Self-Talk and Emotional Intelligence in University Students

By Depape, Anne-Marie R.; Hakim-Larson, Julie et al. | Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, July 2006 | Go to article overview

Self-Talk and Emotional Intelligence in University Students


Depape, Anne-Marie R., Hakim-Larson, Julie, Voelker, Sylvia, Page, Stewart, Jackson, Dennis L., Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science


Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine self-talk, year of university study, and gender as predictors of emotional intelligence in a diverse sample of 126 undergraduate participants (42 male, 84 female). Self-talk has been discussed in the literature as a means of enhancing self-awareness and self-regulation, both of which are considered important in the construct of emotional intelligence. Participants completed self-report questionnaires on self-talk and emotional intelligence. The results indicated that year of study and self-talk were significant predictors of emotional intelligence and were associated with emotional intelligence in a positive direction. Contrary to expectation, gender was not a significant predictor. The implications of the findings are discussed in terms of potential future research directions for the study of self-talk and emotional intelligence.

Résumé

Cette étude avait pour but d'examiner le monologue intérieur, l'année d'étude et le sexe en tant que variables explicatives du quotient émotionnel, auprès d'un échantillon de 126 étudiants universitaires de premier cycle (42 hommes, 84 femmes). La littérature scientifique considère que le monologue intérieur a pour fonction d'améliorer la conscience de soi et la maîtrise de soi, qui sont tous deux considérés comme des facteurs importants dans le construit du quotient émotionnel. Les participants ont rempli des questionnaires auto-rapportés sur le monologue intérieur et le quotient émotionnel. Les résultats indiquent que l'année d'étude et le monologue intérieur constituent des variables prédictives significatives du quotient émotionnel et qu'elles sont associées positivement au quotient émotionnel. Contrairement aux attentes, le sexe des participants ne s'est pas révélé comme prédicteur significatif. Ces résultats sont discutés en termes de potentialités pour la recherche future sur l'étude du monologue intérieur et du quotient émotionnel.

The purpose of the present study is to explore potential links between self-talk (e.g., Brinthaupt, Hein, & Kramer, 2005; Duncan & Cheyne, 1999) and the construct of emotional intelligence (e.g., Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Schutte et al., 1998). Historically, there have been a number of terms used to refer to "selftalk," such as inner speech, internal dialogue or monologue, private speech, verbal rehearsal, and egocentric speech (e.g., Brinthaupt et al., 2005; Piaget, 1965; Vygotsky, 1962). These terms have referred to various aspects of subjective experience and self-regulation, the development of internalized thought, and the socialization of communicative speech in children. Only rarely in the past have studies involving self-talk also assessed the awareness and regulation of emotions (e.g., Girardo & Roehl, 1978). However, contemporary approaches to cognitivebehavioural therapy emphasize the modification of self-talk or maladaptive thoughts as one important feature in the process of learning to regulate feelings (e.g., Kendall & Choudhury, 2003; Padesky, 1995), and researchers are increasingly noting the potentially important role of self-talk in self-awareness and self-regulation (e.g., Brinthaupt et al., 2005; Morin, 2005).

Self-talk is an important strategy used in reasoning or problem solving, and the ability to effectively reason and solve problems involving feelings in the self and others is one feature of the "personal intelligences" (Gardner, 1983, 1999) and of the "emotional intelligence" construct (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Self-talk enables individuals to reproduce the perspectives of others in their private speech and to incorporate these multiple perspectives into their social and emotional problem solving, and into their concept of self (e.g., Morin, 1993, 2005). Not everyone who uses self-talk as a strategy to problem-solve indicates in their self-report that they are aware of doing so (e.g., Duncan & Cheyne, 2002; Winsler & Naglieri, 2003).

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