Understanding Emotions and their Consequences: Defining, Measuring and Training Socio-Emotional Intelligence (SEI)
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Based on an examination of the research on emotional intelligence and its related constructs, a new construct, socio-emotional intelligence, is introduced in the current dissertation. The construct is defined and a process describing the development of a self-report measure is explained. A preliminary 40-item measure was created and tested. Results from this pilot study of 490 surveys showed that the measure was reliable, internally consistent and measured one overarching construct: SEI. The measure was shortened and refined, and Studies 1 and 2 tested the resulting 24-item measure (N = 350, N = 76, respectively). This measure was also internally consistent and reliable. A training program designed to improve individuals' SEI was proposed, developed and subsequently tested. The training program consisted of a one-hour long training session that consisted of orientation, a macro SEI test, an exercise about emotions, ways to raise emotional awareness, opportunities to exchange stories, ask questions and take part in a discussion of a fictional scenario. Seventy-six participants ( N = 76) from a large northeastern university took part in a repeat-measures experimental design that compared the 24-item SEI measures between training and control groups over time. The results of this study revealed the training program is effective in raising participants' SEI scores, as those who took part in the training sessions showed a statistically significant increase in their SEI scores compared to individuals who did not participate in the training sessions, F (1, 74) = 12.63, p < .001. Implications of the current series of studies are discussed as well as potential directions for future research in the area of SEI.