Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

John D. Mayer

Second Advisor

Hannah Lightcap


Personal intelligence involves the capacity of individuals to accurately reason about personality and personality-related information that is related to themselves and others (Mayer, 2008). One setting that may particularly benefit from research on personal intelligence is the workplace. To understand employees’ logic, Peters and colleagues (2021) employed a narrative evaluation tool adapted from Allen (2017) to assess the perceived sophistication employees’ use to describe an interaction they had with a difficult or challenging coworker. They found that judges could reliably detect variations in the sophistication employees used, and that it was related, r = .43, p < .001, to a measure of personal intelligence. Their results were intriguing, but more confidence regarding their findings could be added through replication and extension of the work. Previous findings were replicated, which makes for a more compelling case that personal intelligence is detectable in employees and is related to what we think of as personal intelligence. Understanding personal intelligence in the workplace can enhance the capabilities of the human resource professionals to select personnel, which will ultimately improve their hiring process.