Friday, January 6, 2012

Paper:Emotional Intelligence Research Paper


An Increased Understanding of Emotional Intelligence

In APA Style

Jan Last

Dixie State College

Emotional Intelligence Defined
    Emotional Intelligence is an area of  research that has gained great momentum since about the year 1990.  It has been defined and redefined by several researchers.  It continues to be examined and understood by many researchers as well as the general public, who are interested in emotional intelligence application.  This paper will focus on three research models, those of  Peter Salovey, John Mayer, David Caruso team, Daniel Goleman and TalentSmart research, and the Rueven Bar-On research.  Peter Salovey and John Mayer (2008) originally used the term emotional intelligence (EI) and defined it in 1990 as:
    “A form of intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (p 3).
Later, these researchers changed the definition to include four separate categories (2005):
    1.  Accurately perceive emotions in oneself and others
    2.  Use emotions to facilitate thinking
    3. Understand emotional meanings
    4. Manage emotions (p 334).
Perceiving emotions is a basic understanding of non-verbal, reception and expression of emotion. This portion of the model is perceived as pivotal to grasping more advanced emotional intelligence.
    This second category describes the relationship of emotions with the cognitive aspect of the brain. EI is perceived as the driver or guide to thinking. For example, when we respond to something  emotionally, we are instantly engaged in the activity. Creativity is more accessible when we have a positive mood swing.
    Understanding emotions convey messages that propel us into action.  For example, when someone is happy, we want to be with them.  When someone is angry, we want to distance ourselves. The desire to exit a dangerous situation in order to protect ourselves from possible danger, falls into this category.
    Managing emotion is the fourth and probably most advanced EI. An increasing amount of research is being conducted in this fourth area. Staying open or blocking emotion, depending on the amount of pain a person is experiencing, is a voluntary control. Salovey believes that “when a person is in the emotional comfort zone, they can manage their own emotions (self-regulate) and influence emotions of others” (p 333).
    Following the Salovey and Mayer introduction of the phrase, emotional intelligence, other researchers began to develop different models of emotional intelligence.  Daniel Goleman, another EI researcher, wrote the book, Emotional Intelligence, which was published in 1995. His definition of EI included a combination of emotions that together defined emotional intelligence. His “mixed” model is quite different from the model conceived by Salovey and Mayer. Goleman’s model includes two main competencies which branch into two sub-categories:
    1.  Recognition
        A. Self-awareness
        B. Social-awareness
    2. Regulation
        A.  Self-management
        B.  Relationship-management (p 15).
    Self-awareness is the ability to read one’s emotions while using instinctive feelings to direct choice. Self-management involves control of one’s emotions and being flexible with changing circumstances. Social-awareness is the ability to sense and react to the emotion in others. Relationship-management combines managing conflict while maintaining influence and even inspiring others. These sub-categories branch out into twenty more competencies, each under one of the four sub-headings.  The Goleman model has achieved recognition and use in the business and work community.  (Stys & Brown, 2004).  Goleman (2002) has also developed a “social and emotional learning” (SEL) program for school-based programs. This worldwide program is used to teach EI abilities according to Goleman’s definition of emotional intelligence to school aged children. The SEL program was developed by educators and psychologists at Yale University (p. 2)
    The third model by Rueven Bar-On, developed the concept of  “Emotional Quotient.”  Bar-On is the director of the Institute of Applied Intelligences in Denmark and developed a model of EI that considers the potential for performance and success, a process rather than an actual outcome (Stys & Brown 2004).  The Bar-On model is also mixed, similar to the Goleman model. There are five components in the Bar-On model.  They are as follows:
    1.  Intrapersonal
    2. Interpersonal
    3. Adaptability
    4. Stress Management
    5. General Mood Components
    Each of these components have sub-categories, fifteen in all. Bar-On theorizes that emotional intelligence develops over time, and that EI can be improved with training and therapy. He has developed several versions of EI tests, called the Emotional Quotient Inventory.  These EQ Inventory tests are specifically designed for various age groups, and available in several different language (p. 11-12).
Testing for Emotional Intelligence
    Testing for emotional intelligence has likely brought the greatest differences to view between all research groups. The basic differences of testing in these same models  will be discussed in this section.
      The first model was developed by Peter Salovey, John Mayer and David Caruso (Stys & Brown 2004). Again, these researchers view Emotional Intelligence as a pure form of intelligence and test it as such.  This test is named the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).  The Mayor and Salovey description of Emotional Intelligence breaks down into four parts. Some of the measuring is accomplished by the use of tasks, such as identifying emotions in pictures of people and finding parallels between physical sensations and emotions. The use of self-report testing, reports by others and ability-based tests are all used in the MSCEIT. This test is scored in a comparable way to the Binet-Stanford Intelligence test with the mean score being 100 (average) and a standard deviation of 15. The lower end of the scale is labeled as considerable development, the higher end of the scale is labeled as significant strength
(p 7).
    Daniel Goleman (Stys & Brown 2004), a psychologist and researcher, developed  his testing with members of the TalentSmart Research Team in California. These testing tools have two parts, a self-rating and a total other-rating.  The self-rating is rating of one’s self, the other rating includes ratings given by managers and peers. Because the research method is a mixed emotional intelligence, the testing combines results of emotional and social intelligences.   Three testing formats are offered in this research, all are intended to measure effective work performance. Unlike the measurement of the MSCEIT and the Bar-On,  Goleman’s questionnaires give a score out of 10 in the four intelligent areas. 
    The test model constructed by the researcher, Reuven Bar-On (Stys & Brown 2004), is used in many settings including educational, medical, corporate, and for preventative purposes.
    The emotional cognitive capacity is not the direction of this testing. The Bar-On     research views intelligence as a mixed intelligence, testing emotional, social and     personality traits.  This test measures the ability to handle stress and demands     within the environment. Although there are several testing versions, the five     testing components are intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptability, stress     management, and general mood.  This test is also measured like the IQ test, as     mentioned previously (p. 12).
Results from Emotional Intelligence Research
    The results of Emotional Intelligence research and education has had great impact in many areas.  Families, schools and other educational settings, the work place, and even  former NFL players have all felt the impact of EI research.  Countries around the world are experimenting with emotional intelligence education as well as EI coaching/learning.  In an article by Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence: Five Years Later,”  he expresses his profound excitement about the results of his research and public change and interest. He reports of two disagreeing students in Puerto Rico discussing their difference of opinions with another student called a peer mediator.  This peer mediation program is also found in the Hurricane Intermediate School in Washington County, Utah.  The school counselor, Farol Limb (2009), talked about a UEA conference where she was introduced to the peer mediating concept a few years ago.  She said it was directly tied to EI research .  She expressed enthusiasm about the success of the program. The concept of peer mediating hinges on the theory of distressed students being better able to express feelings and adhere to commitment with peers rather then adults.   Goleman also tells of a class of second graders in Connecticut that participate in a “feeling circle” where children are taught to express feelings. His last example is of a boy that has learned a problem solving method that helps him remain calmer when he is frustrated. Findings through data from brain research has shown that “centers for emotional regulation takes throughout all the school years.” ( p 2).
    John Gottman, Ph. D. and EI researcher (1997) has collected over twenty years of data studying parent/child interactions. Through his research organization, they have tracked children from 119 families, beginning at age four on through to adolescence. His findings have been consistent with those of Goleman and others. The data collected from this research determined that “children that are taught EI by parents that practice emotion coaching/learning have better physical health, score higher academically, have better success socially, have fewer behavior problems and are less prone to acts of violence” (p 168).  Salovey and Mayer (Stys & Brown 2004) conducted a parenting study in 1999 and concluded that “parents with higher EI correlated significantly with higher parental warmth and attachment style” ( p 33).
     Another study (Parker 2004) examined the EI of students transitioning  from high school to university.  The Bar-On test that examines the five components, was the model used for this study. A large sample of first year students completed the exam.  At the end of the year in May, the data was matched with the students’ academic records and two groups were identified.
    1.  Students with high academic success ( 80% or higher for first year) were also          those students that scored high on the EI exams.
    2.  Students that scored with a 59% or lower, scored low on EI abilities           ( p. 1323).
    Application of Emotional Intelligence in in the work arena has been widely accepted. The cost-effectiveness of EI has been of great interest in the corporate world. A study by Goleman (Stys & Brown 2004) in 1998,  concluded that “business in the United States is losing between $5.6 and $16.8 billion a year by not following guidelines established to increase EI” (p 35).
    An article in the Mental Health Weekly Digest, July 2008, reported of a growing concern about retired/former NFL players.  A recent independent study of NFL players concluded that retired players in general, show a struggle with life success issues such as addiction, depression, financial regulation, and violence. An EI exam was given to a group of 300 retired NFL players. The Six Seconds organization that administered the test and collected the data stated; “It appears that athletes who develop greater emotional intelligence are more likely to succeed in life”(p 1).  The NFL and other athletic associations are concerned with lifelong wellbeing and success of athletes.  As a result of these findings, basic emotional intelligent development is being incorporated into athletic organizations. 
    In a short review (Mayer, Roberts & Barsade 2008), Emotional Intelligence test results conclude that people with higher emotional intelligence are likely to have better social support system, fewer problems interacting with others and are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
The Future of Emotional Intelligence
    In my opinion, the future of emotional intelligence has great possibilities. Because of my personal experience with EI, I am hopeful that testing and research will continue.  Approximately four years ago, I began experiencing difficulty in parenting. A friend introduced me to the concepts of emotional coaching, emotional quotient and emotional intelligence. As I read and gathered information, I became motivated to implement EI principles based on research.  The results have been profound in my life and the lives of my family members. Emotional coaching tools such as reflective listening, validating, and promoting problem solving has helped create more emotional-healthy relationships in my family.  This would in and of itself be enough reason to keep applying EI principles. However, the greatest change has occurred in the lives of my children. They have increased capability of creative problem solving, even when peer emotions are out of control. Their ability to self-regulate and self-direct is becoming an area of strength. They are more inclined to perceive life with an attitude of possibility, which diminishes the effects of doubt and fear. This is not to say that these children don’t experience challenges. The difference from four years ago to present is that what may have caused
great turmoil before, is now kept in perspective and solved efficiently. Parenting for me has transformed from difficult to pleasant. I don’t question the validity of emotional intelligence training and the magnitude of its’ importance.  All the information gathered for this paper has helped confirm what I already know to be effective in my personal experimentation with EI principles.
    The future of emotional intelligence has application in vast settings.  I would like to see the masses educated about EI.  Witnessing people in everyday circumstances reinforces the need for greater EI understanding. Drivers that cannot self-regulate when agitated  and articles in the newspaper that display the complete failure of people to problem solve effectively are examples of how critically EI education is needed.      Educating the current generation by introducing EI curriculum beginning with preschool aged children and continuing through into college general education classes would be an effective way to begin the change.  Educating an entire population of people deficient in EI is a challenging concept.  In reviewing the list of choices for the literature review paper, approximately half of the choices are easily connected to understanding emotional intelligence.  I believe that many of the challenges in our society have the potential to virtually disappear if emotional intelligence was understood and practiced.
    In conclusion, I agree with a statement made by the Neisser task force (Mayer, Salovey & Caruso 2004)  created by the American Psychological Associates (APA). They counseled: “The study of intelligence does not need politicized assertions and recrimination; it needs self-restraint, reflection, and a great deal more research (1996).” (p. 1) I have appreciated my personal discovery of emotional intelligence, I am enthusiastic about the findings from the studies that have been conducted, and I believe using public education avenues would be the most effective way to bring EI information to greater awareness and practice.

    Stys, S. & Brown, S.L. (2004, March).  A Review of the Emotional Intelligence Literature and Implications for Corrections, (pp 1-68).  Research Branch Correctional service of Canada

    Pellitteri, J. (2002). The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Ego Defense Mechanisms.  The Journal of Psychology, 136(2), 183-194. 

    Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D.R. (2004). A Further Consideration of the Issues of Emotional Intelligence. Psychological Inquiry, 15(3), 249-255.  Retrieved from Ebsco database.

    Grewel, D., Salovey, P. (2005). Feeling Smart: The Science of Emotional Intelligence. American Scientist, 93(6), 330-339.

    Caruso, D.R., Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P. (2002). Relation of an Ability Measure of Emotional Intelligence to Personality. Journal of Personality Assessment, 79(2) 1-6. Retrieved from Business Source Premiere database.

    Gottman, J. (1997). Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting. New York, NY. Simon & Schuster

    Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network. (2008). New Research shows Emotional Intelligence helps Former NFL Players Oevercome Challenges with Health, Drugs, Money. Mental Health Weekly Digest, 7-21, pp 1-2.

    Parker, J. D. (2004). Academic Achievement in High School: Does Emotional Intelligence Matter?. Personality and Individual Differences 37, 1321-1330.

    Goleman, D. (2002). Emotional Intelligence: Five Years Later. Edutopia, 1-4.

    Mayer, J., Roberts, R.D., Barsade, S.G., (2008). Human Abilities: Emotional Intelligence. Annual review of Psychology, 59,507-536. doi:10.1146annurev.psych

    Limb, Farol.  Interview (2009) March 9. Counselor @ Hurricane Intermediate School, Washington County School District, UT.


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