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The Personality Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire

  wrought iron letters: UNH  
About the Laboratory:site homepeople in the lablist of laboratory publicationsselected reprints
Overview of Selected Theoretical Work: personality as a scientific discipline the Systems Framework for personalitypersonal intelligence emotional intelligence ethical commentary on the personality of public figures

Psychological Measures and Procedures: scales of mood,• mood-congruent judgment,• empathy, • meta-experience of mood, • personal intelligence emotional intelligenceintellectual experience • and experimental procedures

Other Resources: links to documents, video and websites on personalitysupplements to articles UNH Department of Psychology (New Window)

Intellectual Experience Scale


  • Description of the Intellectual Experience Scale
  • A copy of the scale

Description of the Intellectual Experience Scale

The Intellectual Experience Scale (Mayer, Caruso, Zigler, & Dreyden, 1989) is a self-report measure of personal involvement in intellectual problem solving. It has three subscales:

Intellectual absorption describes the tendency to become involved in a flow-like state while thinking. A marker item is, "At times, even the most inense concentration seems to require almost no engery at all of me."

Intellectual apathy describes the tendency to find intellectual work distateful, difficult, and uninvolving. People high in intellectual apathy are likey to endorse such statements as, "'Intellectual' thinking is just a chore; there are more important things in life than that."

Intellectual pleasure describes the pleasure a person takes from thinking. People high in intellectual pleasure remark that, "Sometimes when I'm working on a problem I find myself saying something like, 'I like this!' or 'This is really fun.'"

The scales show promise for distinguishing among intellectual groups. In particular, the initial study with the scale examined a group of gifted seventh-grade children and matched groups of same-age children and college-aged students who were roughly equivalent to the gifted group in mental-age (as indicated by SAT scores). The gifted children were higher in intellectual absoprtion than than the comparison college students, and lower in apathy than their age-matched controls (Mayer, Caruso, Zigler & Dreyden, 1989).

Items from the scale were studied in an article by Goff and Ackerman (1992).

A Copy of the Scale

A complete copy of the scale is available in MS Word and PDF form.


Goff, M. & Ackerman, P. L. (1992). Personality-intelligence relations: Assessment of typical intellectual engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 537-552.

Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D., Zigler, E., Dreyden, J. (1989). Intelligence and intelligence-related personality traits.  Intelligence, 13, 119-133.


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