UNH Personality Lab

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Personal intelligence (PI) refers to the capacity to accurately reason about personality in oneself and other people. We hypothesize that people who are higher in personal intelligence differ from others in their relationships and behaviors. We conducted a series of theoretically-guided studies to examine how PI is associated with a person’s self-reported activities, interactions, situations, and group memberships: their lifespace. In two archival and three new studies of college students (Ns = 385, 358, 1186, 416, 696, respectively) we first identified 15 short, factor-based scales describing aspects of college students’ lifespace that are potentially relevant to personal intelligence. Students who scored higher in PI indicated, for example, more positive social interactions including on Interpersonal Communication (e.g., “Listened to a distressed friend”); those who scored lower described more agonistic interactions such as Overt Conflict (e.g., “Got into a fight”). These and additional findings collectively improve our understanding of personal intelligence and of its relationship with the lifespace.

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University of California Press

Journal Title

Collabra: Psychology

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This is an Open Access article published by University of California Press in Collabra: Psychology in 2024, available online: