Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Creativity and Tolerance for Uncertainty Predict the Engagement of Emotional Intelligence in Personal Decision Making

Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Creativity and Tolerance for Uncertainty Predict the Engagement of Emotional Intelligence in Personal Decision Making

Article excerpt

Psychological regulation of choice is closely related to the processes involved in overcoming uncertainty via determination of goals, choice criteria, personal values, and so forth. Choice is frequently described as an act that is not determined but rather one that involves the online development of regulation processes while choices are being made. These emergent regulation systems, in turn, utilize and realize both intellectual and personal abilities available to the subject.

We previously showed that multiple components are actively involved in the personal choice and decision-making processes. Specifically, we focused on motivation (the least conscious level of regulation), implicit theories (partly conscious components), risk preparedness and rationality traits, intuitive style, reflectiveness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem (as a component of self-consciousness) (see Kornilova, Chumakova, Kornilov, & Novikova, 2010, for a review).

Evidence also points to the important roles played by psychometric intelligence and tolerance for uncertainty in the context of psychological choice (Kornilova & Novikova, 2011). Although intelligence has been studied as a higher-order latent trait for decades, the latent-trait status of the tolerance for uncertainty has been demonstrated only recently (Kornilova, 2010b). The conceptualization of choice as being underspecified by external conditions or preexisting knowledge bases and biases and thus requiring the formation of certain "novelties" (or new formations) in the process is best captured by the notion of productive solutions.

In a series of experimental studies, Kornilova and her team showed that static snapshots of the overall patterns of the relationships among various predictors of choice (viewed as a dispositional characteristic) might not be sufficient to explain the integral regulation of choice under uncertainty. They found that individual differences in the personal regulation of choice are better explained via the inclusion of dynamic regulative systems (DRSes) that form in the process of functional development. In addition, various levels of procedural regulation included in DRSes work jointly rather than independently. One of the key assumptions of the DRS approach is that it is difficult to determine the leading level of regulation and the specific characteristics of the regulatory hierarchy of processes for a given person in a given (uncertain) situation.

In this study, we examined the regulating role of emotional intelligence (EI) as a constellation of processes involved in DRSes. This research is grounded in the idea of the unity of intelligence and affect developed by L.S. Vygotsky, A.R. Luria, and O.K. Tikhomirov. We believe that the application of the DRS framework to studying EI offers a new perspective on the old problem of the unity of intelligence and affect.

Historically, several approaches to understanding the relationship between human thought and emotion were proposed. Vygotsky (1999) argued that every human idea contains the relationship of a given individual to the reality around him or her, and this approach was further developed in Vygotsky's work on (levels of) transitions to the field of meaning in the process of thought formation (as generated by the motivational sphere of consciousness). Using a wealth of experimental material, the Tikhomirov school has demonstrated that emotion precedes actual decision making in the temporal structure of cognitive processing (Tikhomirov, 1984). Such emotional anticipation not only precedes verbally-mediated choice but also changes the orientation of intellectual strategies. Crucially, Tikhomirov's approach distinguishes between more and less creative cognitive processes depending on the extent to which novelties are expressed in them. Such novelties represent the productive components of decision making and may appear both "on the side" of the subject as well as "on the side" of the object (e. …

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