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Emotional and social intelligence : examining its place in the nomological network Barchard, Kimberly Anne

Abstract

Someone who attends to, understands, manages, and expresses emotions could be described as Emotionally and Socially Intelligent. Researchers and the general public have recently become interested in Emotional and Social Intelligence (ESI) because it may represent a new type of intelligence. The purpose of this dissertation was to determine which aspects of ESI represent new types of intelligence and how best to measure them. Thirty-one ESI measures were administered to University of British Columbia undergraduate students, and correlated with measures of intelligence, the Big Five dimensions of personality, and Socially Desirable Responding. Seven ESI measures were administered to community members in the Eugene-Springfield area of Oregon who had previously completed measures of the Big Five dimensions. Factor analyses and correlational analyses indicated that many self-report measures of ESI tap personality dimensions, not cognitive abilities. Being concerned about those who are less fortunate than oneself was strongly related to Agreeableness. Measures of paying attention to one's emotions and basing decisions upon them, expressing one's emotions, and responding empathically to other people's emotions formed a single factor. This Sensitivity factor does not appear to be a type of intelligence. On the other hand, the ability to perceive emotions in others, in inanimate objects, and in other sensations does appear to be a new cognitive ability. Measures of this construct consistently formed a single factor, and this factor had a salient factor pattern coefficient on a higher-order factor identified as Crystallized Intelligence. Measures of Emotional Insight also appear to tap cognitive abilities. These measures formed a first-order factor related to Crystallized Intelligence. However, these measures were associated with Verbal Ability, and additional research is needed to determine whether they are simply new measures of Verbal Ability. Although most ESI measures are self-report, self-report questionnaires are inferior to maximum-performance tests when measuring cognitive aspects of ESI. They tended to form method factors, correlate with personality dimensions but not intelligence tests, and correlate with Socially Desirable Responding. Maximum-performance tests, in contrast, did not form method factors, correlated with cognitive abilities but not personality dimensions, and were uncorrelated with Socially Desirable Responding.

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