Advertisement

Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 39–54 | Cite as

The Role of Emotional Intelligence During an Emotionally Difficult Decision-Making Task

  • Anna Alkozei
  • Zachary J. Schwab
  • William D. S. Killgore
Original Paper

Abstract

Emotional intelligence (EI) can be defined as the ability to understand, perceive, and manage emotions. However, there is little research investigating how EI influences decision-making during emotionally difficult situations. We hypothesized that higher EI would correlate with greater utilization of socially relevant facial cues during emotional decision-making. Sixty-two 18–45 year olds completed a decision-making task simulating an airport security screening during a credible terrorist threat. Participants viewed a series of facial photographs of potential passengers (white men and women) and selected which passengers to detain for further interrogation. The face photographs were previously rated for a set of character traits (e.g., aggression) by independent judges. Participants completed measures of trait (self-perceived) and ability (performance-based) EI and cognitive intelligence (IQ). With higher ability EI, participants were more likely to detain only individuals judged to be particularly high in negative traits (e.g., “aggression”) and especially low in positive traits (e.g., “trustworthy”), suggesting greater acuity in decision choices. These associations were driven primarily by the facilitating and understanding branches of EI (i.e., the ability to generate and use emotion to facilitate decision making, and the ability to understand factors that generate and modify emotions). No association between trait EI or IQ and detainment decisions was found. Findings suggest that individuals with higher ability EI were more likely to utilize the available but limited social information (i.e., facial features) when completing an emotional decision-making task than those with lower EI. These findings have implications for real-life situations involving similarly difficult emotional decision-making processes.

Keywords

Facial perception Decision-making Emotional intelligence 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Aviezer, H., Trope, Y., & Todorov, A. (2012). Holistic person processing: Faces with bodies tell the whole story. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(1), 20–37. doi: 10.1037/a0027411.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bar-On, R. (2002). EQ-i BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory: A measure of emotional intelligence: User’s manual. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  3. Bar-On, R. (2004). The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): Rationale, description and summary of psychometric properties. In E. Geher (Ed.), Measuring emotional intelligence: Common ground and controversy (pp. 115–145). Hauppauge, NY: Science Publishers. Retrieved from: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2004-19636-006.
  4. Bolte, A., & Goschke, T. (2005). On the speed of intuition: Intuitive judgments of semantic coherence under different response deadlines. Memory & Cognition, 33(7), 1248–1255. doi: 10.3758/BF03193226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brackett, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2003). Convergent, discriminant, and incremental validity of competing measures of emotional intelligence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(9), 1147–1158. doi: 10.1177/0146167203254596.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes’ error: Emotion, reason and the human brain. New York: Grosset/Putnam.Google Scholar
  7. Damasio, A. R. (1996). The somatic marker hypothesis and the possible functions of the prefrontal cortex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 351(1346), 1413–1420. Retrieved from: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/351/1346/1413.short.
  8. Day, A. L., & Carroll, S. A. (2004). Using an ability-based measure of emotional intelligence to predict individual performance, group performance, and group citizenship behaviours. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(6), 1443–1458. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(03)00240-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Di Fabio, A., & Saklofske, D. H. (2014). Comparing ability and self-report trait emotional intelligence, fluid intelligence, and personality traits in career decision. Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 174–178. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.02.024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. (1976). Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fallon, C. K., Panganiban, A. R., Wohleber, R., Matthews, G., Kustubayeva, A. M., & Roberts, R. (2014). Emotional intelligence, cognitive ability and information search in tactical decision-making. Personality and Individual Differences, 65, 24–29. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fiori, M., Antonietti, J.-P., Mikolajczak, M., Luminet, O., Hansenne, M., & Rossier, J. (2014). What is the Ability Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) good for? An evaluation using item response theory. PLoS One, 9(6), e98827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098827.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Grubb, A., & Brown, S. (2012). Hostage (crisis) negotiation: The potential role of negotiator personality, decision-making style, coping style and emotional intelligence on negotiator success. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 14(1), 41–55. Retrieved from: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/23156962.
  14. Killgore, W. D., Kahn-Greene, E. T., Lipizzi, E. L., Newman, R. A., Kamimori, G. H., & Balkin, T. J. (2008). Sleep deprivation reduces perceived emotional intelligence and constructive thinking skills. Sleep Medicine, 9(5), 517–526. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2007.07.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Killgore, W. D., & Schwab, Z. J. (2012). Sex differences in the association between physical exercise and IQ. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 115(2), 605–617. doi: 10.2466/06.10.50.PMS.115.5.605-617.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Killgore, W. D., Schwab, Z. J., Tkachenko, O., Webb, C. A., DelDonno, S. R., Kipman, M., & Weber, M. (2013). Emotional intelligence correlates with functional responses to dynamic changes in facial trustworthiness. Social Neuroscience, 8(4), 334–346. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2013.807300.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Killgore, W. D., Weber, M., Schwab, Z. J., Deldonno, S. R., Kipman, M., Weiner, M. R., & Rauch, S. L. (2012). Gray matter correlates of Trait and Ability models of emotional intelligence. NeuroReport, 23(9), 551–555. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32835446f7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Koven, N. S. (2011). Specificity of meta-emotion effects on moral decision-making. Emotion, 11(5), 1255. doi: 10.1037/a0025616.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Loewenstein, G., & Lerner, J. S. (2003). The role of affect in decision making. Handbook of Affective Science, 619(642), 3. Retrieved from: http://conferences.wcfia.harvard.edu/sites/projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/lernerlab/files/loewenstein_lerner_2003.pdf.
  20. Lundqvist, D., Flykt, A., & Öhman, A. (1998). The Karolinska directed emotional faces (KDEF). CD ROM from Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychology Section, Karolinska Institutet. http://www.emotionlab.se/resources/kdef.
  21. Mayer, J. D., DiPaolo, M., & Salovey, P. (1990). Perceiving affective content in ambiguous visual stimuli: A component of emotional intelligence. Journal of Personality Assessment, 54(3–4), 772–781. doi: 10.1080/00223891.1990.9674037.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2002). Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) User’s Manual. North Tonawanda, NY: MHS.Google Scholar
  23. Mellers, B., Schwartz, A., & Ritov, I. (1999). Emotion-based choice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 128(3), 332. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.128.3.332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Oosterhof, N. N., & Todorov, A. (2008). The functional basis of face evaluation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(32), 11087–11092. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805664105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Petrides, K. V., & Furnham, A. (2003). Trait emotional intelligence: Behavioural validation in two studies of emotion recognition and reactivity to mood induction. European Journal of Personality, 17(1), 39–57. doi: 10.1002/per.466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Petrides, K. V., Pita, R., & Kokkinaki, F. (2007). The location of trait emotional intelligence in personality factor space. British Journal of Psychology, 98(2), 273–289. doi: 10.1348/000712606X120618.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Rossen, E., Kranzler, J. H., & Algina, J. (2008). Confirmatory factor analysis of the Mayer–Salovey–Caruso emotional intelligence test V 2.0 (MSCEIT). Personality and Individual Differences, 44(5), 1258–1269. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.11.020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Said, C. P., Sebe, N., & Todorov, A. (2009). Structural resemblance to emotional expressions predicts evaluation of emotionally neutral faces. Emotion, 9(2), 260–264. doi: 10.1037/a0014681.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Sevdalis, N., Petrides, K. V., & Harvey, N. (2007). Trait emotional intelligence and decision-related emotions. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(7), 1347–1358. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2006.10.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Telle, N.-T., Senior, C., & Butler, M. (2011). Trait emotional intelligence facilitates responses to a social gambling task. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(4), 523–526. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.11.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Todorov, A. (2008). Evaluating faces on trustworthiness. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1124(1), 208–224. doi: 10.1196/annals.1440.012.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Webb, C. A., DelDonno, S., & Killgore, W. D. (2014). The role of cognitive versus emotional intelligence in Iowa Gambling Task performance: What’s emotion got to do with it? Intelligence, 44, 112–119. doi: 10.1016/j.intell.2014.03.008.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Webb, C. A., Schwab, Z. J., Weber, M., DelDonno, S., Kipman, M., Weiner, M. R., & Killgore, W. D. S. (2013). Convergent and divergent validity of integrative versus mixed model measures of emotional intelligence. Intelligence, 41(3), 149–156. doi: 10.1016/j.intell.2013.01.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence. Bloomington, MN: Psychological Corporation. Google Scholar
  35. Willis, J., & Todorov, A. (2006). First impressions making up your mind after a 100-ms exposure to a face. Psychological Science, 17(7), 592–598. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01750.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Wojciechowski, J., Stolarski, M., & Matthews, G. (2014). Emotional intelligence and mismatching expressive and verbal messages: A contribution to detection of deception. PLoS One, 9(3), e92570. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092570.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Yip, J. A., & Côté, S. (2012). The emotionally intelligent decision maker: Emotion-understanding ability reduces the effect of incidental anxiety on risk taking. Psychological Science,. doi: 10.1177/0956797612450031.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Alkozei
    • 1
  • Zachary J. Schwab
    • 2
  • William D. S. Killgore
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.University of Kansas School of MedicineKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.McLean HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBelmontUSA

Personalised recommendations