Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



This thesis investigates the impact of Enneagram training on perceived empathy and self-awareness in college student leaders. The EQ-i 2.0 was used to assess the emotional intelligence of 16 student leaders, before and after the Enneagram training intervention. Qualitative methods, specifically open-ended journal prompts and semistructured interviews, added a rich description of the participants’ perceptions of the Enneagram training’s usefulness. The quantitative data and qualitative data seemingly contradict each other with the former showing no statistical relationship between the Enneagram and self-awareness and empathy, while the latter is saturated with examples of positive effects. Participants felt they were able to understand themselves and others better through learning about personality types. Their self-reported behaviors changed in many instances, exhibiting increased empathetic concern. The various ways in which participants felt they grew overlapped with the elements of self-awareness and empathy as proposed by the literature. The findings add to a field of research marked with mixed results. The implications garnered from this thesis are relevant to organizations or individuals who are seeking to improve emotional intelligence.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Gary Houchens, Ph.D.


Leadership Studies | Psychology