Title

The role of trait emotional intelligence in academic performance: theoretical overview and empirical update

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2016

Publication Title

The Journal of Psychology

Volume

150

Issue

2

First page number:

229

Last page number:

251

Abstract

Considerable debate still exists among scholars over the role of trait emotional intelligence (TEI) in academic performance. The dominant theoretical position is that TEI should be orthogonal or only weakly related to achievement; yet, there are strong theoretical reasons to believe that TEI plays a key role in performance. The purpose of the current article is to provide (a) an overview of the possible theoretical mechanisms linking TEI with achievement and (b) an update on empirical research examining this relationship. To elucidate these theoretical mechanisms, the overview draws on multiple theories of emotion and regulation, including TEI theory, social-functional accounts of emotion, and expectancy-value and psychobiological model of emotion and regulation. Although these theoretical accounts variously emphasize different variables as focal constructs, when taken together, they provide a comprehensive picture of the possible mechanisms linking TEI with achievement. In this regard, the article redresses the problem of vaguely specified theoretical links currently hampering progress in the field. The article closes with a consideration of directions for future research.

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