Part 4: Interactions with Other Phenomena and Utilisation

Interactions with Other Phenomena


Bullying is abusive social interaction between peers which can include aggression, harassment and violence.

Bullying is typically repetitive and enacted by those who are in a position of power over the victim.

A growing body of research illustrates a significant relationship between bullying and emotional intelligence (Lamb et al., 2009; Kokkinos, Kipristi, 2011; Lomas et al., 2012).

They also have shown that emotional intelligence is a key factor in the analysis of cases of cyber-victimisation (Rey, 2018).

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a set of abilities related to the understanding, use and management of emotion as it relates to one’s self and others.

Mayer et al., (2008) defines the dimensions of overall EI as: “accurately perceiving emotion, using emotions to facilitate thought, understanding emotion and managing emotion” (Cited in: Mayer, Roberts and Barasade, 2008, p.513)

The concept combines emotional and intellectual processes (Tolegenova et al., 2012).

Lower emotional intelligence appears to be related to involvement in bullying, as the bully and/or the victim of bullying.

EI seems to play an important role in both bullying behaviour and victimisation in bullying; given that EI is illustrated to be malleable, EI education could greatly improve bullying prevention and intervention initiatives (Mckenna and Webb, 2013).

Job performance:

Research of EI and job performance shows mixed results: a positive relation has been found in some of the studies, while in others there was no relation or an inconsistent one (Joseph et al., 2015).

This led researchers Cote and Miners (2006) to offer a compensatory model between EI and IQ, that posits that the association between EI and job performance becomes more positive as cognitive intelligence decreases, an idea first proposed in the context of academic performance (Petrides, Frederickson and Furnham, 2004).

The results of the former study supported the compensatory model: employees with low IQ get higher task performance and organisational citizenship behaviour directed at the organisation, the higher their EI.

It has also been observed that there is no significant link between emotional intelligence and work attitude behaviour (Relojo, Pilao and Dela Rosa, 2015).

A more recent study suggests that EI is not necessarily a universally positive trait (Farh and Seo, 2012).

They found a negative correlation between EI and managerial work demands; while under low levels of managerial work demands, they found a negative relationship between EI and teamwork effectiveness.

An explanation for this may suggest gender differences in EI, as women tend to score higher levels than men (Joseph and Newman, 2010).

This furthers the idea that job context plays a role in the relationships between EI, teamwork effectiveness and job performance.

Another find was discussed in a study that assessed a possible link between EI and entrepreneurial behaviours and success (Ahmetoglu et al., 2011).

Although studies between emotional intelligence (EI) and job performance have shown mixed results of high and low correlations, EI is undeniably better predictor than most of the hiring methods commonly used in companies, such as letters of references, cover letters, among others. By 2008, 147 companies and consulting firms in U.S. had developed programmes that involved EI for training and hiring employees (Joseph et al., 2015).

(Van Rooy and Viswesvaran, 2004) showed that EI correlated significantly with different domains in performance, ranging from .24 for job performance to .10 for academic performance.

These findings may contribute organisations in different ways.

For instance, employees high on EI would be more aware of their own emotions and from others, which in turn, could lead companies to better profits and less unnecessary expenses.

This is especially important for expatriate managers, who have to deal with mixed emotions and feelings, while adapting to a new working culture (Van Rooy and Viswesvaran, 2004).

Moreover, employees high in EI show more confidence in their roles, which allow them to face demanding tasks positively (Sy, Tram and O’Hara, 2006).

According to a popular science book by the journalist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence accounts for more career success than IQ (Goleman, 1994).

Similarly, other studies argued that employees high on EI perform substantially better than employees low in EI.

This was measured by self-reports and different work performance indicators, such as wages, promotions and salary increase (Law, Wong and Song, 2004).

According to (Lopes et al., 2006), EI contributes to develop strong and positive relationships with co-workers and perform efficiently in work teams.

This benefits performance of workers by providing emotional support and instrumental resources needed to succeed in their roles (Seibert, Kraimer and Liden, 2001).

Also, emotional intelligent employees have better resources to cope with stressing situations and demanding tasks, which enable them to outperform in those situations (Lopes et al., 2006). For instance, (Law, Wong and Song, 2004) found that EI was the best predictor of job performance beyond general cognitive ability among IT scientist in computer company in China. Similarly, (Sy, Tram and O’Hara, 2006) found that EI was associated positively with job performance in employees from a food service company (Vratskikh et al., 2016).

In the job performance – emotional intelligence correlation is important to consider the effects of managing up, which refers to the good and positive relationship between the employee and his/her supervisor (Rousmaniere, 2015)

Previous research found that quality of this relationship could interfere in the results of the subjective rating of job performance evaluation (Janssen and Yperen, 2004).

Emotional intelligent employees devote more of their working time on managing their relationship with supervisors.

Hence, the likelihood of obtaining better results on performance evaluation is greater for employees high in EI than for employees with low EI (Sy, Tram and O’Hara, 2006).

Based on theoretical and methodological approaches, EI measures are categorised in three main streams:

  • Stream 1: ability-based measures (e.g. MSCEIT)
  • Stream 2: self-reports of abilities measures (e.g. SREIT, SUEIT and WLEIS)
  • Stream 3: mixed-models (e.g. AES, ECI, EI questionnaire, EIS, EQ-I and GENOS), which include measures of EI and traditional social skills (Ashkanasy, Daus, 2005).

(O’Boyle Jr. et al., 2011) found that the three EI streams together had a positive correlation of 0.28 with job performance.

Similarly, each of EI streams independently obtained a positive correlation of 0.24, 0.30 and 0.28, respectively.

Stream 2 and 3 showed an incremental validity for predicting job performance over and above personality (Five Factor model) and general cognitive ability.

Both, stream 2 and 3 were the second most important predictor of job performance below general cognitive ability. Stream 2 explained 13.6% of the total variance; whereas stream 3, explained 13.2%. In order to examine the reliability of these findings, a publication bias analysis was developed.

Results indicated that studies on EI-job performance correlation prior to 2010 do not present substantial evidences to suggest the presence of publication bias.

Despite the validity of previous findings, some researchers still question whether EI – job performance correlation makes a real impact on business strategies.

They argue that popularity of emotional intelligence’s studies is due to media advertising, rather than objective scientific findings (Côté and Miners, 2006).

Also, it is mentioned that relationship between job performance and EI is not as strong as suggested.

This relationship requires the presence of other constructs to rise important outcomes. For instance, previous studies found that EI is positively associated with teamwork effectiveness under job contexts of high managerial work demands, which improves job performance.

This is due to activation of strong emotions during performance on this job context.

In this scenario, emotional intelligent individuals show a better set of resources to succeed on their roles.

However, individuals with high EI show a similar level of performance than non-emotionally intelligent employees under different job contexts (Farh, Seo and Tesluk, 2012).

Moreover, (Joseph and Newman, 2010) suggested that emotional perception and emotional regulation components of EI highly contribute to job performance under job contexts of high emotional demands.

(Moon and Hur, 2011) found that emotional exhaustion (“burn-out”) significantly influences the job performance – EI relationship.

Emotional exhaustion showed a negative association with two components of EI (optimism and social skills).

This association impacted negatively to job performance, as well.

Hence, the job performance – EI relationship is stronger under contexts of high emotional exhaustion or burn-out; in other words, employees with high levels of optimism and social skills possess better resources to outperform when facing high emotional exhaustion contexts.


A 2007 meta-analysis of 44 effect sizes by Schutte found that emotional intelligence was associated with better mental and physical health.

Particularly, trait EI had the stronger association with mental and physical health (Schutte et al., 2007).

This was replicated again in 2010 by researcher Alexandra Martin who found trait EI as a strong predictor for health after conducting a meta-analysis based on 105 effect sizes and 19,815 participants.

This meta-analysis also indicated that this line of research reached enough sufficiency and stability in concluding EI as a positive predictor for health (Martins, 2010).

Self-esteem and drug dependence:

A 2012 study cross examined emotional intelligence, self-esteem and marijuana dependence (Nehra et al., 2012).

Out of a sample of 200, 100 of whom were dependent on cannabis and the other 100 emotionally healthy, the dependent group scored exceptionally low on EI when compared to the control group.

They also found that the dependent group also scored low on self-esteem when compared to the control.

Another study in 2010 examined whether or not low levels of EI had a relationship with the degree of drug and alcohol addiction (Brown et al., 2012).

In the assessment of 103 residents in a drug rehabilitation center, they examined their EI along with other psychosocial factors in a one month interval of treatment.

They found that participant’s EI scores improved as their levels of addiction lessened as part of their treatment.


It has been noted that having EI as a skill can increase one’s own well-being.

In other words, individuals who are conscious of the emotions of themselves and others have the privilege of enhancing relationships.

It also allows people to see the multiple perspectives of a given situation, and acknowledge other’s feelings about the event.

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