Does Students' Trait Emotional Intelligence Affect Their Classroom Behavior

By Shahzad, Shumaila; Mushtaq, Saima | Journal of Behavioural Sciences, January 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Does Students' Trait Emotional Intelligence Affect Their Classroom Behavior


Shahzad, Shumaila, Mushtaq, Saima, Journal of Behavioural Sciences


Education not only aims at students' intellectual development but social development is also of equal importance. School is a miniature society where students are taught how to live in society. It has been a persistent belief that high achievers in schools are also going to be successful in their personal as well as social lives. But now this persistent belief is getting changed through a convincing body of research evidence. It is our everyday observation that some students with greater intellectual abilities fail to get prominent place in their social circle within classroom. The notion that it is not cognitive intelligence or intelligence quotient (IQ) which matters the most in the context of social adjustment is something other than the IQ.

What is being considered to be more important is emotional intelligence (El) (Bar-On, 2007). Emotions make one's survival possible and proper use of emotions (El) makes life worth living (Hartney, 2008).

It was Reuven Bar-On who introduced the term emotional quotient ("EQ") (Bar-On, 2006). He and all other emotional intelligence experts (Goleman, 1998, 2000; Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Salovey & Mayer, 1990) have devised El measuring instruments based on their own models. Some introduced self report measures when others preferred ability based tests. Petrides and Fumham (2001) argue that self report measures are meant to assess behavioral tendencies whereas the ability based measures assess the actual behavior. They suggest that this methodological difference should be reflected in label of the construct.

Subsequently, Petrides and Fumham (2000, 2001, 2003) asserted that El can further be divided into two sub constructs, ability El or information-processing El and trait El. "Trait El is concerned with crosssituational consistencies in behavior (manifest in specific traits or behaviors such as empathy, assertiveness, optimism) as opposed to information-processing El, which concerns abilities (e.g. able to identify, express and label emotions" (Petrides & Fumham, 2000, p.314). Trait El can be judged through self report measures whereas ability El can be determined through maximum-performance or ability tests (Petrides, Sangareau, Fumham, & Frederickson, 2006). Petrides et al. (2006) define trait El as "a constellation of emotion-related dispositions and selfperceived abilities representing a distinct composite construct at the lower levels of hierarchical personality structures" (p.538). Trait El model comprises of 15 trait El facets. Table 1 shows a concise explanation of these aspects Emotional intelligence, irrespective of methodological difference, plays a vital role in every walk of life (Bar- On, 2007). Based on the same assumption, this study is aimed to explore the role of trait El which it may play in determining students' classroom behaviors which are verified through peer assessment. Gender differences with reference to El and students' behaviors are also highlighted (see Table 1).

Studies have constantly revealed that emotional intelligence plays a significant role in determining students' behavior and their social affairs. Lopes, Brackett, Nezlek, Schütz , Sellin, and Salovey (2003) used MSCEIT to explore the El level of college students. They came across the fact that those who manage their emotions well also possess high quality of social interactions. Mavroveli, Petrides, Rieffe, and Bakker (2007) explored the association among social competence, trait El and psychological well-being in 282 Dutch adolescents. Those gaining higher trait El score were nominated more as being co-operative from their peer group.

Studies have constantly revealed that emotional intelligence plays a significant role in determining students' behavior and their social affairs. Lopes, Brackett, Nezlek, Schütz , Sellin, and Salovey (2003) used MSCEIT to explore the El level of college students. They came across the fact that those who manage their emotions well also possess high quality of social interactions. …

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