My early research focused on Multiple Intelligences theory (Gardner, 1993), and I maintain an interest in cognitive abilities. As far as I know, I conducted the first empirical investigation of all eight of Gardner's proposed intelligences (Visser, Ashton, & Vernon, 2006a). In this study, I found that performance on tests of the "intelligences" was positively inter-correlated, and most loaded onto a general ability factor. Gardner has contended that I completely missed the point of his theory (Gardner, 2006), but I maintain that to be a scientific theory, it must be falsifiable (Visser, Ashton, & Vernon, 2006b). Now that I've had some distance from this project, I am finding myself tempted to have another kick at the can. For example, my collaborators and I (Ashton, Lee, & Visser, 2014a, b, and c) have engaged in a spirited and respectful exchange with Hampshire et al. (2014 a and b) around their recent challenge to the concept of general intelligence.
Also in relation to cognitive abilities, I have published work on the relationship of self-estimates of multiple intelligences to actual performance on these same abilities (Visser, Ashton, & Vernon, 2008), as well as projects related to Musical Intelligence (Visser, 2009) and Emotional Intelligence (Cook, Bay, Visser, Myburgh, & Njoroge, 2011; Visser, Bay, Cook, & Myburgh, 2010).