Academic journal article International Journal of Emotional Education

Increasing Emotional Intelligence through Training: Current Status and Future Directions

Academic journal article International Journal of Emotional Education

Increasing Emotional Intelligence through Training: Current Status and Future Directions

Article excerpt

The Nature of Emotional Intelligence

The competencies of perception, understanding, utilizing and managing emotions effectively in the self and others comprise the core of emotional intelligence (Maul, 2012; Mayer, Salovey & Caruso, 2004; 2008). Competency in perception of emotion involves recognizing emotion-related facial and voice cues of others and awareness of one's own body states relating to emotion. Competency in understanding one's own and others' emotions consists of knowing the causes and consequences of different emotions as well as being able to differentiate between varying emotions. Utilizing emotions involves harnessing the effects of emotions, for example by drawing on positive mood to enhance creative thought. Managing emotions in the self and others consists of regulating emotions so that they are compatible with the requirements of a situation or the goals of individuals. Some conceptualizations of emotional intelligence, including those of Goleman (1995) and Bar-On (2000), include competencies, such as social skills, that build on these basic competencies.

Salovey and Mayer (1990) developed the original theory of emotional intelligence, and Goleman (1995) popularized the concept. The concept of emotional intelligence is being increasingly drawn upon in research and practice. Google Scholar shows 57,000 references to emotional intelligence in scientific work during the years 1995 to 2000, 121,000 references during the years 2001 to 2006, and 162,000 references in the years 2007 to 2012.

Emotional intelligence has been conceptualized both as an ability best assessed through test measures of maximal performance (Mayer et al., 2004, 2008) and as a trait or typical functioning (Neubauer & Freudenthaler, 2005; Petrides & Furnham, 2003; Schutte, Malouff & Bhullar, 2009) that is generally assessed through self-report or observer ratings. Tests of maximal performance present respondents with tasks such as identifying the emotion expressed in a photograph of a face. Self-report and observer-report measures ask for information on what an individual typically does, such as whether an individual is usually able to manage his or her emotions. Factor analytic studies (e.g., Fan et al., 2010; Rossen, Kranzler, & Algina, 2008; Saklofske, Austin & Minski, 2003) suggest that emotional intelligence, both conceptualized as an ability assessed by a performance test and typical or trait emotional intelligence assessed by self-report, is a unified concept represented by sub-competencies, though not all factor analyses have supported an identical structure of sub- competencies (see Fan et al., 2010). The relationship between ability and trait emotional intelligence is only moderate (Joseph & Newman, 2010) and some researchers consider these two conceptualisations to be different constructs (Petrides, 2011). Thus, in the intervention study section of this review, mention is made of whether ability emotional intelligence was assessed via a performance test or whether trait emotional intelligence was assessed.

Emotional Intelligence as an Interdisciplinary Construct

The emotional intelligence construct has become widely researched and applied in various fields, including psychology, psychiatry, business, education, medicine, sports science and computer science (Arora et al., 2010; Ashkanasy & Humphrey, 2010; Crombie, Lombard & Noakes, 2009, 2011; Joseph & Newman, 2010; Kumar & Sharma, 2012; O'Boyle, Humphrey, Polack, Hawver, & Story, 2011; Mayer et al., 2008; Martins, Ramalho & Morin, 2010; Picard, Vyzas & Healey, 2001; Song et al., 2010).

Many correlational studies provide information regarding variables associated with emotional intelligence. For example, meta-analyses (Martins et al., 2010; Schutte et al., 2007) have summarized the relationship between higher emotional intelligence and better mental and physical health across numerous studies. …

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