Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits as Predictors of Life Satisfaction among Adults

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits as Predictors of Life Satisfaction among Adults

Article excerpt

Life satisfaction is often considered a desirable goal, in and of itself, stemming from the Aristotelian ethical model, eudaimonism, (from eudaimonia, the Greek word for happiness) where correct actions lead to individual well-being, with happiness representing the supreme good (Myers, 1992). As a psychological construct, life satisfaction is considered a cognitive process arising from an individual's assessment of his or her own life according to criteria generated internally (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985). Further, satisfaction with life has been conceptualized as a component of subjective well-being (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). These researchers have identified four components of subjective well-being: pleasant affect, unpleasant affect, domain satisfaction and life satisfaction. The concept of life satisfaction is conceived as the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of his/her life as a whole favourably (Veenhoven, 1991); the term is thus used synonymously with happiness (Veenhoven, 1991) and subjective well-being (Diener, 1994). Life satisfaction can also be defined as the cognitive component of subjective well-being (Campbell, Converse & Rodgers 1976; Diener 1994). Diener (1984) stated that "The hallmark of satisfaction with life is that it centres on personal judgments, not upon some criteria that is judged to be important by the researchers".

Relationship between emotional intelligence and life satisfaction

Several researchers (e.g., Bar-On, 1997; Goleman, 1995; Palmer, Walls, Burgess, & Stough, 2001 ; Mayer & Salovey, 1997) noted that the popularity of emotional intelligence in both the popular and professional literature has resulted in a plethora of assumed relationships between emotional intelligence and other important human qualities (e.g., life satisfaction, the quality of interpersonal relationships, and success in occupations that involve considerable reasoning with emotional information such as those involving creativity, leadership, sales and conducting psychotherapy). A review of the emotional intelligence literature (e.g., Goleman, 1995; Bar-On, 1997; Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2000) suggested that emotional intelligence has often been theoretically linked with satisfaction with life. Therefore, the literature suggested an empirical study of the theoretically proposed relationship between El and satisfaction with life. Various researchers (e.g., Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000; Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 1999; Palmer, Donaldson, & Stough, 2002) have investigated the relationship between individual differences in satisfaction with life and emotional intelligence and reported correlations ranging from r =. 11 to .45.

To predict to what extent emotional intelligence explains an important part of an individual life satisfaction variance, several studies have undertaken this question using selfreport measures and have found slight significant correlations. The work carried out by Martinez-Pons (1997) using TMMS found that high scores on this instrument are related to low depression, high life satisfaction and a good task performance. Similarly, research with the performance-based measure of EI (MEIS) has found low to moderate positive correlations between EI and Life Satisfaction. Positive associations found between emotional intelligence and life satisfaction were consistent with previous studies (Palmer et al., 2002; Saklofske et al., 2003; Bastian et al., 2005; Austin et al., 2005 etc.). Importantly, Ciarrochi et al. (2000) found that El correlated with life satisfaction even after controlling for IQ and personality variables suggesting that El accounts for unique variance.

Relationship between personality traits and life satisfaction

During the last half of the 20th century substantial developments on the study of subjective well-being have turned up (Diener, Suh, Lucas & Smith, 1999). First works from a sociological approach studied the influence of demographic variables (age, sex and marital status) on the prediction of life satisfaction. …

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