Definition and Competences of Spiritual Intelligence. Qualitative Study




Spiritual Intelligence, Competency, Qualitative Research


This study is about the 1983 Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983), in 2012 incorporates Spiritual Intelligence (SI or SQ) and demonstrates that it meets all the criteria that define each intelligence. The purpose of this research is to define the concept of Spiritual Intelligence and its competencies, and to elaborate and validate a measurement questionnaire. The concept and the basic competencies of Spiritual Intelligence have been defined through the systematic review of existing literature and the qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews carried out with outstanding people representing different spiritualities. The sample consisted of 22 adults of different religions and spiritual currents, mostly belonging to the Association for Interreligious Dialogue of Madrid (ADIM). The ages of the interviewees are between 30 and 76 years old; the mean age was 51 years. The distribution by sex was eight women and fourteen men. The selection of the informants was made according to criteria of experience, position, responsibility, information, communication skills, availability and predisposition to the interview. The semi-structured interview was used and for the analysis, the Content Analysis method, defined by Krippendorff (1990). Once the interviews were transcribed and reviewed, they were transferred to the qualitative analysis computer program Atlas.Ti 7.0 in the analytical phase of the segmentation of the texts, coding and grouping into categories. In the phase of verification and contrast of the data obtained, a double triangulation of the same was carried out. In the first, coincidences were searched and, in the second, the information was analyzed looking for the differences between the transcripts and categories determined in the bibliographic review by means of triangulation in the analysis of the texts. The results show the high confluence of the data collected and allow to define the IES and determining their competences: consciousness, transcendence, love, forgiveness, freedom, pain-suffering, meaning, gratitude and effects. The conclusions are important because they can serve as the basis for the development of an assessment instrument for the SI.


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Author Biography

Mónica Rodríguez Zafra, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), España

Profesora Titular de Universidad

Facultad de Psicología

Departamento de Psicobiología


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How to Cite

Martín-Sánchez, A., Rodríguez Zafra, M., & Ceniceros-Estévez, J. C. (2020). Definition and Competences of Spiritual Intelligence. Qualitative Study. Acción Psicológica, 17(2), 83–102.



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