Gill, Gobinder Singh (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
Emotional intelligence has become a popular construct in both academic and applied settings (Petrides, Furnham, & Fredickinson, 2004; Zizzi, Deaner, & Hirschhorn, 2003). Research indicates that emotional intelligence is associated with successful performance outcomes in a range of domains including academia (Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan, & Majeski, 2004), business (Zeidner, Matthews, & Roberts, 2004) and health (Pau & Crocker, 2003). Such findings have prompted researchers to explore the potential utility of emotional intelligence in sport (Meyer & Fletcher, 2007; Meyer & Zizzi, 2007). The present MPhil thesis has a two-pronged approach of examining emotional intelligence in sport. Conceptual issues of emotional intelligence are examined in relation to model approach and measurement. Therefore, two studies investigated the validity and reliability of the Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS: Schutte et al., 1998). Results demonstrate that a revised version of the EIS (Schutte et al., 1998) is a useful measure of emotional intelligence for use in sport, although it has several limitations. These investigations also found support for the use of a six-factor model of the EIS (Schutte et al., 1998) comprising of appraisal of own emotions, appraisal of others emotions, regulation, utilization of emotions, optimism and social skills. Once conceptual issues have been examined and psychometric properties are found for a measure, it is also prudent to explore relationships between emotional intelligence and other related variables. To this extent, two studies explored the relationships between emotional intelligence and other related variables. In examining relationships between emotional intelligence and anger, both quantitative and qualitative data demonstrated that participants high in emotional intelligence ability were able to utilise strategies to combat the negative effects of anger. In a follow up study, relationships between emotional intelligence, mental toughness, and psychological skills were examined. Results showed that emotional intelligence, mental toughness, and psychological skills relationships co-exist. Arguably, these findings are important given that these variables can relate to emotional control and successful performance outcomes. Findings also lend support to the assumption that practitioners could utilise intervention programmes to assess emotional intelligence and its direction in relation to mental toughness and psychological skills. In summary, emotional intelligence is an important construct and its utility in sport should be further examined.
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