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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence
and Academic Achievement in Eleventh Graders.

By Nada Salem Abisamra

Instructor: Dr. H. Williford
Auburn University at Montgomery
Research in Education
FED 661

March 3, 2000



Index:

Abstract
Introduction
Independent and dependent variables
Definition of terms
Hypothesis
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Procedure (population, sample and consent)
Experimental design and methods
Data collection
Design problems
Proposed statistical procedure
Expected outcome- results
References

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Abstract

We are at the beginning of a new century, and intelligence and success are not viewed the same way they were before. New theories of intelligence have been introduced and are gradually replacing the traditional theory. The whole child/student has become the center of concern, not only his reasoning capacities, but also his creativity, emotions, and interpersonal skills. The Multiple Intelligences theory has been introduced by Howard Gardner (1983), and the Emotional Intelligence theory by Mayer & Salovey (1990) then Goleman (1995). IQ alone is no more the only measure for success; emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and luck also play a big role in a person's success (Goleman, 1995). The purpose of this study is to see whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic success. Do high achievers in 11th grade have a high emotional intelligence level or isnít there any relationship between their achievement and their emotional intelligence? So, the population of this study will be the 11th graders in Montgomery, Alabama. The sample will be 500 11th graders-- boys and girls-- from public and private schools in Montgomery, Alabama. The sampling will be stratified, making sure that schools, genders, races, socioeconomic statuses, and abilities will be appropriately represented. The sample will be given the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) which is the first scientifically developed and validated measure of emotional intelligence. The BarOn EQ-i consists of 133 items and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. We shall calculate the mean of all the grades each of the 500 students has had for the last semester (this study being done in the second semester of school), separating the high from the middle and the low achievers. Afterwards we shall compare these grades with the Emotional Intelligence level of each student, to see whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement or not, in order for us to be able to accept or reject our hypothesis.


The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement in

Eleventh Graders.

Introduction

We educate students with one main objective in mind: their success. What is the measure of success? Is it only a strong scientific mind? No! It was, in the past, but now some fundamental new theories have been introduced: The Multiple Intelligences Theory (Gardner, 1983) & The Emotional Intelligence Theory (Mayer & Salovey, 1990; Goleman, 1995). Then we can say that success depends on several intelligences and on the control of emotions. IQ alone is no more the measure for success; emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and luck also play a big role in a person's success (Goleman, 1995). In the work place all kinds of articles are written, workshops and conferences are held to help doctors (Epstein, 1999), employees and managers (Abraham, 1999; Laabs, 1999; Barrier & Bates, 1999) become aware of the components of emotional intelligence so that they improve themselves. If emotional intelligence is considered nowadays vital for success, then why donít we start teaching its components to our students at school? If it affects student achievement, then it is imperative for schools to integrate it in their curricula, hence raising the level of student success. The purpose of this study is to see whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic success. Do the high achievers in eleventh grade have a high emotional intelligence level or isnít there any relationship between their achievement and their emotional intelligence? Do the low achievers in eleventh grade have a low emotional intelligence level or isnít there any relationship between their achievement and their emotional intelligence either? So, the population of this study will be the eleventh graders in Montgomery, Alabama. The sample will be 500 eleventh graders-- boys and girls-- from public and private schools in Montgomery, Alabama. The sampling will be stratified, making sure that schools, genders, races, socioeconomic statuses, and abilities will be appropriately represented. The sample will be given the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) which is the first scientifically developed and validated measure of emotional intelligence. The BarOn EQ-i (Bar-On, 1996; Abraham, 1999) consists of 133 items and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. We shall calculate the mean of all the grades each of the 500 students has had for the last semester (this study being done in the second semester of school), separating the high from the middle and the low achievers. Afterwards we shall compare these grades with the Emotional Intelligence level of each student, to see whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement or not, in order for us to know whether we should incorporate emotional intelligence in school programs.

Independent and dependent variables

The independent variable in this study will be emotional intelligence

The dependent variable in this study will be academic achievement in eleventh-graders.

Definition of terms

  • Emotional Intelligence: It is being able to monitor our own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this to guide our thinking and actions (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: Identifying, using, understanding, and regulating emotions (Salovey & Mayer, 1993). According to Goleman (1995) emotional intelligence consists of five components: Knowing our emotions (self-awareness), managing them, motivating ourselves, recognizing emotions in others (empathy), and handling relationships.
  • Achievement: "Achievement encompasses student ability and performance; it is multidimensional; it is intricately related to human growth and cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development; it reflects the whole child; it is not related to a single instance, but occurs across time and levels, through a studentís life in public school and on into post secondary years and working life." (Steinberger, 1993) Merriam Webster defines achievement as "the quality and quantity of a student's work." This second definition is the one that more or less applies to this research, the former being too exhaustive. What we need here is the quality of the studentsí work; we need to calculate the mean of their overall grades during the first semester of the current year.
  • Hypothesis

    There will be no significant relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement in eleventh-graders. (p < .05)
     
     

    Review of literature

    Emotional intelligence is a fairly new concept. I reviewed the literatureóin refereed journals, non-refereed journals, books, and on the Internetóin order to see what researchers have discovered about it so far and how they linked it to achievement. In the 1940s and 1950s, there were several attempts to find a substantial relationship between achievement and personality, but these attempts did not meet much success (Barton, Dielman & Cattell, 1972). In 1968, Cattell and Butcher tried to predict both school achievement and creativity from ability, personality, and motivation. The authors succeeded in showing the importance of personality in academic achievement however could not link motivation to it. In 1972, Barton, Dielman and Cattell conducted another study to assess more fully the relative importance of both ability and personality variables in the prediction of academic achievement. One of the conclusions they reached was that IQ together with the personality factorówhich they called conscientiousnessópredicted achievement in all areas. What was tested under personality was--among others--whether the student is reserved or warmhearted, emotionally unstable or emotionally stable, undemonstrative or excitable, submissive or dominant, conscientious or not, shy or socially bold, tough-minded or tender-minded, zestful or reflective, self-assured or apprehensive, group dependent or self-sufficient, uncontrolled or controlled, relaxed or tense. We can easily see that most of these factors are included in the components of emotional intelligence. In 1983, Howard Gardner introduced his theory of Multiple Intelligences which opened doors to other theories like Emotional Intelligence.

    Then the term Emotional Intelligence appeared in a series of academic articles authored by John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey (1990, 1993, 1995). Their first article presented the first model of emotional intelligence. However, the term "emotional intelligence" entered the mainstream only with Daniel Goleman in 1995. He argues in his book that IQ contributes only about 20% to success in life, and other forces contribute the rest. We can infer that emotional intelligence, luck, and social class are among those other factors. He also says that emotional intelligence is a new concept indeed, but the existing data imply that it can be as powerful as IQ and sometimes even more. And, at least, unlike what is claimed about IQ, we can teach and improve in children some crucial emotional competencies. Emotionally intelligent people are more likely to succeed in everything they undertake. Teaching emotional and social skills is very important at school; it can affect academic achievement positively not only during the year they are taught, but during the years that follow as well. Teaching these skills has a long-term effect on achievement. (Elias et al, 1991).

    In 1996, Dr. Reuven Bar-On explained Emotional Intelligence saying that it reflects our ability to deal successfully with other people and with our feelings. He developed the BarOn EQ-i after 17 years of research, and this inventory is the first scientifically developed and validated measure of emotional intelligence that reflects one's ability to deal with daily environmental challenges and helps predict one's success in life, including professional and personal pursuits. (BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i); Abraham, 1999) It was published by Multi-Health Systems in 1996 as the first test of its kind. The test covers five areas: intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptability, stress management and general mood (Mirsky, 1997). Richardson and Evans (1997) explored some methods for teaching social and emotional competence within a culturally diverse society. Their purpose was to help students connect with each other, in order to assist them in developing interpersonal, intrapersonal, and emotional intelligences, arguing that these intelligences are essential for personal accomplishment. The emotions, feelings, and values are vital for a personís well being and achievement in life, according to Ediger (1997). He also states that science teachers should stress on the affective domain that cannot be separated from the cognitive domain. Quality emotions and feelings help students give their best potential in the classroom. The students who are aversive and think negatively cannot concentrate for a long time and have more difficulty in reaching their potential than others.

    At La Salle Academy, a private school in providence, Rhode Island, students are given lessons in emotional intelligence across the curriculum. This is part of an exhaustive program in social and emotional education called "Success for Life." The schoolís academic council voted to approve this program by 20-0 vote. (Pasi, 1997). Pool, the senior editor of Educational Leadership, stated in an article she wrote in 1997 that emotional well-being is a predictor of success in academic achievement and job success among others. Finnegan (1998) argues that schools should help students learn the abilities underlying emotional intelligence. Possessing those abilities, or even some of them, "can lead to achievement from the formal education years of the child and adolescent to the adultís competency in being effective in the workplace and in society" (p. 23). Students often experience failure in school, at home, with friends, and on the job because they have poor communication skills, argue Cangelosi and Petersen (1998).

    In January 2000, Coover & Murphy conducted a study that examined the relationship between self-identity and academic persistence and achievement in a counterstereotypical domain. The study revealed that the higher the self-concept and self-schema, the more positive the self-descriptions, the better the academic achievement at 18. The study also showed that self-identity improves through social interaction and communication with others, which would enhance achievement. In September 1999, a conference on emotional intelligence was held in Chicago, IL. The conference mission was to "provide the most comprehensive learning forum on emotional intelligence and its impact in the workplace." Linkage Incorporated claims that "research shows that well-developed EI distinguishes individual "star performers" and plays an important role in determining which organizations will outperform the competition, due in part to higher retention rates, better morale and heightened results." Another conference will be held this coming March in Amsterdam, Hay International Conference: The key to success in the 3rd millennium. This conference sees building people and organizational capability as the key to success.

    In this review of literature we studied what researchers have published about emotional intelligence so far and how they have linked it to achievement. We also covered how important emotional intelligence has become nowadays in the workplace. We still have to conduct our research to see whether there is any relationship between this intelligence and academic achievement. If the results turn out to be positive, then, in order to prepare better students for this new century, it might be better to include emotional intelligence in the school and even university curricula. After all, university students havenít benefited from it yet, and they are the ones to start working soon.

    Important Notes:
    - This literature review was written in March 2000. Ever since, new emotional intelligence tests have been devised, among which is "Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)" which seems to be an excellent "ability test of emotional intelligence designed for adult ages 17 years and older" (http://www.emotionaliq.com/MSCEIT.htm) and is worth checking out before deciding on any test.
    - You may also want to visit the following sites for more information about Emotional Intelligence:
    http://www.nadasisland.com/eq/
    http://www.equniversity.com
    http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/
    http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Emotional_intelligence
     
     

    Procedure (population, sample and consent)

    The population of this study will be the 11th graders in Montgomery, Alabama.

    The sample will be 500 11th graders-- boys and girls-- from public and private schools in Montgomery, Alabama. The sampling will be stratified, making sure that schools (public and private), genders (boys and girls), races, socioeconomic statuses, and abilities (high, middle, and low achievers) will be appropriately represented.

    The types of consent needed will be informed consent from the different principals, and implied consent from the students, since the study has no risk for them.

    Experimental design and methods

    The 500 students chosen from the different schools will be given the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) which is the first scientifically developed and validated measure of emotional intelligence. The BarOn EQ-i consists of 133 items and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. We shall calculate the mean of all the grades each of the 500 students has had for the last semester (this study being done in the second semester of school), separating the high from the middle and the low achievers. Afterwards we shall compare these grades with the Emotional Intelligence level of each student, to see whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement or not, in order for us to be able to accept or reject our hypothesis.

    Data collection

    The BarOn EQ-i is an interval scale test that consists of 133 items and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. After we have corrected the EQ test and noted down the different scores from highest to lowest, we shall write down on the same sheet the calculated mean of all the grades each of the 500 students has had for the last semester. Afterwards we shall compare these grades with the Emotional Intelligence level of each student, to see whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement or not, in order for us to be able to accept or reject our hypothesis.

    Design problems

    There may be some problems in student refusal to do the test, then I would try to convince them, call them at home (if they drop out) or do anything necessary so that they do the test. We cannot ignore the Hawthorne effect, since the students are human beings and we cannot really control them or know if what they write is really what they feel.

    Proposed statistical procedure

    Both the score of the EQ test and the mean of all first semester grades will be calculated over one hundred points so that the difference will be clearer. Then we analyze the data to see whether there is a correlation between emotional intelligence and academic achievement or not.

    Expected outcome- results

    Based on similar studies done in the past, the researcher expects to reject the null hypothesis and find a relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement, hence incorporate emotional intelligence in the schools curricula.
     


    References

    Abraham, R. (1999). Emotional intelligence in organizations: a conceptualization. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs, 125(2), 209-224.

    Bar-On, R. (1996). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): A test of emotional intelligence. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.

    Barrier, M., & Bates, S. (1999). Your emotional skills can make or break you. Nationís Business, 87(4), 17.

    Barton, K., Dielman, T. E., & Cattell, R. B. (1972). Personality and IQ measures as predictors of school achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63(4), 398-404.

    Cangelosi, B. R., & Peterson, M. L. (1998). Peer teaching assertive communication strategies for the workplace. (Clearinghouse No. CE078025)_Montgomery, AL: Auburn University at Montgomery, School of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED427166).

    Cattell, R. B., & Butcher, H. J. (1968). The prediction of achievement and creativity. New York:  Irvington Publishers.

    Coover, G. E., & Murphy, S. T. (2000). The communicated self. human communication research, 26(1), 125-148.

    Ediger, M. (1997). Affective objectives in the science curriculum. (Clearinghouse No. SE060514)_Montgomery, AL: Auburn University at Montgomery, School of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED412070).

    Elias, M. J., Gara, M., Schuyler, T., Brandon-Muller, L. R., & Sayette, M. A. (1991). The promotion of social competence: longitudinal study of a preventive school-based program. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(3), 409-417.

    Epstein, R. M. (1999). Mindful practice. Journal of the American Medical Association, 282, 833-839.

    Finegan, J. E. (1998). Measuring emotional intelligence: where we are today. (Clearinghouse No. TM029315)_Montgomery, AL: Auburn University at Montgomery, School of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED426087).

    Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind. New York: Basic Books.

    Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ. New York: Bantam Books.

    Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

    Laabs, J. (1999). Emotional intelligence at work. Workforce, 78(7), 68-71.

    Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1995). Emotional intelligence and the construction and regulation of feelings. Applied & Preventive Psychology, 4(3), 197-208.

    Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1993). The intelligence of emotional intelligence. Intelligence, 17(4), 433-442.

    Mirsky, S. (1997). Separate but EQ. Scientific American, 276(4), 25.

    Pasi, R. J. (1997). Success in high school and beyond. Educational Leadership, 54(8), 40-42.

    Pool, C. R. (1997). Up with emotional health. Educational Leadership, 54(8), 12-14.

    Richardson, R. C., & Evans, E. T. (1997). Social and emotional competence: motivating cultural responsive education. (Clearinghouse No. PS025638)_Montgomery, AL: Auburn University at Montgomery, School of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED411944).

    Salovey, P., & Mayer, J.D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 185-211.

    Steinberger, E. D. (1993). Improving student achievement. Virginia: American Association of School Administrators.


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