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Trait Emotional Intelligence and its relationship with gender, academic performance, personality.

Abstract:

This study investigates the role of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) characteristics, such as emotion-related behavioural dispositions and self-perceived abilities, among students in 13 vocational courses at a college in Cyprus. In this first study 323 individuals (113 female and 210 male) filled in measures of Trait Emotional Intelligence (TEIQue). Student’s also reported on a Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and on a three-minute reasoning test based on grammatical transformations. It was hypothesized there will be a difference between Trait Emotional Intelligence, Field of studies, and gender. Additionally it was hypothesized whether trait EI would correlate with cognitive ability test, academic performance and personality. The results confirmed the hypotheses, supporting the view that students will register a significant difference in Trait Emotional Intelligence by Field of studies or gender. Additionally, Trait EI was also significantly related with some of the personality categories such as Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional stability and Openness. There was also a relationship between Trait EI and academic performance but not between Trait EI and cognitive ability test. The findings are discussed in the context of the importance of trait emotional intelligence in field of studies and the implications for vocational choices. Directions for future research are proposed.

1. Introduction

Emotional Intelligence as noted by Salovey & Mayer in the early 1990s, is a type of intelligence that involved the ability to process emotional information. The processing of such affective information includes verbal and nonverbal appraisal and expression of emotion in the self /others, the regulation of such emotion in self and others and the utilization of emotion to facilitate thought. Understandably, the suggestion that there might be a hitherto unidentified construct of equal weight to traditional intelligence, has led to an explosion of interest in this area.

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the theoretical development of the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in an attempt to investigate the incremental validity of the concept beyond intelligence and/or personality (Fox & Spector 2000; Izard 2002; Petrides & Furnham 2003; Van der Zee et al. 2002) in various areas of human transactions. These include life satisfaction and social network size and quality and negative associations with loneliness, (Saklofske, Austin & Minski 2003), psychological distress, (Slaski & Cartwright 2002), depression and mental health, (Dawda & Hart 2000; Taylor 2001).

The construct of Emotional Intelligence has hitherto been advanced through separate realms. Salovey and Mayer’s (1990), ideas on EI arise from non-cognitive aspects of intelligence (Spearman 1927), and especially from Thorndike’s (1920) work on social intelligence and Gardner’s (1983) development of the constructs of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence.

Due to a growing discomfort with unitary views of intelligence, researchers such as Gardner (1983), Salovey & Mayer  (1990), and Goleman (1995), have advanced pluralistic theories incorporating more factors than the traditional cognitive approaches (e.g. Spearman 1927;Carroll, 1993; Cattell, 1971; Horn 1965). It is evidently clear, that, by the early 1990s, there was a long tradition of research on factors other than cognitive in helping people to succeed in both life and the workplace. Despite this previous work it was Salovey and Mayer (1990), which initiated a research program, intended to develop an EI model and EI valid measure.

Goleman (1995) concept of emotional intelligence broadened it from specific psychological entity- a mental capacity for processing emotion- to a broader collection of personal qualities. The development of an alternative notion of EI by Goleman (1995), led Bar-On (1997), to define EI as a mixture of emotion-related competencies, personality traits and dispositions (that was latter referred to as the mixed model).

This early model was followed by several alternative conceptions and translated quickly into standardised instruments for measuring individual difference in this construct (e.g. Bar-On, 1997; Goleman 1995; Mayer & Salovey 1997; Mayer, Caruso and Salovey 1999; Petrides and Furnham 2001; Shutte et al., 1998; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruo 2000; Tapia 2001)

Despite considerable interest and numerous attempts to define and measure EI over the past years, these attempts have proved problematic (see Roberts et al. 2001). Emotional intelligence models in the literature, encompass multitude qualities and creates difficulties in research (Roberts et al., 2001). Emotional intelligence is a complex term that resists consensual clarification between two major concepts in psychology, that of emotion and intelligence. The complexity emerges when attempting to measure the construct. It has been greatly debated if there is a possible way to determine a right or wrong way to feel in anyone given situation.

Roberts, Zeidner, and Matthews (2001) argue whether there is one set of correct answers for an EI test, or whether expert and consensus about answers diverge too much. The furthermore question the reliability of EI tests, and whether the factor structure of such tests was fully understood and is consistent with theory.

1.2. Trait EI versus ability EI

There are two competing models of emotional intelligence: The ability EI model, which is endorsed by Mayer his colleagues, (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso 2000a, Mayer, DiPaolo, & Salovey, 1990; Mayer & Salovey, 1997) and the trait EI model, which is endorsed by researchers such as (Petrides & Furnham 2001, Bar-On 1997, Schutte et al., 2002).  The ability models of EI do not consider the independence of EI and General Mental abilities. Instead, the ability models claim that EI is best thought of as an intelligence in that it meets the three traditional criteria of an intelligence such as and the model focuses on emotions themselves and their interactions with thought (Mayer et al 1999).

Petrides (2OO1) argues that in order to perceive the concept of EI from a cognitive perspective it has to fulfil three fundamental laws. The conceptual level it should be free from personality-related variables such as empathy and optimism and defined purely as a cognitive ability. On the empirical level it would have to correlate with already well established intelligences but at the same time sustaining a significant proportion of incremental variance. On the developmental level it should demonstrate an increase with age. Pèrez, Petrides & Furnham (2005), in their meta-analysis of ability EI tests, demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses around the issues of internal consistency, factor structures and the inherent subjectivity of emotional experience that such psychometrics have to tackle.

According to Petrides & Furnham (2001) the entire intrapersonal component of EI seems to be unable to coexist with maximum-performance measurements. Roberts et al (2001) investigation of ability EI as a type of intelligence via the measure of Mayer, Caruso & Salovey (MEIS), identified as "the most severe psychometric difficulty," to be, ‘…the lack of convergence between expert- and consensus-scored dimensions...’ (p. 55). Roberts et al. (2001) also identify that if ability EI really is a type of intelligence, then the emotion-perception branch should show the lowest loading on a general EI factor, whereas, Emotion Management branch should have its highest correlation with the full scale. However, empirical examination showed that the lower order sensory processes (i.e., perceiving emotion) should score lower on any factor analysis, but it does not (ms. p. 56), and the highest-order factor, managing emotions, has the lowest correlation with the full scale.

In contrast the trait EI conceptualization, regards EI as a trait within the domain of personality which should be exclusively related to personality dimensions and not relating to general mental abilities (Petrides and Furnham 2001). Petrides and Furnham (2001) advanced the EI construct with a pivotal distinction between trait EI and ability EI. In contrast to Mayer, Salovey & Caruso (2000) distinction between mixed and ability models of EI, Petrides and Furnham proposes that the method used to measure the construct and not on the elements (facets) that models encompass, has a direct impact on their operationalization.

Petrides, Furnham and Frederickson (2004) argue for self- report measures of EI (as in personality questionnaires) due to the subjective nature of emotions. Trait EI is conceptualised as a non-cognitive capability (Bar-On 1997, Petrides & Furnham 2001) and should not correlate with traditional intelligence tests. Models of ability EI conceptualize Emotional Intelligence, however with respect to the validity of such tests as developed by Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso (2000) e.g., MSCEIT, shows a moderate relationship with traditional measures of cognitive abilities (O’Connor & Little 2003; Newsome et al., 2000; Schulte, Ree, & Carreta 2004; Petrides and Furnham 2001). Trait EI measures, conceptualize EI as a combination of “non-cognitive” personality traits (Petrides & Furnham 2001).

All incoming research continues to support Petride’s and Furnham’s hypothesis between trait EI and ability EI as two distinct constructs (Warwick & Nettelbeck 2004; O’Connor & Little 2003; Chan 2003). O’Connor & Little (2003) reported that, MSCEIT is measuring EI as a cognitive ability whereas self-report measures, such as the EQ-I, measure personality traits and characteristics. Subsequently, the findings of Warwick and Nettelbeck (2004) show a non- significant relationship between the Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS) and Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).

Warwick & Nettelbeck (2004) have also supported Petride’s and Furnham’s (2000), trait v ability EI distinction, and noted that trait EI and ability are two different constructs, which correlate differently between personality tests and general cognitive abilities. Furthermore, from Chan (2003), empirical evidence of trait EI (using the EIS Schutte et al 1998) among Chinese gifted adolescent students in Hong Kong, supported the dimensionality of EI and distinction between ability versus trait EI (Petrides and Furnham 2000).

2. Trait EI in advancing the understanding of Emotional Intelligence

New impetus to the field was provided by Petrides and Furnham (2000a, 2000b, 2001) through their distinction between trait EI versus ability EI. Trait EI was now understood and attested to the paradigm of emotion-related behavioural dispositions and self-perceived abilities measured via self-report questionnaires. Trait EI is regarded as a dispositional tendency (Trait EI) like personality. Such behavioural dispositions, is measured through self-report, and ought to be examined in relation to temperament (Petrides & Furnham 2003).

Thus, trait EI models of emotional intelligence should focus on behavioural consistency across situations, assess typical behaviour, rather than maximal behaviour, and include various dispositions from the personality domain such as empathy, assertiveness, optimism, impulsivity and self perceived abilities such as social intelligence and personal intelligence.

Petrides & Furnham (2001) postulated that the lack of a coherent operational framework resulted to numerous conflicting findings and the chaotic development of the construct. Trait EI should be quantified via self -report questionnaires, since is associated to the field of personality (Saklofske et al., 2003; Petrides et al., 2004), rather than cognitive abilities (Saklofske et al., 2003). Petrides et al., (2004) argues against the ability EI measurements on the bases of the inherently subjective nature of emotional experience. Unlike standard cognitive ability tests, ability EI, is not amenable to objective scoring since people’s internal emotional states have to be validated with reference to participants own reports of such feelings (especially the intrapersonal core facets).

Ability EI test claims to measure objectively an individual’s feelings, perception, memory, emotions, language and sensations; such an assertion fails to pursuit knowledge and is replaced with lots of disparate and often contradictory findings. To understand the true essence of our human nature, any subjective emotional experience is only truly known by the participant. Petrides & Furnham noted ‘…The information required to score as correct or incorrect responses to items such as ‘I am aware of my emotions as I experienced them’ is available only to the individual who is responding.’ (Petrides & Furnham 2001, p.40).  Davies et al (1998) further argue that there is no agreeable criterion for correct and incorrect answers especially for items of the managing emotions branch. For example, the author’s ask what is the best right or wrong answer or the best or right response when a person is been insulted or mocked by a coworker? They assert that in such cases the best response would depend on the situation, the person’s experience with insults, cultural norms, the individual’s position in the status hierarchy etc. Kender (2005) noted, “An intuitively valid description of another person’s conscious experience is akin to a form of artistry. Whether there is any basis to the presumed equivalence is immeasurable “ (p.320 ).

3. Criticisms of Trait EI

Critics of trait EI argue that the construct is strongly related to the basic personality dimensions and there is a strong relationship between EI and personality tests, such as those encapsulated under the Five Factor Model (Van Rooy et al., 2004; Costa & McCrae 1992; Dawda and Hart 2000). Eysenck (1998) suggested that EI it simply draws from different facets of personality. Trait EI is also criticized as failing to account for criterion variance over and above the personality tests (De Raad 2005; Van der Zee et al., 2002; MacCann, Matthews, Zeidner & Roberts 2003). Some other studies yielded a high multicollinearity among self-report EI measures and personality traits (e.g., Davies et al., 1998; Newsome et al., 2000; O’Connor & Little, 2003). Petrides & Furnham (2003) argue that even if trait EI is correlated with personality what is important is the explanatory power of the trait EI than its incremental validity which can vary considerably across contexts, variables and samples. More important is the development of a nomological network of trait EI. The nomological network represents the interrelations among variables involving the construct of interest.

Thus, the process of assessing construct validity basically involves determining the degree to which our measure of the construct behaves in the way assumed by the theoretical network in which it is embedded. To illustrate this point, let us consider Petrides and Furnham (2003) study and put things within a perspective. The authors found that high trait EI scorers identified emotional expressions faster than their low trait EI. If, theoretically, people with high trait EI should be more likely to succeed in recognizing emotional expressions faster than their low trait EI counterparts, then our measure of trait EI should be able to predict people’s abilities in similar tasks. Therefore it is not particularly interesting to know that ‘some weighted linear combination of the Giant Three or the Big Five correlates strongly with trait EI because also some weighted linear combination of the Giant Three or the Big Five correlates strongly with alexythimia, self-esteem, depression and other constructs (Petrides & Furnham 2003). That the usefulness of trait EI is to be measured on the basis of what it explains and not on the basis of what it predicts, thus, trait EI might not be an incremental predictor in the presence of a number of different covariates, but may be a valuable explanatory variable on its own ( Petrides et al., 2004). These idea is in line with Bell (1964) theory of quantum mechanics ‘Bell’s Theorem’ who noted: "The concept of 'measurement' becomes so fuzzy on reflection that it is quite surprising to have it appearing in physical theory at the most fundamental level... ...does not any analysis of measurement require concepts more fundamental than measurement? And should not the fundamental theory be about these more fundamental concepts?" (ref 1, p. 117)

4. Validity and reliability of Trait EI measures.

Empirical evidence demonstrated the incremental validity of trait EI over personality (Gannon & Ranzijn, 2005; Ciarrochi et al., 2001; Petrides, 2001; Saklofske et al. 2003). At the same time, trait EI is strongly correlated with basic traits, particularly Neuroticism and Extraversion (Petrides & Furnham 2001).  The factor-analytic studies of Petrides and Furnham (2001), provides evidence for the discriminant validity of trait EI. Petrides and Furnham (2001) reported the isolation of a trait EI factor within the Eysenckian and the NEO Five Factor space, and provided a conceptualization of trait EI as a lower order personality trait. Petrides and Furnham (2001) found that the Bar-On Emotional Quotient inventory could be located as a distinguishable trait EI factor within personality factor space. They concluded that trait EI “belong to the lower-order stratum of established personality taxonomies” (p.444) and suggested that researchers clearly distinguish between trait EI (e.g. behavioural tendencies and self–perceived abilities) and ability EI (eg. Cognitive ability).

Pèrez et al., (2005) provides an excellent review of trait EI measures, their reliability, validity, and factor structure. Petrides, Pèrez & Furnham (2005) demonstrated the incremental validity of trait EI to predict outcomes such as mental disorders, adaptative/maladaptative coping, which is beyond the five-factor model (Costa & McCrae 1992). Van Rooy & Viswesvaran (2004) results have also shown acceptable levels of predictive validity for trait EI measures. For instance, its predictive validity is higher than most of the Big Five factors (e.g., Barrick & Mount, 1991; Hurtz & Donovan, 2000).

Van Rooy & Viswesvaran (2004) suggest that these measures could be useful in certain organizational settings. Trait EI has been found to be positively correlated with life satisfaction (Martinez-Pons 1997; Palmer, Donaldson, & Stough, 2002).

4.1. Measuring Trait EI

Trait EI which refers to emotion-related traits and self-perceived abilities and measured via self-report questionnaires, and ability EI refers to emotion-related abilities and measured via maximum-performance tests. The distinction between trait EI and ability EI is fundamentally based on the method of measurement of the construct and not its theoretical domain ( Petrides & Furnham 2006). Thus, the assessment of the same sampling domain of EI through different methods (performance-based versus self-report) leads to the operationalization of different constructs (Petrides & Furnham 2006). It has been noted that self-report measures of EI assess emotion-related self-perceived abilities and traits, rather than cognitive abilities per se (Petrides & Furnham 2003; Austin 2004). Analyses of the convergent and discriminant validities of the trait EI measures yielded no correlation with cognitive intelligence components (Davies, Stankov, & Roberts 1998; Newsome, Day, & Catano 2000; O’Connor & Little 2003).  Pèrez, Petrides, & Furnham (2005) review of the existing trait EI measures describe how Trait EI measurements and the conceptualisation of EI differ and tend to be over inclusive and protean sometimes.

It is important to reiterate that most existing inventories of trait EI (see Perez, Petrides, & Furnham 2005), with the exemption of TEIQue (Petrides and Furnham 2001), purport to measure trait EI as a cognitive ability. Most researchers in the area of Emotional intelligence have mingled trait EI with ability EI and produced confusing findings. A lot of researcher in the field of EI failed to be cognizant of the fact that all measures of EI are not tapping the same construct. This lack of distinction between trait v ability EI has resulted in a number of conflicting findings to the extent which EI can account for unique variance (Davies et al., 1998).

Another important limitation in most trait EI measures is the neglect of core facets of the trait EI construct (Petrides, Furnham & Fredericksson 2004). The structure of trait Emotional intelligence emerged from the influential paper of Salovey and Mayer (1990) and the 10 components model with six core facets. Schuttle et al. (1998) used the 62 items emanated from Salovey and Mayer’s model and identified four EI factors by formulating a 33-item general scale. Petrides and Furnham (2000a) provided 15 facets and four dimensions of trait EI namely; Social skills, Appraisal of Emotions, Social Skills, Optimism/Mood Regulation. Petrides and Furnham (2000, 2001) have facilitated a more comprehensive battery of measures, and contributed toward a general taxonomy of EI based on a more representative notion of the various models and measures currently adopted under the banner of EI construct. Such a battery includes, for example, the newly developed Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue; Petrides and Furnham 2003).

5. Aims and Hypothesis

The present research extends the foregoing investigation into the area of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI), as a dispositional tendency (emotion-related behavioural dispositions and self-perceived abilities). Following Petrides & Furnham, (2000; 2001; 2003), we refer to this orientation as ‘trait EI’ to distinguish it from ability EI. The primary purpose of the study was to examine the role of trait EI by field of studies among undergraduate students in different courses. The outcome of the study aims to investigate whether student’s emotional abilities differ among these fields. If such traits statistically differ, then why they are different? And how relevant programs can be used to facilitate and develop student’s trait EI. Previous research findings in the area of trait EI and its relevance to gender, personality, academic performance and cognitive ability will be investigated.

The study is guided by four research questions. First, the hypothesis was that there would indeed be a gender difference between Trait Emotional intelligence scores. Studies in gender differences are inconclusive (Schutte et al., 1998; Saklofske et al., 2003). Saklofske et al (2003) did not find a significant difference in trait EI Scores between males and females. However, some studies have reported gender differences in their measures of trait EI, with females scoring higher than males (Schutte et al. 1998; Mandell & Pherwani 2003). Furthermore, Petrides and Furnham (2000) have shown a significant gender difference on the “social skills” factor with females scoring higher than males; however, they did not find a significant difference neither on any of the other factors nor on total measured trait EI.

Second, does a relationship between trait EI and Personality exist? There are studies that show trait EI measures to have a moderate overlap with personality, such as the Five-Factor Model (Brackett and Mayer, 2003; Rooy & Viswesvaran 2004). McCrae (2000) reported an overlap between aspects of trait EI and facets of Openness (e.g, feelings, actions and ideas), Agreeableness (e.g., trust and tender mindedness), and Conscientiousness (e.g., competence and dutifulness).

Third, to what extent there will be a difference in Trait Emotional Intelligence by field of studies. Surprisingly, no previous research has examined the discriminant validity of trait EI among students enrolled as a major field of study at University courses. Lastly, what is the relationship between Trait EI, academic performance and a cognitive ability test?  The inability of General Mental Ability (GMA) to account for sufficient variance in success criteria in an organizational and educational context had therefore led to increase research seeking to cure this deficiency (Dulewicz & Higgs 2000). A few studies have examined the relationship between emotional and academic intelligence and failed to support a relationship of trait EI within the framework of cognitive abilities (Davies, Stankov & Roberts 1998; Van der Zee, Thijs & Schakel 2002). Saklofske et al (2003) found nonsignificant associations between trait EI and intelligence, suggesting that trait EI as defined by this measure is distinct from psychometric intelligence. However, trait EI may add to the predictive power of GMA especially relevant to vulnerable groups (Petrides et al., 2004 Reiff et al., 2001) but it certainly does not trump it.

6. Method

6.1. Participants

Questionnaire data were collected from 500 students. Complete data were available for 323 students. In total, the complete data sample comprised of 323 students of whom 113 were female and 210 male. The majority of participants, 290, where attending a small Cyprus private English speaking university called Intercollege, in Nicosia. Students attended a number of fields of studies with different vocational courses.  

All of the students had graduated from high school within the past 4 years and where in their 1s,t , 2nd ,3rd ,4th,and 5th year, full time and part time BA Courses. In addition, 33 students’ were studying at the Technological Institute of Higher Education, also an English speaking college in Cyprus. Frequencies, and percentages are presented in Appendix 1.

A percentage of 49.8% of the participants were between the ages of 21 and under, 41.2% 22 to 26 years old, and 9% 27-39 years old. Information on ethnicity was collected and 91.6 % of the participants were Caucasian, 8% Asian, and 0.3% African. See appendix 1 for the complete age and sex and ethnicity demographics. All students who participated in the study received feedback regarding their personal test results.

6.2. Predictor Measures

6.2.1. Trait Emotional intelligence

The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue-SF) is a short version of the original TEIQue which comprises of 153 items, 15 subscales, four factors, and global trait EI, developed by Petrides, Pèrez, & Furnham (2003). The TEIQue-SF consists of 30-item (measuring along 7- point scales) providing scores on the four factors and global trait EI. The four factor scores are characterized as (a) Well being which includes 6 items It is based on a content analysis of the various EI models in the literature and covers the trait EI sampling domain comprehensively.(for a description of subscales refer to Petrides & Furnham 2004).

According to Petrides & Furnham (2004) the four factor scores are characterized as (a) well-being, which includes 6 items (b) Self-control skills, which comprises 6 items (c) Emotional skills, which includes 8 items and (d) Sociability, which includes 6 items. The four remaining items for the TEIQue-SF is contributing to the global trait EI. The authors advise that a factor analysis of the long form TEIQue is more appropriate for subscales scores rather than the TEIQue-SF which is designed to yield primarily global trait scores and is unlikely to produce the factor structure of TEIQue. Using Cronbach’s alpha, Petrides & Furnham (2004) reported internal consistency for the Global Trait EI of the TEIQue-SF .88 (N=1119).

The TEIQue-SF provides highly reliable global trait EI scores that correlate with a life satisfaction, personality disorders, perceived job control and job satisfaction (Petrides et al., 2003). Detailed information about the TEIQue         subscales is presented by Petrides & Furnham (2004). This self-report measure encompasses 15 Trait EI facets and is based on a content analysis of the literature on EI and on earlier models including, Bar-On (1997), Goleman (1995) and Salovey and Mayer (1990).

6.2.2. General cognitive ability

A three-minute reasoning test based on grammatical transformations (Baddeley, 1968). This is a simple reasoning test involving the understanding of   various levels of syntactic complexity. It is short and its validity and reliability         were tested (Baddeley 1968). Each item is presented in the form of a         grammatical transformation that is either "true" or "false", e.g., "A precedes B -          AB" (true) or "A does not follow B - BA" (false). The test has been used in many           studies to obtain a quick and reliable measurement of cognitive ability (e.g., Furnham, Gunter, & Peterson, 1994).

6.2.3. Personality

Ten-Item Personality Inventory-(TIPI), a five minutes test on personality (Gosling et al., 2003). A 10 item inventory is a test developed from existing Big-Five instruments, each item consists of two descriptors, separated by a comma, and each of the five items was rated on a 7- point Likert type scale ranging from 1 (disagree strongly) to (agree strongly). The TIPI takes about a minute to complete.

6.2.4.Academic achievement

Students gave the researcher permission to obtain their grade point average (GPA) in order to assess academic achievement. GPA was collected one month after the administration of the trait emotional intelligence, cognitive ability and personality measures, in order to include the overall GPA after the student’s final exams in the year. The GPA at Intercollege was reported from 0-4, and at the Higher Technical Institute of Education was reported out of 100%. The data was transformed to Z scores in order to have a homogeneous comparison

The inventories were initially piloted on approximately 60 students to ensure comprehensibility and to estimate the amount of time to fulfill the task. The pilot study showed that the materials were appropriate for use within this cultural context.

7. Procedure

The permission to carry out this study was approved by the College and lecturers were informed of specific dates that we would visit their classes and take 35 minutes of their teaching session for research purposes. Participants having first briefed on the purpose of the study where then requested to take part on a voluntary bases and in return they could get feedback on their scores and the meaning via their emails email.

All of the participants where very cooperative and serious about their responses and have all consent and permitted the researcher to access their academic records. The participants were tested in groups of up to 12 students in a classroom. They were first administered the TEIQue-SF questionnaire and the demographic questions which took 15 minutes to complete. Participants where asked to respond with all honesty as there were no right or wrong answers on how they should feel. When the TEIQue-SF questionnaires were collected the second part of the three minute reasoning test was given out and timed accordingly.

The researcher read the instructions aloud, for the three minute reasoning test, and participants were advised that their task was to decide after they read each sentence whether is true or false description of the latter pair which follows it. Then participants were instructed to turn it over and read the example that clarifies how they should respond. They were then requested to mark their answer to each item on the answer sheet and to work as quickly as possible without sacrificing accuracy. We have allowed three minutes and then we collected the questionnaires. The last part of the research was the Ten-Item Personality Inventory. Participants where advised that there are no right or wrong answers and should respond on their true emotional state and feelings. After the collection of all the data, participants were debriefed and advised to contact the researcher for any enquiries via email.

8. Results

8.1. Trait Emotional Intelligence scores between genders  

Using Cronbach’s alpha to asses the internal consistency of TEIQue-SF, results have indicated an internal consistency of .803 (N323). Table 1 presents the means and standard deviations for the TEIQue-SF: Short measure between the male and female participants.

Table 1:  Means and standard deviations on the Total Trait EI

Gender

Mean

N

Std. Deviation

% of Total Sum

Minimum

Maximum

Male

141.8267

207

20.00165

65.0%

86.00

207.00

Female

146.4900

108

20.25180

35.0%

78.00

187.00

Total

143.4255

315

20.17767

100.0%

78.00

207.00

 

 

 

 

 

First a t-test was performed to compare the mean response of the female and male on total measured trait EI. On average female participants scored higher on total measured trait EI (M =146.49, SE 20.25), than males total measured trait EI scores (M= 141.82, SE=20.00). The t-test (refer to appendix 2), also supported the hypothesized direction and reported a significant difference between TEIQ and gender (t=-1.956, df=313, p=0.0255, one-tailed).

8.2. The relationship between Trait Emotional Intelligence and Personality

Table 2 presents the intercorrelations among TEIQ and the five factors of the Ten-Item Personality Inventory-(TIPI) by employing a Pearson’s r. Trait EI was significantly correlated with Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional stability and Openness. The findings are shown on table 2 and report a significant positive correlation between Trait EI and Extraversion (r=0.330, n=312, p<0.0005), Agreeableness (r=0.299, n=312 p<0.0005), Conscientiousness (r=0.314, n=0.312 p<0.0005), Emotional stability (r=0.422, n=312, p<0.0005) and Openness (r=0.535, n=312, p<0.0005).

Table 2: Relationship between TEIQ and TIPI

 

 

Total Trait EI

Extraversion

Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

 

Emotional

stability

Openness

Total TEIQue

Pearson Correlation

1

.330(**)

.299(**)

.314(**)

.422(**)

.535(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

 

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

315

312

312

312

312

312

Extraversion

Pearson Correlation

.330(**)

1

.006

.113(*)

.033

.348(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

 

.915

.044

.558

.000

N

312

319

319

319

319

319

Agreeableness

Pearson Correlation

.299(**)

.006

1

.130(*)

.287(**)

.176(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.915

 

.020

.000

.002

N

312

319

319

319

319

319

Conscientiousn

Pearson Correlation

.314(**)

.113(*)

.130(*)

1

.187(**)

.201(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.044

.020

 

.001

.000

 

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