This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Undergraduate Business Students: Multiple Intelligences and Academic Majors




Reiners, Liesl

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study explored the potential relationship between multiple intelligences and academic majors declared by undergraduate business students in the largest college at a mid-size public university in the southeast. To determine these relationships, a quantitative study was performed using data collected electronically. The research questions in this study were explored using a quantitative research design and the data were analyzed to examine relationships between variables. Participants were also asked to respond to academic demographic questions (major, classification, grade point average) as well as demographic questions (race/ethnicity, gender). This study contributes to the body of work that tests Gardner’s theory. Some of the results from this study appear to confirm Gardner’s ideas. For example, the primary intelligence category for many finance, business analytics, and information systems management majors was Logical-Mathematical. Interestingly, the primary intelligence category for many accounting majors was musical intelligence. This suggests that the patterns in musical transfer to accounting as well. With respect to gender, more males had Logical Mathematical as their primary intelligence category than females, however, more females had Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligences as their primary intelligence category. These results suggest that a deeper examination of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence categories is warranted. There is a relationship between some majors and Gardner’s intelligence categories. There is also a relationship between gender and Gardner’s intelligence categories. The data was inadequate to determine a relationship between ethnicity and Gardner’s intelligence categories. No relationship between academic class and Gardner’s intelligence categories was found. The results of this research can provide insight into different types of intelligence in order to increase flexibility in teaching methods and adult learning while still providing a high-quality education.