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Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Acdemic Achievement: Annotated Bibliography

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1365 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Article 1: Emotional intelligence and academic performance in first and final year medical students: a cross-sectional study

Many recent and emergent studies are revealing that IQ alone is not a reliable predictor of a person’s academic success. Thus, the medical education continuum is working hard to see that other traits and skills are being assessed in relation to academic success. Several suggestions of EQ (defined as the ability to control, and express one’s emotions appropriately) being a factor for academic success have been put forward.


In past research regarding medical education, EI has been linked to higher academic achievement. However, with different ways of defining as well as measuring EI, there were inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between EI and academic performance. For example, many studies used self reports of constructs like mood, optimism, etc. . Therefore, this study aims to fix the gap by measuring the EI of medical students with the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Thus the aim was to examine the effect of EI using MSCEIT on continuous assessments and final exam results of first and final year medical students in Malaysia.


It was found that medical students who had higher levels of emotional intelligence performed better in both the continuous assessments and the final exam. Therefore, it is possible that emotional skill development may enhance medical students’ academic performance.

Selection bias may have affected the result, as in any voluntary study; non-participating students could have been less motivated and/or discouraged with their poor academic achievement. Secondly, the EI measure was in English and many of the participants were not native English speakers. The effect of English proficiency on the MSCEIT and academic performance in this study cannot be determined.


Article 2: The interaction between emotional intelligence and cognitive ability in predicting scholastic performance in school-aged children

Students with lower EQ have been linked to more stress and higher levels of unproductivity. And students with higher EI levels are found to be more flexible, and able to cope better with  stressful academic situation. This has pushed many researchers to further investigate the relationship between academic performance and EI.

 A modest correlation between trait EI and academic performance in high school and university students has been reported. Similarly, a significant relationship between trait EI and math scores in children aged 3 years as also been reported. However, there is little evidence from child samples, because the research has been mainly based on samples of college students and adolescents. The lack of appropriate measures is also to blame. Moreover, the results on children are not always consistent. This study aimed to fill these two gaps by analysing cognitive ability with Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices (method used to assess the chief cognitive processes of children under 11 years of age) in a sample of school-aged children. EI was measured through the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire–Child Form (TEI-Que-CF).


The aim of the present study was to analyse the predictive validity of cognitive ability and emotional intelligence (EI) on the scholastic achievement in a sample of Italian school-aged children(8–11 years) by comparing TEI-Que-CF results to mathematics and language performance.


There was an interaction between EI and cognitive ability. In particular, EI was associated with better language performance in children characterised by low or medium cognitive ability. The data also showed that trait EI improved math performance regardless of the children’s cognitive ability. Supporting the idea that high EI allows a person to cope more easily with stressful situations. In this case, the anxiety that is sometimes associated with mathematical tasks.

A main limitation to this research was that EI measurement method was relatively new Therefore, the study needs to be replicated in different countries and ages before the relationship is established. Furthermore, the research was only done on Italian schoolchildren.


Article 3: Academic achievement in high school: does emotional intelligence matter?


Early efforts focused on cognitive factors to predict scholastic success. However these variables account for relatively small amounts of the variability in academic success. Thus, the need to study a broader range of potential predictors is necessary.

In a longitudinal study examining the transition from high school to university, it was found that various EI dimensions were predictors of academic success. A model of EI was used that consisted of four related abilities: ‘‘intrapersonal’’ abilities (recognizing and labelling ones feelings), ‘‘interpersonal’ ‘abilities (identifying emotions in others or empathy), ‘‘adaptability’’ (being able to adjust ones emotions and behaviours to changing situations), and ‘‘stress management’’ (consisting of abilities like delaying or resisting an impulse). The successful group scored higher than the less-successful group on several dimensions of EI. Students with higher levels of these abilities appear to be better able to cope with the emotional demands the transition to a post-secondary environment, and thus better in academics.

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However, previous studies focused mainly on university students. The present study sought to extend the longitudinal study by examining this relationship in younger respondents. Thus the aim of the study was to examine the relationship between EI and academic achievement in younger respondents by comparing BarOnEmotional Quotient Inventory (Youth Version) (a method used to measure emotional intelligence, or trait EI) results to overall GPA.

The results found that EI was found to be a significant predictor of academic success. Students in the top academic group had higher levels of interpersonal, adaptability, and stress management abilities.

There were several limitations in this research. Firstly, research was over a short time period, and so it cannot be said that the trend is the same in the long run. Secondly, the study only takes 2 subjects into account. Thirdly, only GPA was used as a measure. The research was also limited to students in Canada. All these issues limit the scope of the study.



  1. Chew, B., Zain, A., & Hassan, F. (2013). Emotional intelligence and academic performance in first and final year medical students: a cross-sectional study. BMC Medical Education13(1). doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-13-44
  2. Agnoli, S., Mancini, G., Pozzoli, T., Baldaro, B., Russo, P., & Surcinelli, P. (2012). The interaction between emotional intelligence and cognitive ability in predicting scholastic performance in school-aged children. Personality And Individual Differences53(5), 660-665. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.05.020
  3. Parker, J., Creque, R., Barnhart, D., Harris, J., Majeski, S., & Wood, L. et al. (2004). Academic achievement in high school: does emotional intelligence matter?. Personality And Individual Differences37(7), 1321-1330. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2004.01.002





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