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The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI) - The Bar-On model of ESI predicts various aspects of human performance

Индекс материала
The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI)
The theoretical foundation of the Bar-On model
Description of the instrument used to develop the Bar-On model (the EQ-i)
The rigorous development of the EQ-i helped create a robust model of ESI
The construct validity of the EQ-i confirms that the Bar-On model is describing ESI
The Bar-On model of ESI predicts various aspects of human performance
The Bar-On model is teachable and learnable
Discussion
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The Bar-On model of ESI predicts various aspects of human performance

In addition to demonstrating that the Bar-On model is able to describe what it is meant to describe (ESI), it must also be shown that it is capable of predicting various aspects of human behavior, performance and effectiveness in order to argue that it represents a robust and viable concept. The best way of doing this is to examine its predictive validity (i.e., the predictive validity of the psychometric instrument that measures the Bar-On conceptual model).

In various publications, I have described 20 predictive validity studies to date that have been conducted on a total of 22,971 individuals who completed the EQ-i in seven countries around the

world. These publications shed a great deal of light on the predictive validity of the EQ-i by examining its ability to predict performance in social interactions, at school and in the workplace as well as its impact on physical health, psychological health, self-actualization and subjective well-being (Bar-On, 1997b, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005; Bar-On et al., 2005; Krivoy et al., 2000). Based on these findings, the average predictive validity coefficient is .59, which suggests that the Bar-On model is indeed able to predict various aspects of human performance. Summarized below are the major findings related to the predictive ability of this conceptual and psychometric model.

The relationship between the Bar-On model and physical health.Three studies (Bar-On, 2004; Krivoy et al., 2000) suggest that there is a moderate yet significant relationship between ESI and physical health.

In the first study (Krivoy at al., 2000), the EQ-i results of 35 adolescent cancer survivors were compared with those of a control group comprising 35 randomly selected adolescents from the local normative population sample. In addition to revealing significant differences between the two groups with respect to overall ESI, the most powerful EQ-i subscale that was able to distinguish between the experimental and control groups was Optimism, which is an important facilitator of emotionally and socially intelligent behavior as was previously mentioned.

In another study conducted by me (2004), 3,571 adults completed the EQ-i and responded to the following question: «I feel good about my health in general.» This question was meant to provide a self-perceived assessment of physical health so that I could examine the degree to which it may be influenced by emotional-social intelligence.15 The results of a multiple regression analysis rendered an overall correlation of .49.

In a recent study (Bar-On & Fund, 2004), a population sample of 2,514 male recruits in the Israeli Defense Forces completed the EQ-i in the beginning of their tour of duty. From this sample, 91 recruits were identified as having medical profiles indicating mild or minor health problems that allowed them to continue to serve in the military with very few limitations. An additional 42 recruits were found, who were shown to have more severe medical problems, yet not severe enough to justify a medical discharge. I then randomly selected an additional group of 42 recruits from the sample (n= 2,514) who did not receive a medical profile and were thus considered to be physically healthy. This procedure created three groups representing three different levels of physical health. A multiple regression analysis was applied to the data, using the three different levels of physical health as the dependent variable and the recruits' scores on the 15 EQ-i subscales as the independent variables. The analysis rendered an overall correlation of .37 suggesting a low-moderate yet significant relationship between ESI and physical health for the sample studied.

Based on the most powerful EQ-i scales that surfaced in these studies, it appears that (a) the ability to be aware of oneself, (b) the ability to manage emotions and handle stress, (c) the ability to solve problems of a personal and interpersonal nature, and (d) the ability to maintain an optimistic disposition are significantly related to physical health.

The relationship between the Bar-On model and psychological health.In one of the first studies that examined the relationship between ESI and psychological health, the EQ-i scores of 418 psychiatric patients were compared with matched control groupsin Argentina, Israel, South Africa and the United States (Bar-On, 1997b). In addition to significant differences in overall ESI, the EQ-i scores revealed significant differences on most of the scales between the clinical samples and control groups.

In a more recent study, which included a sample of 2,514 males who completed the EQ-i at the time of their induction into the Israeli Defense Forces, I identified 152 recruits who were eventually discharged for psychiatric reasons (2003). I then randomly selected an additional group of 152 among 241 who were diagnosed with less severe psychiatric disturbances that allowed them to continue their tour of duty with relatively few limitations. The EQ-i scores of these two groups were compared with a randomly selected group of 152 recruits within the same population sample (n= 2,514) who did not receive a psychiatric profile during the entire period of their military service. This created three groups representing three different levels of psychological health: (a) individuals who were so severely disturbed that they were incapable of serving a full tour of duty, (b) individuals who received less severe psychiatric profiles which allowed them to continue active military service until completion, and (c) individuals who completed their military service without having received a psychiatric profile. A multiple regression analysis was applied to examine the degree of impact of ESI on psychological health; the results revealed a moderate yet significant relationship between the two (.39).

The findings from these studies suggest that the most powerful ESI competencies, skills and facilitators that impact psychological health are (a) the ability to manage emotions and cope with stress, (b) the drive to accomplish personal goals in order to actualize one's inner potential and lead a more meaningful life, and (c) the ability to verify feelings and thinking. This particular constellation of findings makes sense, because deficiencies in these specific competencies may lead to anxiety (an inability to adequately manage emotions), depression (an inability to accomplish personal goals and lead a more meaningful life) and problems related to reality testing (an inability to adequately verify feelings and thinking) respectively. It is also compelling that such deficiencies, in one form or another, are pathognomic for most psychiatric disturbances (American Psychiatric Association, 1994); and if not directly pathogenic, they are most likely significant contributors to these disturbances. Moreover, tranquilizers, anti-depressants and neuroleptics (anti-psychotics) represent three of the four major classifications of psychotropic drugs that have been traditionally administered for treating these specific disturbances (Kaplan & Sadock, 1991).

The findings presented here compare quite favorably with other ESI measures.16

The relationship between the Bar-On model and social interaction.In addition to a number of older studies that have indicated a significant relationship between ESI and social interaction (Bar-On, 1988, 1997b, 2000], a recent examination of an older dataset sheds new light on the nature of this relationship. When the EQ-i was normed in North America (Bar-On, 1997b), 533 participants in the normative sample completed the 16PF in addition to the EQ-i. Factor H on the 16PF assesses the extent to which one seeks out friendly, genial and positive relationships with others (Cattell et al., 1970). This factor was selected as the dependent variable, and the 15 EQ-i subscales were selected as the independent variables; and the results of applying a multiple regression analysis of the data suggested that ESI, as conceptualized by the Bar-On

model, relates very significantly with social interaction (.69). This strongly indicates that ESI has a substantial impact on and can predict the nature of interpersonal interaction. These findings compare quite favorable with those generated by other measures of ESI."

The relationship between the Bar-On model and performance at school.In contrast to a study conducted by Newsome et al., in 2000 that did not reveal a statistically significant relationship between EQ-i scores and performance at school, four major studies conducted on much larger samples in South Africa, Canada and the United States (Bar-On, 1997b, 2003; Parker et al., 2004; Swart, 1996) clearly indicate that such a relationship exists. Moreover, these results confirm that the Bar-On model is capable of identifying and predicting who will perform well at school and who will not.

In a path analysis conducted by James Parker and his colleagues on 667 Canadian high school students (2004), the overall degree of correlation between ESI and scholastic performance was found to be .41 indicating a moderate yet statistically significant relationship between them. This means that at least 17% of scholastic performance is a function of emotional-social intelligence in addition to cognitive intelligence. These findings suggest that the Bar-On model is capable of identifying those students who will perform well and those who will experience problems.

Findings from a study conducted on 448 university students in South Africa indicated that there is a significant difference in ESI between successful and unsuccessful students (Swart, 1996). These results were confirmed by an additional study conducted on 1,125 university students in the United States, which was described by me in 1997. In both studies, the more successful students were found to be the more emotionally and socially intelligent. More specifically, the ability to manage one's emotions, to be able to validate one's feelings and to solve problems of a personal and interpersonal nature are important for being academically successful; additionally, academic performance appears to be facilitated by being able to set personal goals as well as to be sufficiently optimistic and self-motivated to accomplish them.

More recently, Claude Marchessault examined the impact of EQ-i scores on the grade point average (GPA) of 106 first-year university students in an American university (C. Marchessault, personal communication from the 7th of January 2005). The students completed the EQ-i in the beginning of the academic year, and their GPA was calculated during the middle of the year. Multiple regression analysis revealed a correlation of .45, which once again confirms a significant relationship between ESI and performance in school. The students' EQ-i scores will be compared with their GPA at the end of the academic year as well, and the findings will later be published.

The importance of developing and applying ESI performance models in the school setting is that they will be helpful in identifying students who are in need of guided intervention. Comparing the students' EQ-i results with such performance models will provide a scientific way of pinpointing their ESI strengths and weaknesses. Based on the results to date, the enhancement of the weaker ESI competencies and skills is expected to increase performance at school.

The findings presented here compare quite favorably with those generated by other ESI measures.18

The relationship between the Bar-On model and performance in the workplace. In six studies that I and my colleagues haveconducted, summarized and cited over the past few years (Bar-On, 1997b, 2004; Bar-On et al., 2005; Handley, 1997; Ruderman & Bar-On, 2003), the EQ-i has demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between ESI and occupational performance.

In the first known study that directly examined the relationship between ESI and occupational performance, the EQ-i scores of 1,171 US Air Force recruiters were compared with their ability to meet annual recruitment quotas (Handley, 1997; Bar-On et al., 2005). Based on USAF criteria, they were divided into those who were able to meet at least 100% of their annual quota («high performers») and those who met less than 80% («low performers»), representing a very robust method of assessing occupational performance. A discriminant function analysis indicated that EQ-i scores were able to fairly accurately identify high and low performers, demonstrating that the relationship between ESI and occupational performance is high (.53) based on the sample studied. Prior to 1996, it was costing the USAF approximately $ 3 million for an average 100 mismatches a year. After one year of combining pre-employment ESI screening with interviewing and comparing EQ-i scores with the model for successful recruiters, they increased their ability to predict successful recruiters by nearly threefold, dramatically reduced first-year attrition due to mismatches and cut their financial loses by approximately 92%. Based on these results, the US General Accounting Office submitted a Congressional Report to the Senate Committee on Armed Services praising the USAF's use of ESI screening (United States General Accounting Office, 1998).

In two other studies, performance in highly stressful and potentially dangerous occupations was studied by comparing EQ-i scores with externally rated performance for a sample of 335 regular combat soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and for an additional sample of 240 soldiers in an elite IDF unit (Bar-On et al., 2005). Both studies clearly revealed a significant relationship between ESI and this specific type of occupational performance; the predictive validity coefficient in the former study was .55 and .51 in the latter.

In three additional studies described by me (Bar-On, 2004; Bar-On et al., 2005), leadership was studied by examining the relationship between EQ-i scores and peer-nomination in one study (i.e., those considered to possess leadership capacity among new recruits in the IDF), criterion group membership in another study (i.e., IDF recruits who were accepted to officer training versus those who were not) and multi-rater evaluations in the third study which was conducted at the Center for Creative Leadership in the US (i.e., ratings on 21 different leadership criteria made by an average of seven to eight coworkers). The results indicated, respectively, that there is a moderate to high relationship between ESI and leadership based on the predictive validity coefficients of .39 (n= 536), .49 (n= 940) and .82 (n= 236) that were revealed. The third study shows that successful leadership is based to large extent on emotional-social intelligence - approximately two-thirds (67%) to be exact.

The average predictive validity coefficient for the six studies described above is .54, meaning that nearly 30% of the variance of occupational performance is based on ESI as described by the Bar-On model. When compared with Wagner's extensive meta-analysis that revealed that cognitive intelligence accounts for approximately 6% of occupational performance (1997), the findings presented here suggest that EQ accounts for about five

times more variance than IQ when explaining this type of performance. The findings indicate that high performers in the workplace have significantly higher ESI than low performers. It is interesting to note that in one of the studies described above (Bar-On et al., 2005), the results suggest that the EQ-i was able to predict performance quite well (.55) even over a period of 18 months.

The findings described here suggest that the most powerful ESI contributors to occupational performance are: (a) the ability to be aware of and accept oneself; (b) the ability to be aware of others' feelings, concerns and needs; (c) the ability to manage emotions; (d) the ability to be realistic and put things in correct perspective; and (e) the ability to have a positive disposition.

Based on the findings presented here, the EQ-i compares quite favorable with other ESI measures in predicting occupational performance.19

The relationship between the Bar-On model and self-actualization. Self-actualization is the process of striving to actualize one's potential capacity, abilities and talents. It requires the ability and drive to set and achieve goals, and it is characterized by being involved in and feeling committed to various interests and pursuits. Self-actualization is thought to be a life-long effort leading to an enriched and meaningful life. It is not merely performance but an attempt to do one's best.

In a reexamination of an older dataset used in my doctoral research (1988), I recently ran a multiple regression analysis to study the impact of ESI competencies, skills and facilitators on self-actualization. A subset of 67 South African university students were identified within the dataset who concomitantly completed an earlier version of the EQ-i and the Personal Orientation Inventory (Shostrom, 1974) which is a popularly used measure of self-actualization. The I Scale, which captures 85% of the POI's items, was designated the dependent variable while the EQ-i subscale scores were identified as the independent variables. The results indicated that ESI significantly impacts self-actualization (.64).

Three additional studies have also examined this relationship (Bar-On, 2001). Large samples were studied in the Netherlands (n= 1,639), Israel (n= 2,702) and North America (n =3,831). The results from these studies confirm the South African study indicating that ESI strongly impacts self-actualization with multiple regression correlations reaching .78, .75 and .80 for the Dutch, Israeli and American samples respectively. It is equally interesting to note that the relationship between cognitive intelligence20 and self-actualization for the Israeli sample (.02) and the Dutch sample (.08) was not statistically significant (Bar-On, 2001). This means that it is emotional-social intelligence much more than cognitive intelligence that influences one's ability to do one's best, to accomplish goals and to actualize one's potential to its fullest. Evidently a high IQ does not guarantee that one will actualize one's potential, but a high EQ is definitely more important in this respect.

A very similar model surfaced in each of the above-mentioned studies regarding the ability of ESI to predict self-actualization. In addition to being sufficiently motivated to set and accomplish personal goals, self-actualization depends, first and foremost, on a deep sense of self-awareness and understanding of who one is, what one wants to do, can do and enjoys doing. Self-actualization also depends upon good problem solving for making sound independent decisions regarding what one wants to do, and thenbeing assertive enough to follow through with these personal decisions. Additionally, one must be optimistic and positive to more fully actualize one's potential and lead a more meaningful life based on the findings of these studies.

The relationship between the Bar-On model and subjective well-being.In a recent study (Bar-On, 2005), it has been demonstrated that ESI, as conceptualized by the Bar-On model, also impacts subjective well-being. Well-being was defined in this study as a subjective state that emerges from a feeling of satisfaction (a) with one's physical health and oneself as a person, (b) with one's close interpersonal relationships, and (c) with one's occupation and financial situation. A measure of subjective well-being was constructed from nine questions that directly tap these three areas. On a large North American sample (n= 3,571), the relationship between ESI and well-being was examined with multiple regression analysis. The results indicate that the two constructs are highly correlated (.76). Based on the four highest ESI predictors of well-being, it appears that the following competencies, skills and facilitators contribute the most to this subjective state: (a) the ability to understand and accept one's emotions and oneself, (b) the ability to strive to set and achieve personal goals to enhance one's potential, and (c) the ability to verify one's feelings and put things in their correct perspective.

These findings are substantially higher than those generated by other ESI measures.21

The findings presented here suggest that the Bar-On model is a better predictor of human performance than the other existing models, especially when compared with the «ability model» as some have assumed was the case (Matthews et al., 2002). It also appears to predict a wider range of performance than the other ESI models based on the current literature (e.g., Geher, 2004).