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A relatively new concept, emotional intelligence has its roots in social intelligence and first surfaced in 1920 and rose to prominence when Danile Goleman in 1995 published his book 'emotional intelligence'. Emotional intelligence has its links with love and spirituality which brings together compassion and humanity to work. This paper will investigate the psychological construct of Emotional intelligence, EQ, and examine its validity.
History of EQ
EI is described as that ability to perceive, assess and be able to manage one's self emotions and that of other people. How one measure EI is called Emotional Quotient. According to a professor at Harvard school of business John Kotter, he argues that due to furious pace of business changes today, difficulties in relationships, what gets people to trouble is not strategy but our emotions. So the question is, what is EI and how did it start? Historically, the question of EI is not so old and started in 1920 when Edward Thorndike first talked about social intelligence (Transformind). A series of development steps were then started to help understand better various forms of human intelligence.
David Weschesler then developed the idea of IQ in 1940. Leunen later published a paper on emotional intelligence and emancipation in 1966while in 1986 Wayne Payne worked on Multiple intelligence while peter Salovery and Jack Mayer made an announcement of emotional intelligencein 1990. In 1995, Daniel Goleman helped bring the term EI into the mainstream by his first work emotional intelligenceworks. According to Goleman, IQ contributes only about 20 percent success in life contrary to many believes. He further argues that EI can be as powerful as IQ and sometimes even more and unlike IQ, EI can be taught and improved. However, different studies have been made to overcome the psychometric and theoretical limitations to differentiate social and traditional intelligence (Seal, C. et al).
EQ is thus a measure of EI and the ability to use both one's emotions and cognitive skills. EI competencies include; creativity, intuition, coping with stress, resilience, flexibility, integrity, interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and intrapersonal skills among others (Business balls). For IQ, it is said to be a number that that expresses a number of the apparent relative intelligence of a person. It measures such cognitive abilities like the ability to learn or on how to deal with new situations. For EQ, it means using these emotions and the cognitive abilities so that we function more effectively.
EI has been and still is the focus of research in various fields and according to Goleman, students who are emotionally intelligent are able to manage their impulses more easily and are able to find rational solutions to problems. And surprisingly enough, this ability leads to a lifelong success but lacks to escort emotional, academic and social difficulties. According to Nielsen, EI is a set of learned abilities which can result in wise behavior, good mental health and high achievement
Studies were conducted in Pakistan in 2004 by Ashfar and in 2005 by Zafar which showed that male and female students are all equally intelligent. The study further showed that there is no relationship between EI and academic achievement. But EI varies from one culture to another as it can be learned and be taught. The study also focused on university students as this is the place where EI learners have cumulated all the emotional skills and are about to enter into practical life. The questions that therefore need to be asked are; how do the university students perceive their level of EI? Are any gender differences in EQ? Do EQ results improve academic progress? And therefore the study conducted was to investigate EI of both male and female students at a university level in Pakistan.
Objectives of the study
The main objectives of the study were;
1. Investigate the perception of both female and male student's EI awareness and how they manage their emotions
2. Compare male and female students on EI and how each group perceives the EI
3. To find out if any relationship between EI and academic achievement if it does real exist.
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The study focused on EI of university students. The survey was a descriptive type of study with the population of the study being university students between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. A sample of 300 master degree program students was selected using stratified random sampling technique while in another selection of women university students, random sampling technique was used. A self assessment scale developed by Santrock in 2001 was used to measure the EI of students although modified under expert guidance. The scale was based on a five point rating with options; 'strongly agree', 'agree', 'undecided', 'disagree', and 'strongly disagree.' According to the developer, if the score are 75-85 out of 100 most probably the student are emotionally intelligent, 65-74 moderately intelligent, 45-64 average EI and less 45 below average EI.
The questionnaires were distributed first among sample 20 the students in 2008 and data collected was 100 percent return rate. The academic score in that year that was scored by the students in 2008 semester was also included in the sample. Data analyzing was done by assigning; strongly agree= 5marks', 'agree= 4marks', 'undecided= 3marks ', 'disagree=2 marks', and 'strongly disagree= 1mark'. Santrock also gave a mean rating of emotionally intelligent, fairly emotionally intelligent, moderately emotionally intelligent, and average emotional intelligent.
Data collected was tabulated, analyzed and interpreted in light of the study objectives. Students were also categorized in the different levels of emotional intelligence. The mean rate score of the students was calculated in a different aspect, the lower limit of the population mean was taken and divided by the number of questionnaire items that were included in that aspect of EI. According to that study, the minimum average scores of students on emotional awareness were 12.36 from a maximum of 15, ability to manage emotions were 21.36 from a maximum of 30,ability to read emotions were 12.55 out of 15 maximum and ability to handle the emotions were 20.35 out of a 25 maximum.
According to these results, these Pakistan students can therefore claim and be justified to be emotionally intelligent in emotional awareness, average intelligent in their ability to manage their emotions, fairly intelligent in their ability to read their own emotions and lastly moderately intelligent in their ability to handle emotions. Another result that emerged is that of differences between the two sexes; males and females various aspects of EI. The results indicated that in their ability to emotional self awareness, managing their emotions, ability to read their emotions and ability to handle their emotions was really not insignificant. Thus from these results, male and female students were at the same level of EI in emotional self-awareness, ability to manage emotions, reading emotions and handling emotions. But a surprising note was that male students had a slightly higher mean score for these abilities than that of female students.
The last result was that of EI correlation to academic achievement. The perceived ability of emotional awareness was 0.03, perceived ability to manage emotions was 0.04, perceived ability to read emotions was 0.01 and perceived ability to handle emotions was 0.02 all these were in relation to academic achievement. Thus clearly, there was no correlation between these abilities and that of academic achievement especially considering that they were much less than 4.
What can be learned from this study? The study revealed that the perception of students on their EI was found satisfactorily except on one ability, that managing emotions. The study showed that the students had the ability to perceive emotions, generate emotions, understand their emotions and thus be able to regulate emotions so as to promote not only emotional growth but intellectual growth as well. Another result of the study was that male and female students perceived themselves to be unsuccessful to manage and handle their emotions. This was mainly because they felt that they lacked the capacity to handle emotional feelings, understand and manage these feelings. According to Mayer and Salovey, they had shown that emotions like anger, happiness and fear convey a message in their own pattern of action.
Also to note was that comparison between the female and male students showed absolutely little or no difference between self perceptions on emotional intelligence. These findings tallied with those of Ashraf 2004 in and Zafar 2005. Lastly, was the fact that the study showed no correlation between EI and academic achievement scores by these Pakistan university students. These results are all the same, maybe because they were done in the same culture; Pakistan. Further studies should be done in different cultures, with different research tools and check for any inconsistencies.
Since its discovery, EI has got some considerable attention and how it can be applied in the society. EI models that emphasize on cognitive ability with performance related measure using self report measures have been used to asses EI of different people. A study conducted on university students in Pakistan had interesting outcomes whereby it was concluded that EI has no correlation to academic achievement, male and females have approximately the same EIxontrary to popular belief.