This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

How’s your CQ?: A Quasi-Experimental Study of Cultural Intelligence Levels in Traditional Students Following Study Abroad and Classroom-based Cultural Experiences




McCann, Abbi-Storm

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Consumer and Design Sciences

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



The purpose of this research was to assess the impact of study abroad and classroom-based cultural experiences on traditional students’ cultural intelligence (CQ) levels, as measured through CQ scores from the standardized Cultural Intelligence Survey. Data from students participating in cultural experiences offered through a major Land Grant University (LGU) were collected during the period 2011–2018 using the Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) developed by the Cultural Intelligence Center. This study used the CQS instrument to explore the relationship between cultural intelligence and cultural experiences on-campus and abroad. The hypotheses were tested using a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test research design. The results were initially analyzed using descriptive statistics to report mean average and standard deviation of scores before and after each cultural experience. A second round of analysis was performed to provide a deeper understanding of CQ scores at the sub-category level. Additional analysis was conducted to form concluding statements about the particular population and sample size used in this study. The results suggested an increase in cultural intelligence levels aligned to study abroad and classroom-based cultural experiences on traditional students’ CQ levels. A closer analysis of the data raised some questions about the best practices in the assessment of cultural experiences that contribute to the discussion and the growing body of research regarding cultural intelligence literature, specifically research that uses CQS as the measurement. Overall, the findings from this research support the value of cultural experiences—both on campus and abroad—in raising CQ levels among traditional college students.