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Emotional intelligence, information search and decision-making under stressdoi="10.1016/j.paid.2013.07.406" aid="5863.106"

Personality and Individual Differences
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.07.406


Emotional intelligence (EI) is said to confer resilience under stress. The present study tested this hypothesis using a negative feedback manipulation to induce stress during a decision-making task. A multimedia situational judgment task (SJT) was used to measure EI as an ability. Participants (N=172) used a map display to sample information and chose between routes for finding a lost party of explorers, followed by feedback on their choice. The quality of the decision and the level of information search activity were assessed. Negative feedback elevated distress and impaired decision-making, relative to neutral feedback. However, negative feedback effects were not moderated by EI. EI was positively correlated with information search activity in both feedback conditions. Thus, the study found no evidence that high EI supports effective coping with stress during decision-making. EI may be generally associated with effort directed towards information search. Benefits of EI may, in part, have a motivational basis, e.g., in scanning for social cues.

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