unitary
“emotional intelligence” consisted of five domains: knowing
one’s emotions, managing one’s emotions, motivating one
self, recognizing emotions in others, and handling relation
ships. In 1997 Mayer and Salovey outlined four EI compo
nents: regulating emotions, understanding emotions,
assimilating emotion in thought, and perceiving and express
ing emotion. Goleman expanded his model (1998, 2001;
Goleman, Boyzatzis, & McKee, 2002), and he redefined EI
as the ability to develop competence in four domains:
self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and re
lationship management. Each of these four domains was the
orized to have multiple subskills. The central claim was that
every person is a leader in some manner, and every leader’s
main obligation is to create resonance, that is, to “prime good
feelings in those they lead” which in turn will generate the
best behavior in others (Goelman et al., 2002, p. ix).
In 1999 Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey published the
Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale, which included
the factor scales of perception of emotion, understanding
emotions, and managing emotions, as well as a general EI
factor. The researchers argued that their EI construct was a
valid intelligence because it operationalized a set of abilities,
it was correlated with standardized verbal intelligence, and
adults showed higher EI scores than did adolescents. In 2003
Brackett and Mayer compared several EI measures, the
Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional Intelligence Test, the
Emotional Quotient Inventory, and the self-report EI test, and
concluded that only the first of these three measures was dif-
ferentiable from personality measures. In 2005 Kemp et al.
introduced a new measure of EI, the Brain Resource Inven-
tory for Emotional Intelligence Factors, which was designed
to measure internal emotional capacity, external emotional
capacity, and self-concept. Kemp at al. reported that a low EI
score on their measure was correlated with low frontal lobe
arousal. In 2005 Tett, Fox, and Wang reviewed 33 studies of
six different self-report measures of EI, and concluded that
EI could successfully be measured by self-report scales.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Devel
opment endorsed Goleman’s construct of EI by inviting
Goleman to give a keynote address at an annual meeting
(Pool, 1997) and by developing and selling an inquiry kit on
EI based on Goleman’s 1995 book (Robbins & Scott, 1997).
Goleman et al. (2002) argued that EI should be taught in
schools. They claimed that “if education also included those
emotional intelligence abilities that foster resonance” then
young people would reduce their “violence and substance
abuse” and communities would have higher levels of social
caring (p. xiii). Hartley (2004) reviewed EI as part of educa
tional leadership. Kelly, Longbottom, Potts, and Williamson
(2004) observed that the application of EI theory in a class
room yielded beneficial emotional and social changes in the
class and contributed to enhancing the school ethos.
Problems With the Empirical Evidence for
EI Theory
Emmerling and Goleman (2003) argued that “by Kuhn’s cri
teria, the emotional intelligence paradigm would seem to
have reached a state of scientific maturity” 6). However
Kuhn’s idea of scientific maturity required both that a scien
tific community accept the theory and that there be empirical
evidence validating the theory (Nersessian, 1998). No re
search has yet validated the notion of a unitary EI. Matthews,
Zeidner, and Roberts (2002) reviewed a wide range of empir
ical research on EI and concluded that there was no support
ing evidence for a unitary EI either in “brain function, in ba
sic information processing, in high-level interactions of
person-environment interaction, or by reconceptualizing ex
isting personality traits“ (p. 539). Zeidner, Matthews, and
Roberts (2004) concluded that a good deal of evidence pro
posed to support EI was based on anecdotal observations and
self-report surveys. Locke (2005) claimed that EI was de
fined too broadly to ever be adequately tested. Matthews,
Zeidner, and Roberts (2004) reviewed the evidence for EI
theory and identified critical unresolved problems. They as
serted that there were too many conflicting EI constructs, that
EI was not successfully differentiated from personality con
structs and general intelligence, and that there was no valida
tion of the claim that EI was critical for real-world success.
Many Conflicting Constructs of EI
Matthews et al. (2002) reported that because the construct of
EI was so often redefined by researchers, as a result, different
studies identified very different skills as part of EI. Matthews
et al. (2004) outlined eight different conceptualizations of EI.
ing emotions, adaptiveness, acquired implicit skills, acquired
explicit skills, insightful self-awareness, and good emotional
person-environment fit (p. 181). The researchers concluded
that “differing definitions and neglected conceptual problems
have led to considerable confusion” (p. 181). Theyarguedthat
the confusion would be resolved in part when the overlap be
tween different EI constructs was determined. They noted,
however, thatit wouldbeextremelydifficulttodeterminesuch
overlaps because different EI measures had been used to vali
date the different EI constructs. They called for consensus de
bates as a means of possible resolution.
EI has not Been Differentiated From
Personality Plus IQ
Matthews et al. (2004) argued that another critical problem
for EI theory was that EI has been found to be correlated with
both personality measures and standard intelligence mea
sures. Thus, it has been difficult to determine exactly how EI
differs from some combination of IQ and personality factors
(Matthews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2005). Davies, Stankov, and
Roberts (1998) found that subjective measures of EI did not
seem to assess anything other than factors already measured
by existing valid personality inventories. Schulte, Ree, and
Carretta (2004) reported that the components of EI showed a
high significant positive correlation (.81) with five major per
sonality factors (warmth, conscientiousness, sociability,
neuroticism, and openness) in combination with g general in
telligence. They suggested that EI theory adds little to
understanding human behavior. Barchard and Hakstian
(2004) reported that their factor analysis of EI abilities
yielded only one factor that was autonomous from IQ and
personality and that was emotional congruence. Lopes,
Salovey, Côté, and Beers (2005) reported that after control
ling for personality traits, and for verbal and fluid intelli
gence, only one EI trait remained, emotional regulation skill.
They concluded that their findings raised “questions about
the cohesiveness of emotional intelligence as a domain of
ability” (Lopes et al., 2005, p. 117).
Goleman et al. (2002) argued that the repeated findings
for significant positive correlations between EI and IQ were
flawed because study samples did not include individuals
with either very high or very low IQ scores. They also argued
that positive correlations between EI test scores and IQ test
scores were irrelevant because only those individuals with
higher IQs become leaders. These arguments are unsup
ported claims and are not compelling.
The Claim That EI Determines Real-World
Success Has Not Been Validated
Pool (1997) reported that Goleman told members of the As-
sociation for Supervision and Curriculum Development that
“a person’s IQ predicts only a small part of career perfor-
mance—ranging from 4 to 20 percent. But recent studies
have shown that emotional intelligence predicts about 80
percent of a person’s success in life” (p. 12). Similarly, in
1998 Goleman claimed that “IQ alone at best leaves 75 per-
cent of job success unexplained, and at worst 96 percent” (p.
19), and he claimed that “more than 80 percent of general
competencies that set apart superior from average performers
depend on emotional intelligence” (p. 320).
Goleman derived his first claim, that IQ explains less than
75% of job success, from a 1995 review article by Sternberg,
Wagner, Williams, and Horvath, in which the authors con
cluded that “between 75% and 96% of the variance in
real-world criteria such as job performance cannot be ac
counted for by individual differences in intelligence test
scores” (p. 923). Goleman changed the phrasing of the au
thors’ conclusion slightly, turning their phrase “real-world
criteria such as job performance” into the phrases “career
performance” (Pool, 1997, p. 12) and “job success” (1998, p.
320). This is a small change but it alters the meaning signifi
cantly, making job/career success the sole outcome not pre
dicted by IQ, thus significantly narrowing Sternberg et al.s
(1995) claim. Equally problematic, the original 75%–96%
success prediction percentages were not correlations ob
tained from a specific empirical study: The 75%–96% range
was a review judgment of the 1995 authors.
Goleman derived his second claim, that EI explains more
than 80% of success in life (Pool, 1997, p. 12) or, alterna
tively, more than 80% of job competencies that distinguish
superior employees (1998, p. 320), from an unpublished pri
vately commissioned study (Goleman, 1998, p. 31). This
study determined that 21 key job competencies existed, and
Goleman decided that only three (analytical thinking, con
ceptual thinking, and technical expertise) were not EI com
petencies. Goleman concluded that because he judged 18 of
21 job competencies to be EI competencies and because 18
equals 85.7% of 21, thus EI explained 85.7%, or more than
80% of life success (Pool, 1997, p. 12) or more than 80% of
job skill competencies of superior workers (Goleman, 1998,
p. 320). These conclusions were mistaken.
First, to claim that more than 80% of life success depends
on EI, the 80% figure must from derive from a significant and
veryhigh positive correlation (r > .90) between data from reli
sures of EI in the same population. Goleman’s 80% figure is
not derived from such a correlation. It is simply a restatement
inpercentageform ofhisjudgment that18of 21jobcompeten
cies are EI competencies. Second, to maketheclaim that more
than 80% of superior job skill competencies are EI competen
cies,there must beevidencethateachidentifiedcompetencyis
a true job competencyand evidence that the total range of pos
sible job competencies is included in the 21. Moreover, there
must be a reliable, replicable, nonsubjective method for then
determining which job competencies are EI competencies.
However, Goleman reported no empirical evidence from the
privately commissioned study for the validity of the 21 job
competencies or evidencethat 21 jobcompetencies determine
all of job success. His selection of EI job competencies from
Collins (2002) studied the job success of 91 executivesand
found EI competencies predicted no variation in job success
over and above cognition and personality traits. Barchard
(2003)reportedfindingthatsomemeasuresofEI predictedac
ademic success but that none of these measures showed incre
mental predictive validity for academic success over and
above cognitive and personality variables. Matthews et al.
(2002) found that, although some skills theorized to be part of
EI werecorrelated with aspects of success, itwasnot clear that
these skills determined EI, and the correlations were associa
tions not causal effects (p. 229).
Alternatives to EI Theory: Theories of
Multiple Socioemotional Skills
Research in social psychology and social neuroscience sug
gests that there is unlikely to be a unitary “emotional intelli
gence” (Cacioppo & Berntson, 2004; Insel & Fernald, 2004;
Phelps, 2006). First, evidence has suggested that emotion and
cognition are intertwined in human mental function (Adolphs
et al., 2003; Phelps, 2006). Second, evidence has suggested
thathuman emotional andsocialcompetencedependson mul
tiple evolved brain adaptations. Basic social attachment in all
mammals depends on a system of the hormones oxytocin,
vasotocin, and vasopressin operating in brain-body circuits
(Insel & Fernald, 2004). The human ability to feel and express
of others depends on circuits in a variety of brain regions, in
cluding the previously discussed mirror neuron system
(Adolphs et al., 2003; Rizzolatti & Carighero, 2004). Humans
also have neocortical and subcortical circuits specialized to
distinguish faces, facial expressions, and social gaze (Batty &
Taylor, 2003). Emotions are also communicated through lan
guage, and research has reported evidence for a panoply of
brain circuits involved in language processing, most notably
left hemisphere neocortex and basal ganglia tissues (Allman,
Hakeem, & Watson, 2002; Josse & Tzourio-Mazoyer, 2004).
Personality research has also suggested that there is a core set
of emotion-related temperament components, called the “big
five” aspects of personality—warmth, conscientiousness, so
ciability, neuroticism, and openness (Paris, 2005).
Attachment, empathy, face and emotion recognition, lan
guage, and aspects of personality all have been found to con
tribute to social-emotional skills (Cacioppo & Berntson,
2004; Insel & Fernald, 2004; Paris, 2005). Logically, then,
because these traits and skills contribute to social-emotional
skills, they should be considered as factors contributing to
any comprehensive theorized construct of an EI.
Summary: The Problems With EI Theory are
Landy (2005) argued that EI cannot be considered a scientific
theory because some datasets proposing evidence for EI can-
not be evaluated because these datasets are privately owned.
For example, as noted previously, Goleman’s core claim for
the validity of EI derives in part from a privately commis-
sioned study: This study was conducted by the McBer divi-
sion of the Hay Group, a Boston MA business consulting
firm, and this study has not been published. However, the ma
jority of research on EI is not in proprietary databases, and
this available evidence has clearly identified a lack of conclu
sive supporting data for EI, either as a single construct or as a
defined set of specific abilities. In particular, the problems for
EI theory identified by Matthews et al. (2004)—no unitary EI
paradigm, inadequate differentiation of EI from personality
traits plus IQ and no evidence that EI predicts job or life suc
cess—have not been solved.
Moreover, social psychology and social neuroscience re
search has outlined a more complex and varied array of hu
man social-emotional skills than those proposed in EI theory.
The validity of EI remains to be determined. Therefore, EI
theory should not be taught without a consideration of its
lack of empirical validity.
All three theories have been criticized. Allix (2000) argued
that crucial “cognitive matter is missing from Gardner’s over
all conception” because Gardner “is unable to specify coher
ently how the algorithms, which carry out intelligent compu
tations, are realized” (p. 283). Sternberg and Grigorenko
(2004) pointed out the lack of evidence for MI theory. Steele,
Bass,and Crook(1999) concludedthat “thereislittle evidence
to support basing intellectual enhancement programs on the
existence of the causal relationship termed the Mozart effect”
(p. 368). Jones and Zigler (2002) argued against the ME, and
Bangerter and Heath (2004) concluded that the ME had “be
come a scientific legend” (p. 610). Matthews et al. (2002),
Landy(2005), Locke(2005), and others have pointed out seri
ous problems with EI theory. Why does this criticism have so
little effect on the influence these theories wield?
Four Contexts: Fraud, Anxieties, Absent
Evidence, and Ignoring Evidence
Stich (1990) argued that belief in unfounded ideas occurs in
four contexts: when unfounded evidence is created as an ex
plicit fraud, when sound evidence is subject to distortion by
anxieties or wishful thinking, when sound evidence is absent,
and when sound evidence can be easily ignored. For the first,
there is no evidence to suggest that any of the three theories
reviewed here was created as an explicit fraud. For the sec-
ond, Bangerter and Heath (2004) reported that although they
found that interest in the ME was “higher in states that are ex-
periencing problems in childhood education, it does not di-
rectly demonstrate the role of anxiety in mediating this inter-
est” (p. 616). The idea of applying MI, ME, and EI theory to
educational practice might, arguably, be interpreted as
“wishful thinking” in that these theories have not been vali-
dated, and yet they have been recommended for the improve-
ment of classroom learning (Armstrong, 1994; Campbell,
2000; Elksnin & Elksnin, 2003; Gardner, 2004; Glennon,
2000; Graziano et al., 1999; Hoerr, 2003; Rettig, 2005).
For the third Stich context, as reviewed in detail previ
ously, consistent sound evidence is lacking for all three theo
ries. Gardner acknowledged the lack of empirical evidence
for MI (Gardner, 2004; Gardner & Connell, 2000), but he and
others have discounted the need for empirical validation as
the narrow focus of psychometricians (Chen, 2004; Gardner,
1999, 2004; Shearer, 2004). Many studies failed to replicate
the ME, but others found supporting evidence; thus, the pat
tern of evidence is inconsistent. EI has many competing con
structs, but none of them have been validated.
Stich’s fourth context occurs when sound evidence is easy
to ignore. Much of the sound evidence from psychology and
EItheories is easyto ignorebecausethis evidencehas not been
published to address the claims of MI, ME, and EI theory.
Three Reasons:
Credo Consolans,
Gratification, and Easy Explanations
Shermer (1997) argued that there are three major reasons that
people believe in ideas lacking sound supporting evidence:
credo consolans, an unproven idea may be comforting if it
predicts a good outcome, makes us feel powerful, or makes
us feel in control; immediate gratification, an unproven idea
may be attractive if it offers instant solutions for difficult
problems; and easy explanations, an unproven idea may be
accepted if it offers a simple story about something that is dif
ficult to understand.
MI, ME, and EI theory each provide a credo consolans for
educators because each offers the promise of control over a
complex and invisible process—the act of learning—and
each predicts a good outcome for students if applied in edu
cational practice. Second, each theory also suggests the pos
sibility of the immediate gratification of a quick solution for
a difficult problem. If Mozart can improve everyone’s non
verbal intelligence, just play Mozart’s music in every class
(Campbell, 2000) and to every newborn baby (Gavin, 2000).
If we each have eight different intelligences, just teach to all
the eight intelligences (Armstrong, 1994), and students’ var
ied learning problems will be addressed. If we each possess
an “emotional intelligence,” then training this EI will reduce
students’ classroom problems and improve society (Elksnin
& Elksnin, 2003).
In accord with Shermer’s third reason, MI, ME, and EI
theory may be popular because each offers an easy explana-
tion of cognitive processes. MI theory offers the easy-to-un-
derstand explanation that cognitive processes are divided
into separate intelligences, each defined simply by the con-
tent that it learns and processes. Thus, MI theory adherents
can believe that they understand the way cognitive function-
ing is organized in the brain. However, as has been reviewed
previously, this belief is unjustified.
The ME theory offers the easy-to-understand explanation
that spatial skill will improve without effort if we just listen
to music. EI theory offers the easy-to-understand explanation
that human cognition is divided into EI and IQ and that EI
may be more important than IQ for life success. Moreover,
Goleman’s (1998) evidentiary claims for EI mirror Dale Car
negie’s (1990) easy-to-understand How to Win Friends and
Influence People. Like Goleman, Carnegie asserted that only
15% of job success was due to professional knowledge,
whereas 85% was due to the ability to be positive and enthu
siastic in dealing with other people.
Contagious Transmission of Ideas
Lynch (1996) argued that the “contagious” mass transmis
sion of an idea, belief, or theory can occur in a variety of con
texts, including the contexts in which an idea triggers believ
ers to teach the idea to others, an idea simply makes sense to
many of those who are exposed to it, or an idea is thought to
offer rewards to the holder of the idea.
The explosion of Web sites reported on Table 1 suggests
that all three theories simply do make sense to many people,
and the increasing number of educational workshops sug
gests that these ideas are triggering individuals to teach oth
ers these theories. Furthermore, all three theories offer edu
cators who believe in the theory two possible rewards: the
reward of more effective teaching and the reward of an
easy-to-understand model of cognition.
Folk Psychology
Geary and Huffman (2002) and Malle (2004) argued that be
cause human thoughts and actions are so variable our brains
have evolved to be open to constructing many folk psychol
ogy theories of behavior. Thus, MI theory, the Mozart theory,
and EI theory may appeal to us because we have an innate
predisposition to find simple models of human behavior ap
pealing. In reviewing Working with Emotional Intelligence,
Bennis (1998) argued that Goleman’s notion of EI was sound
because it “confirms what we know in our bones” (p. 50).
Petrides, Furnham, and Martin (2004) reported finding that
both men and women believed that men have less EI than
women do and that all study participants believed in the dis
tinction between EI and the non-EI of IQ or rationality. Simi
larly, the ME may be attractive because many of us already
believe that music has special powers to influence states of
mind (Cross, 2003).
Human Differences Versus the Belief in
Human Equality
Still another possible reason for the appeal of these theories
is the tension between the awareness of human differences
and the belief in human equality. The notion of g or general
intelligence has been associated with an inherently unequal
meritocracy within society (Ceci, 1996, pp. 230–232).
Paying attention to the conventionally determined intelli
gence of students has been identified as a problem for teach
ing (Kincheloe, 1999), and MI theory, in particular, has been
praised for addressing this inequity by allowing for students
to have the wide range of eight distinct intelligences in which
to express distinctive talent (Chen, 2004; Shearer, 2004). EI
has been invoked to identify individuals who have a high EQ
in contrast to a relatively lower IQ, as well as a means to ad
dress the deficits of the 15%–22% of students believed to
have social-emotional problems (Elksnin & Elksnin, 2003).
The ME, too, has been argued to be a means to reduce differ
ences in school functioning (Gavin, 2000; Hetland, 2000;
Schellenberg, 2004).
Blau, Moller, and Jones (2004) asserted that, in general,
“colleges, schools, and teachers, use tests for competitive,
sorting purposes, and students and parents themselves con
sider that tests distinguish between winners and losers” (p.
431). Flynn (1999) argued, however, that there was no sound
evidence that testing had driven the United States toward an
IQ meritocracy wherein “heritability of IQ plus social trends
render inevitable a society in which good genes for IQ are
highly correlated with class” (p. 5). Conversely, Verma
(1999) argued that IQ testing had contributed to inequality of
educational opportunities for students in Britain.
Kinchloe (1999) proposed that educational psychologys
idea of human intelligence should be “grounded on a demo
cratic vision of inclusivity” that “moves psychologists to
document and validate types of reasoning and intelligence
that differ from those now recognized by the field” (p. 1). Al
though Kinchloe criticized Gardner for tending to see “the
purpose of his cognitive work as helping elite students reach
a higher level of achievement” (p. 23), nonetheless, Kinchloe
approved MI theory as more democratically inclusive than
IQ testing, and he lauded Gardner for asserting that MI the
ory reveals that nearly every typical person can attain impres
sive skill in one or another intelligence (p. 22). Similarly,
Barrington (2004) claimed that MI theory provided an inclu
sive pedagogy that should be employed at the university level
to address problems engendered by the wide variation in skill
levels of students in colleges.
Sternberg and Grigorenko (2004), like Kinchloe (1999),
argued that a different, more open and inclusive vision of in
telligence was needed in education, and their solution was to
define a new intelligence, successful intelligence, which they
conceptualized as “the use of an integrated set of abilities
needed to attain success in life, however an individual defines
it, within his or her sociocultural context” (p. 274). They ar-
gued that their theory was “complementary to” Gardner’s MI
(Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2004, p. 279) but asserted that SI
theory, unlike MI theory, “has been subject to many con-
trolled studies seeking empirically to validate it, while
Gardner’s theory has not” (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2004, p.
279). Sternberg and Grigorenko (2004), like Kinchloe
(1999), argued that it is important to “modify in a construc-
tive way the entire teaching-learning process” (p. 279)
through a new view of human cognition different from the
narrow definition provided by IQ test scores.
Clearly there are many possible reasons for belief in the
MI, ME, and EI theories. However, regardless of whether
these theories confer a credo consolans, or claim to provide
redress for the unjust effects of IQ test scores, and despite the
beneficent excitement that these theories have generated in
educators, nonetheless, commitment to these theories is ulti
mately harmful to education.
Jorgenson (2003) claimed that educators have shown a “care
lessness in misinterpreting and decontextualizing the find
ings of brain research” amounting to “educational malprac
tice” (p. 368). Unfortunately, the lack of sound empirical
support for MI, ME, and EI theories suggests that their con
tinuing acceptance in education might also be considered ed
ucational malpractice. However, because educators would
have to expend a great deal of effort to uncover the lack of ev
idence for these theories, this malpractice is less the fault of
educators and more the fault of theory apologists. In fact, the
promulgation of these theories in education poses several se
rious forms of harm to the field.
First, teaching these theories harms educators. Educators
are harmed because they are being taught insufficiently sup
ported theories of human cognition. Teachers’ beliefs about
how students learn are strongly influenced by their educa
tional training (Hofer, 2002). Training teachers to believe that
there are eight sorts of content intelligences, an easy musical
route to improved spatial skill, or a division of the mind into
emotional and nonemotional intelligence is training teachers
in theories that stand against what is known about cognition
from empirical research. Thus, teaching these theories dam
ages teachers’ epistemologies of the learning process itself.
Second, these theories harm students. Greshams law is a
maxim that claims bad money drives out good money (Li,
2002). As applied to ideas it argues that bad notions crowd out
good notions. Because the theories reviewed here lack sound
empirical support theyare unlikelytohaveproductive valuein
enhancing student learning beyond that created by the excite
ment of incidental novelty or the power of inadvertent repeti
tion. Excitement and repetition can be better introduced in
learning when attended to directly in planning learning activi-
ties. In other words, when these theories are used as a basis for
educational practices theyare replacing other classroom prac-
tices that may be of greater benefit for students.
Finally, the acceptance and promulgation of these theories
does harm to the field of education. One of the core goals of
education is the discovery of valid ideas supported by a pre-
ponderance of sound evidence. The National Research
Council’s (2000) standard for science education states that
high school students should learn that a scientific theory
must be logically consistent, open to change, based on cur
rent scientific knowledge, and “must abide by the rules of ev
idence” (p. 20). More broadly, Hogan (2005) argued that “If
the search for truth is discarded from the purposes of human
learning, then … the integrity of learning … is lost (p. 187).
The MI theory, the ME theory, and the EI theory are not sup
ported by a preponderance of sound evidence. The enthusias
tic following these theories have garnered from educators
stands in sharp contrast to a foundation goal of education.
Byrnes (2001) argued that although “By itself, brain research
cannot be used to support particular instructional practices. It
can, however, be used to support particular psychological
theories of learning, which in turn can be used to design more
effective forms of instruction” (p. 185). However, what deter
mines whether psychological theories of learning and cogni
tion are supported by brain research?
This article provided a sketch of the cognitive neurosci
ence research findings for general intelligence, for the “What
is it?” and “Where is it?” neural processing pathways, for the
shared genetic basis for different cognitive skills, for the lack
of narrow neural content processing boundaries, for
Kahneman’s two decision-making systems, for adapted cog
nition modules, for the role of repetition and emotional
arousal in memory formation, for role of emotion in cogni
tion, and for the multifocal neural basis of human emotion
and sociability.
These brain research findings suggest several plausible
empirical constraints for psychological theories of cognition
and learning. It is these constraints that can be used to deter
mine which learning theories and practices are best sup
ported by neuroscience research. As Stern (2005) argued, al
though “Neuroscience alone cannot provide the specific
knowledge to design powerful learning environments, none
theless neuroscience findings offer a means to evaluate theo
ries by providing “insights into the abilities and constraints
of the learning brain” (p. 745).
The first plausible constraint based on the findings
sketched here is that psychological theories of cognition
should be predicated on shared and overlapping neural pro
cessing pathways for a wide range of cognitive content,
wherein aspects of emotion and cognition are intertwined. As
presently formulated, the proposed mechanisms for MI the-
ory, for the ME theory, and for EI theory do not respect this
constraint. MI theory defines each intelligence as operating
within a separate neural processing pathway, and EI theory
argues that emotion-cognition and non-emotion-cognition
are separate functions. Although the ME theory suggests the
possible overlap of music and spatial processing in the brain,
emotional arousal has been eschewed as a causal factor.
A second plausible constraint is that theories should re-
spect the crucial role that both effort (repetition) and excita
tion play in creating long-term memory for information.
Standing against this constraint, the ME theory argues that
music experience improves spatial skills without effort or
emotional arousal. MI theory posits that the effort needed to
learn different content skills depends on a priori
intraindividual variation in the seven or eight intelligences.
Similarly, EI theory argues that individuals vary a priori in
their EI, and therefore some individuals need little effort to
have a high EI.
With the notable exception of general intelligence, cogni
tive neuroscience research findings further suggest the plausi
ble constraint that cognitive specializations should be theo
rized as narrow or unipurpose computational devices that
address specific recurrent human life problems. (In fact, even
have evolved to support multipurpose problem solving that
could not be addressed by existing specific information pro
cessors; Kanazawa, 2004). Standing against this constraint,
MI theory defines each intelligence as a multipurpose proces
sor solving no particular problem but focused on a single do
main ofcontent.Similar toMI theory,and despitetheevidence
that suggests that the emotions we experience do contribute to
solving the recurring life problems of decision making
(Adolphs et al., 2003; Phelps, 2006), of pair-bonding, and of
social group formation (Insel & Fernald, 2004), nonetheless,
EI is theorized to be a multipurpose processor solving no par
ticular problem but focused on one domain: social skills.
Because MI theory, the ME theory, and EI theory are not sup
ported by sound or consistent validating empirical evidence,
and because these theories do not respect the constraints pro
videdbycumulativeempirical evidencefrom cognitiveneuro
science research, these theories should not be taught without
providing the context of their existing empirical support. En
thusiasm for their application to classroom practice should be
tempered by an awareness that their lack of sound empirical
support makes it likely that their application will have little
real powerto enhance student learning beyondthat stimulated
by the initial excitement of something new.
Of course, future research may shed new light on these
theories, and students, teachers, researchers, and theorists
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... Most preservice teachers seem to have a favorable opinion of Gardner's MI theory (Rousseau, 2021). This is despite the longstanding critical debate on the theory's efficacy and validity from the technical perspectives of educational psychologists (Schulte et al., 2004;Bordelon and Banbury, 2005;Visser et al., 2006;Waterhouse, 2006;McGreal, 2013;Rogowsky et al., 2015;Willingham et al., 2015;Rousseau, 2021). Additionally, a study by Luo and Huang (2019) of English as a second language (ESL) teachers' self-perception of MI theory and the uses of the defined multiple intelligences found either ambiguity or no significant correlation between MI theory and its instructional strategies, further supporting the critics of MI theory based on it not having statistical validity. ...
... While most of the critique of MI theory is in the technical use of the word "intelligences" and the testing of MI theory's validity in correlating the intelligences to teaching and learning that have found no correlation between MI theory and its instructional strategies (e.g., Schulte et al., 2004;Visser et al., 2006;Waterhouse, 2006;Rogowsky et al., 2015;Willingham et al., 2015;Luo and Huang, 2019), there are a number of studies that demonstrated favorable findings that partially validate MI theory, though there are qualifying limitations (e.g., Mokhtar et al., 2008;Furnham, 2009;Wu and Alrabah, 2009;Dolati and Tahriri, 2017;Prast et al., 2018;Yidana et al., 2022). However, Pashler et al. (2008) suggested that some studies that suggest favorable findings of learning styles theories there might be ambiguity in the study design leading to inconclusive findings. ...
... Such a finding might offer further basis for why MI theory has been found to be popular with preservice teachers when considering the findings of Rousseau (2021). It also might underscore some of the concerns of critics of MI theory who suggest that MI theory lacks sufficient scientific basis for its claims regarding multiple intelligences (Waterhouse, 2006;Willingham et al., 2015). The critique of validity in strategies such as MI theory is important and should be emphasized in educational psychology, but the qualitative and anecdotal observations of teachers who are daily in their classrooms seeing favorable results from differentiated practice is at least as important and should likewise have a place in educational psychology curriculum. ...
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Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (MI) has been at the center of a long-running debate in educational psychology in terms of its generalizable validity. In this article, MI theory is discussed for a review of why and how MI theory may be contextually discussed for preservice teachers to learn about in their teacher education program. The semantic conceptual basis of intelligence in MI theory is discussed in comparison to learning styles theory with implications for the importance of the teaching of Universal Design for Learning and related frameworks in teacher education curriculum.
... They have superior arguments that are logical and have critical thinking mind (Gardner, 2006;Pava, 2008). A disciplined mind does not simply know a particular subject but learns to think (Waterhouse, 2006). A person with a disciplined mind must have at least one area of expertise, as well as those habits of the continued application so that learning can continue throughout life (Gardner, 2007). ...
... 3). According to Gardner (2007), Waterhouse (2006), the disciplined mind involves spending a significant amount of time on the same topic. As a result, a person becomes an expert or master in the learned field. ...
... Gardner (2007) highlighted that the rapid changes in science and technology, nowadays increase the demand for qualified individuals who have signs of a disciplined mind. Therefore, the disciplined mind in learning implies that students are enabled to acquire knowledge towards a certain topic, think critically, and have logical and strong argumentations in the area of their life (Waterhouse, 2006). ...
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The paradigm shift from knowledge based training (KBET) to competence based (CBET) training in Tanzania was meant to create a challenging intellectual foundation to equip Non-Formal Secondary School Education (NFSE) graduates with competences to meet the dynamic changes within the 21 st Century. This article describes how the five minds for the future have been integrated in the NFSE curriculum as a reflection of lifelong learning among children and youths who missed formal schooling in Tanzania. The study was necessitated by an outgrowing cry that the graduates who went through similar curriculum did not demonstrate the competences associated with the five minds in their real life (Ndyali, 2016). What often went unsaid along with the complaints against graduates in Tanzania is how the elements of five minds have been nurtured during actual pedagogical practices. Therefore, this study reviewed the Education and Training Policy (ETP) of 2014, the Non-Formal Secondary Education Curriculum (2010) and the books of five minds for the future by Howard Gardner (2006) and Frames of Mind by Howard Gardner (2007). The analysis of the information gathered revealed that the education and Training Policy (2014) as well as non-formal secondary school curriculum features the five minds for the future. Similarly, another findings was that the curriculum materials had insufficient content which may enable non-formal secondary school learners acquire the five minds for the future. Further, it was revealed that there is limited instructional strategies, limited use of teaching materials and limited use of assessment strategies. It is, therefore, concluded that in order to improve the characteristics of non-formal secondary graduates three areas * This is an Open
... Dans une perspective théorique radicale, la théorie des intelligences multiples (Gardner, 1997) s'inscrit dans le rejet du facteur g de l'intelligence en postulant l'existence de 8 formes d'intelligences indépendantes : 1) l'intelligence linguistique, 2) l'intelligence logicomathématique, 3) l'intelligence visuospatiale, 4) l'intelligence musicale, 5) l'intelligence kinesthésique, 6) l'intelligence naturaliste, 7) l'intelligence interpersonnelle et 8) l'intelligence intrapersonnelle. Cependant, aucune étude empirique ne semble avoir étayé l'hypothèse d'intelligences multiples et indépendantes (Lautrey, 2004 ;Warne et al., 2018 ;Waterhouse, 2006). À l'inverse, les études empiriques ont démontré la présence systématique de corrélations positives entre les aptitudes cognitives avec de nombreuses batteries d'évaluation (Johnson, Bouchard, Krueger, McGue, & Gottesman, 2004 ;Johnson, Nijenhuis, & Bouchard, 2008 ;Lecerf & Canivez, 2018 ;Reynolds, Keith, Fine, Fisher, & Low, 2007). ...
Ce travail de thèse avait pour objectif d'explorer les spécificités cognitives des enfants à haut potentiel intellectuel (EHPI). Ces enfants présentent habituellement un Quotient Intellectuel (QI) élevé, estimé à partir de tests standardisés comme le Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC). Ce type d'évaluation est souvent coûteux en temps. Premièrement, nous sommes alors intéressés à l'élaboration et à la sélection de formes abrégées du WISC ayant les meilleures qualités psychométriques ainsi que les meilleures probabilités d'identifier les EHPI. Ces formes abrégées offrent la possibilité aux praticiens et aux chercheurs de réaliser des évaluations approfondies afin d'identifier les caractéristiques socioémotionnelles et cognitives de ces enfants à besoins particuliers, afin de leur proposer des programmes éducatifs spéciaux. Parmi les différentes aptitudes cognitives, les capacités attentionnelles et de mémoire de travail (MDT) ont particulièrement retenu notre attention à cause de leurs liens privilégiés avec les capacités intellectuelles, les capacités d'apprentissage ou encore les performances scolaires. Deuxièmement, nous avons montré que le rythme développemental des réseaux attentionnels des EHPI ne se différenciait pas de celui de leurs pairs. Toutefois, les EHPI présentaient une meilleure capacité de contrôle exécutif que leurs pairs.Troisièmement, nous avons présenté l'utilité d'une épreuve adaptative de la MDT dans les études développementales. À partir de cette épreuve originale de MDT, nous avons confirmé que les EHPI présentent de meilleures performances en MDT que leurs pairs. Nos résultats ont également montré que leur rapidité à traiter la phase interférente de cette tâche semble être importante dans le fonctionnement de leur MDT. Ce travail de thèse a permis de confirmer et d'approfondir nos connaissances sur les caractéristiques cognitives des EHPI. Dans une perspective développementale et éducative, l'identification des forces et des limites de leurs caractéristiques cognitives semble fondamentale dans la prise en compte de leurs besoins éducatifs particuliers
... The criticism of MI has been centred around the dearth of empirical evidence that would lend the theory validity (Waterhouse, 2006;Hunt, 2011), especially among psychometricians and proponents of general intelligence. As a result, MI was even featured in Urban Myths about Learning and Education and Great Myths of Education and Learning. ...
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A vast proportion of the practices widely adopted in ELT are ultimately derived from research. Most of these discoveries (e.g. the fact that language is better practised in meaningful contexts rather than in isolation) have solid scholarly support and have become a deeply entrenched part of the canon and thus are often neither explicable nor challenged by the practitioners. On the other hand, some seem to be living their own lives, so to speak. The study critically explores examples of psychological and educational concepts pervading the ELT industry that have not been called into question very much, especially by teacher educators. Examples focused on and addressed in the talk are largely the theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983; 2000) and the mindset theory (Dweck, 2006; 2012). Besides a review of a battery of studies dealing with these concepts and their applicability in ELT, I will argue that one of the reasons for their ubiquity might likely be confirmation bias caused by the inherent egalitarian implications of the theories, which render them consonant with the dominant viewpoints of the ELT community. This way, the views run the risk of being uncritically embraced despite their possibly meretricious nature.
... Consequently , the theory that MIs as composing of multiple frames/components of the brain were not supported by cognitive psychology that investigates and empirically documents and reports cognitive and brain processes with the use of standard experimental tasks to measure intelligence, abilities or skills. To date, IQ is still by far supported by empirical data as mainly composed of abstract,mathematical and verbal abilities (Bowles, 2008;Locke, 2005;McGreal, 2013;Visser, Ashton, & Vernon, 2006a;Waterhouse, 2006aWaterhouse, , 2006b). ...
... Trait EI is commonly assessed using self-report measures and, similar to ability EI, is not without limitations. The various conflicting conceptualisations of trait EI has led some to suggest that the construct is poorly defined, and simply represents an amalgamation of existing personality constructs (e.g., self-esteem, empathy; Waterhouse, 2006). Subsequently, trait-based EI models have drawn considerable criticism and scepticism due to lack of psychometric robustness (Brody, 2004). ...
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There is ongoing debate on the utility of trait emotional intelligence and whether it is distinguishable from the five-factor model of personality. In study 1, we investigated the incremental validity of trait emotional intelligence in predicting negative emotional states, after controlling for the five-factor model personality traits. The TEIQue, Mini-IPIP, and DASS-21 were administered to a community based Australian sample. Three significant predictive models emerged: (1) wellbeing, and neuroticism predicting depression; (2) emotionality, and neuroticism predicting anxiety; and (3) self-control, and neuroticism predicting stress. In Study 2, we further explored the relationship between TEIQue domains, neuroticism, and negative emotional states. Three partial mediation models were found: (1) wellbeing mediated the relationship between neuroticism and depression; (2) emotionality mediated the relationship between neuroticism and anxiety; and (3) self-control mediated the relationship between neuroticism and stress. The findings highlight that trait emotional intelligence is related to, and yet distinct from extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness. They also provide support for the incremental validity of the TEIQue domains in predicting depression, anxiety, and stress, beyond the five-factor model personality traits in a community based Australian sample, with the domains of trait emotional intelligence potentially operating as protective factors from pervasive negative moods.
... Multibrios » (Figure 17 ; Hovington & Bazinet, 2004). En dépit de son inconsistance théorique que nous reconnaissons (Waterhouse, 2006), ce choix a été motivé par sa pertinence pédagogique pour illustrer paradoxalement la diversité des domaines de compétences. Ainsi, les enseignants souhaitaient lutter contre les modes de fonctionnement fatalistes en montrant aux élèves que tout le monde est intelligent à sa manière. ...
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Depuis plus d’une décennie, les rapports nationaux et internationaux concernant le système éducatif français se succèdent et mettent en lumière que les élèves français ont un faible niveau scolaire. Pour répondre à cette problématique, l’un des objectifs de la réforme du Collège (2015) est de permettre à tous les élèves d'apprendre à apprendre. Toutefois, les enseignants manquent d’outils auxquels se référer pour atteindre cet objectif. Les apports des sciences cognitives sur les processus cognitifs à l’œuvre dans les apprentissages nous amènent alors à investiguer les processus de gestion de la cognition. La métacognition apparaît comme un des processus à cibler pour favoriser la réussite scolaire des élèves. Au regard de l’importance et de l’intérêt de la métacognition, de nombreux programmes d’intervention ont vu le jour. Malgré des résultats probants, il n’existe pas, à notre connaissance, de programme validé en langue française qui soit applicable par les enseignants. Sur la base des recommandations proposées dans la littérature, nous avons conçu, en partenariat avec une équipe pédagogique, un programme pédagogique métacognitif (PPM) axé sur le fonctionnement cérébral et cognitif dans les apprentissages. Ainsi, l’objectif de ce travail de thèse est de déterminer, par un suivi longitudinal, les bénéfices de ce programme sur la réussite scolaire d’élèves de collège. Nous avons suivi des élèves de 6ème pendant trois ans, qui ont bénéficié ou non, pendant les deux premières années de collège, d’une séance hebdomadaire du PPM « Connaissance de soi ». Les élèves ont été évalués avec accord parental avant toute intervention (à l’entrée en 6ème) puis à 2 reprises (en fin de 6ème et en fin de 5ème). Un post-test différé était prévu un an après (en fin de 4ème) mais celui-ci n’a pu se tenir en raison de la crise sanitaire COVID-19. Les évaluations ont porté sur les connaissances des élèves sur le fonctionnement cérébral et cognitif, leurs capacités métacognitives, leur sentiment d’auto-efficacité, leurs capacités mnésiques, attentionnelles, intellectuelles, cognitives, et leurs performances scolaires. Les résultats de cette expérimentation n’ont pas montré d’effet significatif du PPM sur les performances scolaires des élèves mais ont mis en évidence qu’il favorisait les connaissances de tous les élèves sur le fonctionnement cérébral et cognitif. Il semble également qu’il ait amélioré la perception que certains élèves en difficulté avaient d’eux-mêmes en tant qu’apprenant. Le programme pédagogique présenté, visant le développement de la métacognition, pourrait constituer un des leviers possibles pour favoriser la réussite des collégiens tout en promouvant une démarche d’évaluation des pratiques éducatives.
The intent behind the Book is to raise and disseminate awareness about upcoming research areas, issues and success stories, Such activity will affect the teaching learning process in a positive manner, as the academia will get acquaint with recent trends in the domain of Engineering, Social Science, Management, Basic Science. This book will provide a common platform, where academia, delegates from industry, and nominees from various Government and Private Universities and Institutions can put their views on Research trends across various fields as well as deliberate upon futuristic approaches along with major bottlenecks. The deliberations will not only encompass all avenues of Engineering, Social Science, Management, Basic Science, but also through a spotlight on the positive and inadvertent impact of modern technologies on society. We are attempting for Most Chapters in Single Book for India Book of Records. We are applying it to ‘Wonder Book of Records’, with 21 Editors and more than 250+ Authors and Co- Authors.
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Introduction: Logical-mathematical intelligence is one of the common needs of modern life to deal with various types of computational and problem-solving situations. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the brain regions associated with the core skills of LMI (calculations, logical reasoning and game strategies) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Method: This study used a cross- case design. From 28 male and female volunteers aged 18 years and over who visited the Brain Mapping Laboratory in 2020, one with very a high Logical-mathematical intelligence was selected through purposive sampling and using the Multiple Intelligence Developmental Assessment Scale (MIDAS). The tools used in this study were Computational Assignments, Chess and Logical Reasoning. FMRI was also utilized to examine the brain regions. Data were preprocessed and statistically analyzed in SPM-12. Results: The results demonstrated similar neural activation involved in computational skills, logical reasoning, and chess game in the frontal and parietal lobes. They also showed significant activity in the cerebellum, insula, cingulate gyrus, precuneus, pre-and post-central gyri, fusiform gyrus, and supramarginal gyrus in all three skills. Conclusion: The results revealed that the neural activation patterns in each skill have unique neural bases, but have common patterns with other skills of Logical-mathematical intelligence. These common and unique patterns present a unique neural architecture in support of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as a scientific model of human intelligence.
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Genetic and neurobiological research is reviewed as related to controversy over the extent to which neocortical organization and associated cognitive functions are genetically constrained or emerge through patterns of d