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Title: Emotional intelligence, personality, social networks, and social perception
Author: DeBusk, Kendra Portia Adrienne Howard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 6664
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a relatively new concept in the field of psychology, introduced by Salovey and Mayer in 1990. Research on EI has found associations among EI and social network size, health and well-being, and job performance.(Austin, Saklofske, & Egan, 2003; Brackett, Mayer, & Warner, 2003; Petrides & Furnham, 2003; Saklofske, Austin, & Minski, 2001). Two different types of EI, trait EI and ability EI, have been identified in the literature. Trait EI was identified by Petrides and Furnham, and is a non-cognitive ability which allows an individual to regulate his/her mood, recognize and make the most of emotions, and utilize social skills, and is measured by self report. Ability EI is the ability of an individual to understand, generate, and manage emotions. Ability EI is measured using a performance measure which assesses the capacity of an individual to perceive emotions in him/herself, others, and the environment. Emotional intelligence has been linked to aspects of well-being, such as social network quality. In order to examine how EI related to social networks, both trait and ability EI were measured along with the Big Five factors of personality and social network quality and size. A study of 268 participants investigated the relationships amongst trait EI, personality, and social network quality and size. The Big Five factors of personality were all significantly positively correlated with EI (p< .01), and were also significantly correlated with social network quality and size. EI was significantly related to social network quality and size. When controlling for personality, EI was no longer significantly correlated with any of the social network quality or size variables. A subset of participants (n=78) completed an ability measure of EI, the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). There were no significant correlations between MSCEIT scores and any of the other variables. A follow-up study was then carried out looking at the relationship of the original study variables with ability EI (MSCEIT), life stress, measured using the Uplifts and Hassles scale, and depression, measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), in the original participants. The results from this study indicated that emotional stability was significantly correlated with the Uplifts portion of the life stress scale, but not with Hassles. Conscientiousness was significantly negatively correlated with both the Hassle subscale of life stress and the BDI score. Emotional stability was also significantly negatively correlated with the BDI score. The total ability EI score measured by the MSCEIT did not show significant relationships with any other variables. Given that EI has been linked to social network quality and size, and one of the facets of EI is the capacity of an individual to recognize emotions in others, it would seem that individuals who are high in EI should have larger and better quality social networks as they are theoretically able to recognize and appropriately respond to the emotions of others. In order to test this, a social perception inspection time task was carried out in which participants were required to identify if a face was happy, sad, or angry. The faces used were both Caucasian and Far-East Asian, the hypothesis being that a person high in EI would recognize the facially expressed emotions regardless of whether the face shown was of their own race or not. Results from this study indicated that EI was not related to correctly identifying facial expressions. The results of these studies are discussed along with suggestions for future research in this area.
Supervisor: Austin, Elizabeth. ; Whiteman, Martha. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Emotional intelligence ; personality ; Social networks ; Social Perception