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The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI) - The Bar-On model is teachable and learnable

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 is teachable and learnable

After demonstrating that the Bar-On model of ESI significantly impacts various aspects of human performance, it is logical to ask if emotionally and socially intelligent behavior can be enhanced in order to improve performance as well as self-actualization and subjective well-being. To address this question empirically, the findings from four studies are briefly summarized below to show that emotionally and socially intelligent behavior can be enhanced in school, the workplace and in the clinical setting.

Over the past few years, children in a growing number of schools throughout the United States have been introduced to the «Self-Science» curriculum that was developed by Karen Stone-McCown and her colleagues 40 years ago (1998). In light of the fact that this project is ongoing and the results are still being analyzed, I would like to focus on one of the most successful examples that have surfaced to date which reveals the potential of this endeavor. The specific example is a 7th grade class of 26 children whose average age was 12 years at the time of the study (Freedman, 2003). They were tested with the youth version of the EQ-i (the EQ-i:YV) in the beginning of the school year 2002-2003 and again at the end of the school year. A comparison of the pre-and post-intervention assessments suggests that the children's emotional-social intelligence increased significantly after receiving one year of this ESI-enriching curriculum. At the end of the year, the children were better able to understand and express themselves, understand and relate with others, manage and control their emotions, and adapt to their immediate environment at school. These significant changes suggest that this and similar educational programs can make a difference and that the Bar-On model can accurately monitor and measure these changes. What needs to be done in such studies in the future is to examine pre-and post-intervention behavioral parameters to see if positive changes have occurred such as better school attendance, higher scholastic performance, less violence, fewer incidents of drug abuse and teen pregnancy, and so forth.

One of the most interesting studies which demonstrates that emotionally and socially intelligent behavior can be enhanced in adults was conducted by Sjolund and Gustafsson in Sweden (2001). They compared the EQ-i scores of 29 individuals before and after they participated in a workshop designed to increase managerial skills. At the time the workshop was conducted in 2000, most of the participants were in their early 40s and had approximately 15 years of managerial experience. Among other skills, they were taught techniques designed to strengthen ESI competencies thought to be important for their work as managers; and these specific competencies and skills were those described in the Bar-On model. Not only did their total EQ score increase from a mean of 97 to 106 (p-level<.000), but 9 out of the 15 EQ-i subscales increased significantly as well. The two ESI competencies which increased the most as a result their participation in the workshop were emotional self-awareness and empathy, which many consider to be the two most important components of emotional-social intelligence. Another interesting outcome was that those participants who began the workshop with the lowest EQ-i scores were the ones who made the most progress. Kate Cannon, who developed this program, confirmed similar findings based on her experience in conducting these workshops in the United States (Bar-On, 2003). This is particularly important and encouraging, because the people with the lowest EQ scores are the ones who need to improve their ESI competencies the most.

At a conference on emotional intelligence held in Nova Scotia in 2003, Geetu Orme presented findings from the individual coaching she has been providing to corporate executives in the UK since 1999. She assessed 47 executives with the EQ-i before she began coaching them and then a number of months following the completion of the weekly sessions that were provided. Her coaching was based on strengthening the weaker ESI factors that were identified by their EQ-i scores. The five EQ-i subscale scores that revealed the most significant changes were the following: Self-Regard (87 to 95), Self-Actualization (92 to 102), Stress Tolerance (97 to 102), Reality-Testing (97 to 109) and Happiness (93 to 100).

In addition to the classroom and workplace, there is also evidence that ESI competencies and skills can be enhanced in the clinical setting. Using an earlier version of the EQ-i, a graduate student at the University of Pretoria tested a group of 58 patients who were hospitalized for myocardial infarct (Dunkley, 1996). Subsequent to being tested, 22 of these patients were randomly selected to participate in a stress management program. The program included instructions on how to better identify sources of stress in their lives and to apply more effective ways to cope with these situations. The EQ-i was administered a second time five weeks after completing this program. In addition to significant changes in the total EQ score (92 versus 102, ?-value= -5.47, p-level= .000), nine of the subscale scores revealed statistically significant changes. Taking into consideration the primary purpose of this stress management program, it is not surprising that the ESI competency that changed the most as a result of this training wasStress Tolerance (the ability to manage emotions); this is even more important when one considers that stress is considered to be one of the major psychosocial factors that impact cardiovascular disturbances such as myocardial infarct. Most of the EQ-i scores for the patients who participated in the stress management program were significantly higher than the scores obtained by those who did not participate in the program.

The results from these studies suggest that the ESI factors described by the Bar-On model are both teachable and learnable, and that these factors can be enhanced by relatively simple didactic methods over a relatively short period of time.