Current Findings in Psychology
Current Findingsin Psychology
CurrentFindings in Psychology
Everyday, there are new studies conducted by researchers in the field ofpsychology and their research findings have a significant impact inthe society. The new finding discussed in the paper relates to theapplication of the theory of emotional intelligence in workplace andeducational settings. The article that contains the details of thecurrent findings is entitled, “Emotional Intelligence:Implications for Personal, Social, Academic, and Workplace Success,”by Peter Salovey and his colleagues. There are several theories ofintelligence including general intelligence, multiple intelligenceand emotional intelligence theories. The article discusses the topicof intelligence by focusing on emotional intelligence and why it isused in workplace and educational settings. Generally, emotionalintelligence is known to be the ability to understand, perceive anduse emotions when one is interacting with others. The literaturereview provided in the article also describes how emotionallyintelligent people behave in social, academic and workplace settings(Brackett, Rivers and Salovey, 2011).
Intelligencerefers to the ability to learn from one’s experiences, solvedifficult problems, and use the knowledge you have to adapt to newsituations (Allen, 2014). It is the adaptive behavior or the capacityof being directed by goals. Psychologists refer intelligence to whatthe IQ test measures where the ‘school smart’ children are seento be more intelligent than others. This is an operational definitionused in research studies, which tends to be focused on culture ratherthan being a mere concept.
CharlesSpearman developed the factor analysis used in statistics to describethe nature of general intelligence (g). It is important to look atgeneral intelligence theory since it was the first one in a series ofother theories that were developed in the twentieth century. Usingfactor analysis, Spearman found that the general intelligence of aperson is linked to many clusters. After performing mental tests onthe subjects, he later concluded that every person has a ‘pool’of mental energy, which he named as the general factor poolabbreviated with letter ‘g.’
Afteranalyzing Thurstone’s idea of multiple intelligences, HowardGardner came up with eight different types of intelligences portrayedby an individual. In addition to these types of intelligence, hespeculated another form of mental ability known as existentialintelligence. This is the ability to think about the questions ofexistence, life and death. Gardner adds that brain damage can onlydestroy one type of mental ability but not others.
Asstated earlier, emotional intelligence is the ability to understandyour emotions and those of others so as to improve your performancein social and academic settings. It has four distinct components,which include perception, use, understanding and management ofemotions. Mayer and Salovey developed the model of emotionalintelligence in 1997, and it has been used in recommending howemotionally intelligent people should ‘look like’ in school,workplace and other social settings (Allen, 2014).
Historyof the Research on Emotional Intelligence
Most of the research studies conducted on the topic of emotionalintelligence in the past 10 years mostly focuses on the theory’simplications on learning. The current article goes further andpresents an overview of how the theory of emotional intelligence isuseful in both academic and workplace environments. For instance, ina study conducted to assess the impact of emotional intelligence tostudent learning, it was found that this type of mental abilityallows an individual to lead, communicate, and negotiate with others(Work, 2015). Another study concluded that emotional intelligencehelps one to understand his/her emotions, as well, as the emotions ofothers. Finally, a study found that emotionally intelligent peopleare team players because they engage in positive interactions withothers.
CurrentFindings in Psychology
Adetailed account of the current findings in psychology requires oneto understand the four mental abilities described in the Salovey andMayer (1997) model of the emotional intelligence. First, theperception of emotion refers to the ability to accurately identifyand differentiate feelings of self and others, as well. Secondly, theuse of emotion relates to the harnessing of emotions to facilitateproblem solving, reasoning, and interpersonal communication. Usingemotions in prioritizing thinking enables one to direct attention toimportant issues about people. Thirdly, the mental ability ofunderstanding emotion involves the comprehension of meanings andantecedents of emotions. Understanding emotions helps one tointerpret the origins of thoughts and expressions manifested by otherpeople. Lastly, management of emotions involves regulating thoughtsand feelings in an attempt to reduce, prevent or enhance an emotionalresponse expressed by you or other people (Brackett, Rivers andSalovey, 2011).
Relevanceof Emotional Intelligence
It is crucial to note that the main focus of the article was toreview how the theory of emotional intelligence is useful in academicand workplace settings. Additionally, the authors provided an insightof how emotionally intelligent individuals ‘look like’ socially,personally, academically and at the workplace. Emotional intelligencegreatly improves the mental health to people because it provides themwith skills necessary in dealing with unpleasant emotions such asdepression and anxiety. When they become emotionally intelligent,they reduce their visits to the psychiatrists and improve theirwell-being without necessarily seeking medical attentiondue to stress(Brackett, Rivers and Salovey, 2011). Secondly, emotionalintelligence promotes positive interactions among individuals in asocial setting by helping them to detect other people’s emotionsand behaviors. In this way, people can enhance communication, adoptother people’s perspectives and regulate their behaviors during asocial function held in church, school, conference etc.
Thirdly,the theory of emotional intelligence helps students in achievingtheir academic goals since it enables them to manage fear and anxietyduring exam time. The standardized tests used to assess the academicability of students usually provoke anxiety that can lead to themfailing in those tests. However, with the help of emotionalintelligence it is possible to identify and manage such emotions, andprioritize in thinking without any problem (Brackett, Rivers andSalovey, 2011). Lastly, emotional intelligence has been found to havea significant influence on employees as they interact with theircolleagues at the workplace. Emotionally intelligent workers are ableto manage stress and conflicts, and improve their job performance.They are also able to achieve work-life balance such that work doesnot interfere with their personal lives or the other way around.
Implicationsfor Future Research and Psychological Behavior
Thecurrent review of the applications of the theory of emotionalintelligence implies that the concept can be taught in school. Inother words, it is possible to train learners on emotionalintelligence rather than focusing on general and multipleintelligences only. This approach will provide students, teachers,and family members with skills of recognizing and understandingemotions. The skill-building opportunities will also help them tolabel, express, and regulate emotions in order to make the rightdecisions and maintain positive interpersonal relationships. Futureresearch should focus on the application of the approach in workplacesettings where workers also interact with each other and are requiredto perform (Work, 2015). The review also implies that thepsychological behavior of people if their emotions are identified andwell-managed.
PersonalOpinions about the Research Findings
Basedon the detail account of the literature review provided in thearticle, I think the applications of the theory of intelligenceextends beyond the learning environment to workplaces and othersocial settings. In a classroom, emotional intelligence influencesthe students and teachers’ behaviors such that the schoolenvironment supports learning and personal development. Consequently,students achieve academic excellence while teachers improve theirteaching techniques and this lead to overall increase ininstitutional performance (Allen, 2014). If programs developed basedon the emotional intelligence theory are applied in businesses andother professions such as medicine, I think the performance in theseareas can be improved significantly. The description of howemotionally intelligent people behave in various settings is veryimportant because it provokes psychologists to start recognizingemotional intelligence as a concept that should be taught anddeveloped in schools. Curriculum developers should not only focus ongeneral and multiple intelligences, they should also incorporateemotional intelligence concepts in the teaching and learning guides.
Itseems that emotional intelligence theory is a concept thatcomplements other theories of intelligence since it offers solutionson how to identify, interpret and manage emotions effectively. Withemotional intelligence, it is possible to make the right decisionswhen dealing with situations that bring about fear, stress, andanxiety. Sometimes, it is not the lack of knowledge that preventsstudents or employees from performing well it’s the inadequacy ofskills necessary in managing emotions. Emotionally intelligent peopleusually promote their well-being, engage in positive interactions andimprove their performances at the workplace or in school throughmanaging their thoughts and emotions effectively. The currentfindings in psychology as discussed in the paper imply that theapplications of emotional intelligence go beyond the classroom to theworkplace, social gatherings, and other professional engagementfunctions.
Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E. & and Salovey, P. (2011).Emotional Intelligence: Implications for Personal, Social,Academic, and Workplace Success. Social and Personality PsychologyCompass 5(1): 88–103. Retrieved from:http://ei.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pub184_Brackett_Rivers_Salovey_2011_Compass-1.pdfon April 7, 2017.
Wong, C. S. (2015). Emotional Intelligence at Work: 18-yearJourney of a Researcher. New York: Routledge.
Allen, V. (2014). Understanding and supporting behaviourthrough emotional intelligence: A critical guide for secondaryteachers. Northwich: Critical Publishing.
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