Self- and other-estimates of multiple abilities in Britain and Turkey: A cross-cultural comparison of subjective ratings of intelligence

Furnham A., Keser A., Arteche A., Chamorro-Premuzic T., Swami V.

International Journal of Psychology, vol.44, no.6, pp.434-442, 2009 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier


This study is part of a programmatic research effort into the determinants of self-assessed abilities. It examined cross-cultural differences in beliefs about intelligence and self- and other-estimated intelligence in two countries at extreme ends of the European continent. In all, 172 British and 272 Turkish students completed a three-part questionnaire where they estimated their parents', partners' and own multiple intelligences (Gardner (10) and Sternberg (3)). They also completed a measure of the 'big five' personality scales and rated six questions about intelligence. The British sample had more experience with IQ tests than the Turks. The majority of participants in both groups did not believe in sex differences in intelligence but did think there were race differences. They also believed that intelligence was primarily inherited. Participants rated their social and emotional intelligence highly (around one standard deviation above the norm). Results suggested that there were more cultural than sex differences in all the ratings, with various interactions mainly due to the British sample differentiating more between the sexes than the Turks. Males rated their overall, verbal, logical, spatial, creative and practical intelligence higher than females. Turks rated their musical, body-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence as well as existential, naturalistic, emotional, creative, and practical intelligence higher than the British. There was evidence of participants rating their fathers' intelligence on most factors higher than their mothers'. Factor analysis of the ten Gardner intelligences yield two clear factors: cognitive and social intelligence. The first factor was impacted by sex but not culture; it was the other way round for the second factor. Regressions showed that five factors predicted overall estimates: sex (male), age (older), test experience (has done tests), extraversion (strong) and openness (strong). Results are discussed in terms of the growing literature in the field. © 2009 International Union of Psychological Science.