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I Conceptual and measurement issues in emotional intelligence

The Russian-language method of the “Emotional Intelligence Test”

Elena A. Sergienko, Elena A. Khlevnaya,

Julia P. Migun, and Ekaterina I. Osipenko

Introduction

Currently, the geography of research in the field of emotional intelligence is expanding. Scientists in Russia are also actively conducting research in this area, including work on the development of methods for the objective assessment of El.

Russia is the largest country in the world, located in Eastern Europe and North Asia, with a total area of 1,712,519 km2. There is access to 1 enclosed sea and 14 seas belonging to three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Arctic. Russia is the most populated country in Europe with 146,781,095 people. According to the 2010 census, representatives of more than 200 nationalities (ethnic groups) live in Russia. About 80 percent of the population of Russia are Russians. Moscow is the capital of Russia.

The multinational culture of Russia is an integral part of world culture, according to UN estimates, and Russia is a country with a rich cultural heritage. Thousands of scientists with a large volume of international citations work in Russia (with hundreds of references to their works).

The Russian economy ranks sixth among the countries of the world in terms of gross domestic product calculated at purchasing power parity. According to information on Russia’s GDP per capita from the International Monetary Fund, Russia is among the top 50 countries in the world, ahead of all the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

International consulting groups estimate that in Russia there is a high level of environmental quality, a high level of education, and a favorable situation with gender equality. Free education (including university-level education) and free health care are available to all citizens of Russia.

The context of emotional intelligence from a Russian perspective

The problem of using emotional intelligence as one of the resources for improving the efficiency and psychological well-being of a person is closely related to the destabilizing influence of the external environment in the context of global economic change and is in the field of interest of various branches of psychology, economics, sociology, and political science. The majority of international research is devoted to the question of the relationship between high levels of emotional intelligence (El) and success in a person’s life overall, and in business and career in particular.

Studies in the field of effectiveness of social interaction indicate that people with a high level of El tend to be more socially responsible, have a better quality of relationships, and they are also more receptive to feedback from their environment than those whose emotional intelligence development level is lower (Brackett, Rivers, Shiffman, Lerner, & Salovey, 2006; Lopes, Salovey, & Straus, 2003). A number of authors argue that high levels of emotional intelligence lead to a greater sense of well-being (Saarni, 1999; Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995). Some empirical evidence that emotional intelligence is associated with psychological wellbeing points to the relationship between high levels of El and lower levels of depression (Martinez-Pons, 1997; Schutte et al., 1998), greater levels of optimism (Schutte et al., 1998), and a higher level of life satisfaction (Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000: Martinez-Pons, 1997).

However, by themselves, clearly operationalized and relatively reliable methods of measurement of the listed variables that contribute to the psychological well-being and effectiveness of human activity are not enough, which makes it difficult to estimate and develop supportive and corrective programs. Although currently a number of authors conclude that El is associated with various indicators of performance and psychological well-being, there is a variability in the size of this effect due to the interpretation of El in these studies primarily in terms of trait and mixed models (Martins, Ramalho, & Morin, 2010).

According to previous research, the study of the role of emotional intelligence using models of El as an ability allows for a greater level of reliability and validity of results. Results of a meta-analysis by Hodzic, Scharfen, Ripoll, Holling, and Zenasni (2018) on the effectiveness of El development programs state that the most effective were those interventions that were aimed at developing specific emotional abilities conceptualized in the Mayer and Salovey model, as referred to in Chapter 1 (Crombie, Lombard, & Noakes, 2011; Kidwell, Hasford, & Hardesty, 2015; Kotsou, Nelis, Gregoire, & Mikolajczak, 2011).

Methods built upon the model of El as an ability provide better divergent validity and are better in predicting both overall behavior and completion of cognitive tasks related to emotions as compared to self-reporting techniques (Gutierrez-Cobo, Cabello, & Fernandez-Berrocal, 2016,2017; Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2016; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000; Megias, Gutierrez-Cobo, Gomez-Leal, Cabello, & Fernandez-Berrocal, 2017).

Nevertheless, in recent years, the number of international studies in the field of El within the framework of the El ability model have increased and the geography of research data has expanded significantly (as well as in the USA and Europe, the research is now conducted in the countries of the

Middle East, India, Tunisia, Jordan, China, etc.). A large number of these studies focused on the effect of El on business efficiency and the activities of the manager, as well as on the impact of the level of El development on the level of stress, emotional burnout, health, and subjective human well-being. These studies demonstrate a relationship between the level of development of El and a rise in the level of social well-being, the effectiveness of professional activity (especially in professions related to communicative interaction), stress tolerance, and mental health. The fact that there are still so few such works in the framework of the model of El as an ability, and even less of them in Russia, as well as the lack of a suitable domestic methodology, makes the study of the role of El in the effectiveness of the activity and psychological well-being of a person an extremely important scientific task.

 
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