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The article is devoted to the generalization of the concepts of spiritual intelligence in the interpretation of Western scientists. The author proposes to defer deductive concepts of spiritual intelligence when its structure is oriented to a basic value, and an inductive approach when the construction of spiritual intelligence is oriented to various spheres of human life, which are associated with spirituality to some extent.
Keywords: spiritual intelligence, types of intelligence, emotional intelligence, abilities, approaches to spiritual intelligence.

Valeev R. G.
Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Dnipro State University of Internal Affairs, Dnipro, Ukraine

The information society is now replete with a wealth of scientific concepts that explain the multidimensional learning process. Most of them are being developed in the context of behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist approaches, as well as the integration of their developments.

Among the various hypotheses and theories, the concept of the development of spiritual intelligence is of interest, which has been distinguished relatively recently along with cognitive (rational), emotional, bodily-kinetic (physical), social and other types of intelligence.

In recent years, Western researchers have substantiated several concepts of spiritual intelligence, its structure, pedagogical conditions of development, and proposed some measurement tools [4, 8-11].

Domestic researcher O. I. Kuznetsov conducted a thorough analysis of important English-language publications and proposed his own methodology for measuring spiritual value orientations [12].

Some English-language publications on spiritual intelligence are mentioned by O. V. Bondar, A. I. Ribin, A. Patskov, and other researchers.

In this paper, we will try to highlight some general positions of contemporary Western experts on the concept of spiritual intelligence, its components, and try to differentiate between different approaches.

The term “spiritual” is quite often synonymous with “religious”, so researchers cannot avoid the relevant controversy. Some of them insist: “spiritual education is possible only within certain religious traditions” [1], while others complain that “very little light has been shed on the precise aspects in which the concept of spiritual education can be distinguished from the concept of religious and moral education” [2]. However, even the sound of the concept of “spiritual intelligence” clearly shifts educational priorities from religion to science, since the term “intelligence” is theoretically grounded and empirically tested in a large number of scientific studies.

Many researchers see the specificity of spiritual intelligence in ensuring the integrity of the individual; in the words of R. Griffiths, it regulates cognitive and emotional intelligence, “replacing the feeling of separation with the awareness of interconnectedness” [12]. Stephen Covey, a reputable researcher, also writes that “spiritual intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all intelligences, as it becomes a source of guidance for them” [3]. In addition, with his light hand, spiritual intelligence is recognized as the key to leadership. Finally, it contributes to psychological and physical health; satisfaction with life and work [7], marriage stability; positive interpersonal relationships; prevention of depression; rehabilitation from trauma, etc.

In modern research, the most commonly used concept of spiritual intelligence, which is decomposed into its component parts and empirically tested, is the concept proposed in 1997, which views it as an intelligence that gives us access to the deepest meanings and highest motivations that help us solve problems of values [11] (hereinafter italics added by R. V.). Based on this definition, Cindy Wigglesworth defines spiritual intelligence as “the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace (calm, balance), regardless of circumstances” [9, 10].

It is easier to understand the concepts of spiritual intelligence proposed by researchers by analyzing the abilities that the authors include in the composition of spiritual intelligence. There is a well-known approach by R. Emmons, which initially included:
1) the ability to use spiritual resources to solve problems;
2) the ability to enter sublime spiritual states
3) the ability to give daily activities and relationships a certain sacred meaning;
4) the ability to transcend (go beyond the material and physical world);
5) the ability to be virtuous [4].
Later, R. Emmons excluded the latter ability after criticizing that in this interpretation spiritual intelligence is not sufficiently distinguished from the moral qualities of the individual.

Domestic researcher O. I. Kuznetsov cites the position of K. Noble, who adds two more abilities to the above: the realization that physical reality is included in a more multidimensional reality with which people interact consciously or unconsciously (a very controversial hypothesis for many – R. V.) and a conscious striving for psychological health, which implies not only personal well-being but also public benefit [12].

As we can see, the scope of spiritual intelligence according to modern concepts is quite closely intertwined with moral, cognitive, behavioral, and religious traits of a personality. At least, many experts oppose the intertwining with the latter, while others emphasize the possibility of an “ecumenically grounded theory” of spiritual intelligence. For this purpose, researchers formulate the components of spiritual intelligence based on interviews with representatives of different religious traditions [5].

It seems that there are two approaches to clarifying the essence of spiritual intelligence.
The first one can be conditionally called deductive: an attempt to find a universal category to which all the diversity of spiritual life gravitates. In this
In this context, for example, the contemporary researcher McMullen successfully states: “if cognitive intelligence is about thinking, emotional intelligence is about feeling, spiritual intelligence is about being” [6]. In search of universal sources of spiritual life, following Viktor Frankl, one can find, in addition to religion, the meaning of being, existential awareness of freedom and responsibility. In our opinion, this approach is demonstrated by S. Wigglesworth. She systematizes the components of spiritual intelligence (taking into account the concept of emotional intelligence) into four quadrants: self-awareness, world awareness, self-control, and social skills [10]. In our opinion, almost all the abilities of spiritual intelligence, identified by D. Zohar and J. Marshall [11], D. King (their list can be found, for example, in the work of O. I. Kuznetsov [12]) are based on a person’s search for the meaning of existence.

The second approach, which can be conditionally called inductive, involves the inclusion of all or many abilities that form the spiritual life of a personality in the scope of spiritual intelligence. This approach, in our opinion, is represented by the works of R. Emmons [4], K. Noble, F. Vaughan [8]. In fact, it involves structuring the abilities, skills, and competencies of a person into such blocks as existential (recall that Howard Gardner also tried to distinguish this type of intelligence), moral, mental, transcendental, volitional, etc.

Thus, we can state a significant contribution to the development of spiritual and intellectual learning by Western scholars, as they offer concepts of spiritual intelligence with a list of abilities that can be measured, thereby determining the effectiveness of pedagogical influence. All the diversity of positions of Western scholars can be differentiated into a deductive approach, when the proposed abilities of spiritual intelligence are oriented to the basic value (in particular, the meaning of being) and an inductive approach, when the structure of spiritual intelligence is oriented to various spheres of human life that are associated with spirituality to some extent.

List of references

1. Blake N. Against spiritual education. Oxford Review of Education. 1996. 22 (4). P. 443-456.
2. Carr D. Toward a distinctive conception of spiritual education. Oxford Review of Education. 1995. 21 (1). P. 83-98.
3. Covey S. R. The 8th habit: From effectiveness to greatness. Simon and Schuster. 2013.
4. Emmons R. A. The Psychology of Ultimate Concerns. New York: The Guilford Press, 1999.
5. Hosseini M., Elias H., Krauss S. E., & Aishah S. A review study on spiritual intelligence, adolescence and spiritual intelligence, factors that may contribute to individual differences in spiritual intelligence and the related theories. Journal of social sciences. 2010. 6 (3). P. 429-438.
6. McMullen B. Emotional intelligence. British Medical Journal. 2003. 326. P. 19-20.
7. Pekarchuk V., Valieiev R., & Zozulia Y. Professional motivation and job satisfaction of personnel of state penitentiary service of Ukraine. Science and Education. 2018. 3. P. 43-53.
8. Vaughan F. What is spiritual intelligence? Journal of humanistic psychology. 2002. 42 (2). P. 16-33.
9. Wigglesworth C. The Critical Intelligences for Leadership Success in the 21st Century. Deep intelligence. 2014. URL: (accessed October 26, 22).
10. Wigglesworth, Cindy. SQ21™ Spiritual Intelligence Assessment. 2004. URL: (accessed October 26, 22).
11. Zohar D., Marshall I. Spiritually Intelligent Leadership. Leader to Leader. 1997. 38. P. 64-89.
12. Kuznetsov O. I. Interrelation of spiritual intelligence and spiritual values of a personality. Actual problems of psychology. Psychology of giftedness: a collection of scientific papers of the H. S. Kostiuk Institute of Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine. 2019. Pp. 197-206.