AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE CHARACTERISTICS BETWEEN DISCIPLINES IN HIGHER EDUCATION AND SUGGESTED CURRICULUM ADJUSTMENTS
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Emotional Intelligence (EI) may be more important to the success of college students than cognitive intelligence and technical skills combined. Recent research has primarily focused on EI in the workplace. However, implications for improving EI skills of college undergraduate students before they enter the workforce appears to be lacking. This quantitative research examined the Emotional Intelligence levels of five different majors to identify differences based on area of study, gender, or other demographic factors. Subsequently, the study aimed to provide suggestions for curriculum development with a goal to better expose students to EI themes. An online survey was offered to undergraduate students at a private, Christian university in the Midwest. The process resulted in 391 usable survey responses from five different majors, representing a student body of approximately 4,700 from over 40 states. The purposive sample provided enough respondents to achieve a 95% confidence level in the results. The survey included questions from the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Short Form (TEIQue-SF) with factor analysis providing scores of Well-Being, Self-Control, Emotionality, Sociability and Global Trait EI. Appropriate statistics and techniques to provide basic descriptive, correlation, normality, ANOVA, and t-tests were used and, in some cases, suitable non-parametric equivalents. Students were also polled regarding their exposure to Emotional Intelligence topics in the current curriculum. Additionally, demographic questions were posed to determine why differences might exist in Emotional Intelligence levels. This research partially confirmed the differences in the Emotionality of students from different majors. Specifically, evidence of variations in EI of Nursing, Business, Education, Engineering, and Religion/Theology students were found to be significant, in certain areas. Generally accepted stereotypes of gender differences were confirmed by this research. Somewhat surprisingly, this study did not uncover that other demographic factors such as birth order, religious background, hometown size, and size of high school impacted their EI levels. Emotional Intelligence varies with individuals and can be measured. This study identified the similarities and differences in EI of students. Exposure to EI topics in higher education appear to be lacking. Research outcomes included implications for EI curriculum development and suggestions for each major.
Thomas, Brad, "AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE CHARACTERISTICS BETWEEN DISCIPLINES IN HIGHER EDUCATION AND SUGGESTED CURRICULUM ADJUSTMENTS" (2020). Faculty Scholarship – Business. 2.
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