Gender Differences Emotional Intelligence Psychology Essay

23 Mar 2015

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Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer:Two-Factor Theory of Emotion.According to Aronson, Wilson and Akert (2010) this theory explained that emotional experience is the result of a two-step self-perception process where people met their first experience on physiological arousal and then searching for an appropriate explanation for it. Other people may understand their emotion through observing the bodily state.

Take an example, Jane felt aroused but she is not sure what the real reason is. She labeled that she is aroused by observing her own bodily state such as sweating, shaky hands and heartbeat increases. Then, she continues to look for the environmental cues to explain her own arousal and after that she found out that it is tomorrow's examination that makes her feeling nervous. Thus, the two-factor theory can make people understand their own emotion even well with appropriate reason.

Salovey and Mayer: Ability Model. This theory defined emotional intelligence as the individual's ability to perceive, use, understand and manage their emotions. This model is focusing on emotional abilities that can be built through our daily activities such as learning and experiencing (Fernandez-Berroca et al., 2005). According to Fiori and Antonakis (2010), Salovey and Mayer worked together with Caruso to create a test named Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) to measure the emotional intelligence ability. They are focusing on 4 different branches which are emotion perception, emotion integration, emotion understanding, and emotion management. Figure 2.1 shows an illustration of the simplified Salovey and Mayer Ability Model of Emotional intelligence which is adapted from Lim (2011).

Figure 2.1: Mayer and Salovey's Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence

Bandura: Social-Learning Theory, explained the idea that we learning social behavior such as aggression by observing others and imitating them (Aronson, Wilson & Akert, 2010). Bandura criticized that aggression is not an inborn drive (Baumeister & Bushman, 2011). According to Baumeister and Bushman (2011), when people observe the others and learning their behavior, this is so called modeling. Modeling can be good or bad. It may also strengthen the aggressive behavior if the model is rewarded after behaving the aggressive behavior. It weakens the aggressive behavior if the model is punished after the aggressive behavior. For example, children seeing their parents quarreling in the home, they will learn from it and finally may affect their personality in solving the problem through a quarrel of fighting.

Frustration-Aggression Theory. This theory was proposed by Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mower, Mowrer and Sears (1939). This theory explains the idea that frustration, the perception that you are being prevented from attaining a goal may increase the probability of an aggressive response (Aronson, Wilson & Akert, 2010). They defined frustration as blocking or interfering with a goal (Baumeister & Bushman, 2011). Therefore, when the individual's goal is being blocked from achieving, this may increase the individual's aggressive response.

For an instance, Molly planned to complete her assignment and make a revision for the exam on next day before sleeping. Suddenly, her mother comes to her and asked her to clean up the kitchen. Molly felt irritated because her schedule is being interfered and leading her in throwing the chair and yelled at her mother as the result of aggression. Molly's aggressive behavior is being stimulated because her goal is getting interrupted.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the skill to distinguish the meanings of different emotions and assimilate emotion-related feelings precisely as well as to identify the causes and solve it appropriately. (Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2000; Mayer & Salovey, 1997). In other words, emotional intelligence refers to the capability to perceive emotions, the ability to recognize their relationship, understand the emotions, and control them.

According to Goleman (1995), emotional intelligence includes a few factors that allow a person to feel, be motivated, control the own mood, regulate the urge, persist in the face of dissatisfaction. Therefore, people can do well in their daily lives by having the ability to control their own emotion. Besides that, emotional intelligence is also very important for us because it is the main power that affects personal success and interpersonal interactions (Harrod and Scheer, 2005). In short, emotional intelligence is one of the main important source for people to get into a successful pathway.

Harrod and Scheer (2005) did a study on emotional intelligence in relation to a few demographic characteristics. The results shown that there is no significant relationship between emotional intelligence and age, location of residence, and household income. However, emotional intelligence is significance to parents' education, as they increased to even higher level.

Gender Differences Emotional Intelligence

According to Russo, Mancini, Trombini, Baldaro, Mavroveli, and Petrides (2012), females are found high in emotional intelligence which include majority of the facets which included adaptability, affective disposition, emotion expression, emotion perception, emotion regulation, low impulsivity, peer relations, self-motivation, as well we global trait EI. Males only show higher self-esteem facet compared to females. Additionally, Harrod and Scheer (2005) also came out with conclusion that generally EQ scores is a significant difference between males and females as females score a slightly higher EQ scores than males.

According to Kafetsios (2004), females are showing higher on the branch of perception of emotion and experiential. For instance, females perform better in interpreting people's emotion than males. However, there is no significant difference between genders in term of overall EQ scores. On the other hand, there is another study by Khalili (2008) found that men show a higher emotional intelligence than females. According to Khalili's study, males showed higher level of self-awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management as compared with females.

Interestingly, women tend to turn to taking more food as when they feeling bad, while men are more likely to turn to take more alcohol and drugs to regulate their feelings (Baumeister & Bushman, 2011). In a nutshell, different gender has the different strategies to control the emotions.


According to Aronson, Wilson, and Akert (2010), social psychologists account aggressive action as an intentional behavior because it aimed in causing people with either physical or psychological hurt. They defined aggression as intentional action that aimed at doing harm or causing pain to someone. They emphasized the word of "intention", as aggression is depends on the people's intention, but not the consequences. For instance, someone intentionally throws a knife to you and you dodge so that you are safe, it is considered as aggressive action. However, if a drunken man unintentionally throws a knife to you and you get hurt, this is not considered as an aggressive action.

Psychologists differentiate the motives for aggression into two types which are reactive aggression and proactive aggression (Baumeister & Bushman, 2011). Reactive aggression involves impulsive, angry behavior, and it is motivated by a desire to harm someone and feeling of relief after the aggressive behavior is being done. While proactive aggression involves organized, "cold-blooded", deliberate harmful behavior that is a means to some practical or material end, and not accompanied by irritability and anger (Conaty, 2006; Baumeister & Bushman, 2011).

According to Baumeister and Bushman (2011), aggression can be expressed in two ways such as direct aggression and indirect aggression. They identify both of this form of aggression by the physically present or absent of a targeted victim. Direct aggression, which having the victim physically present, such as punching the person in the face. On the other hand, indirect aggression which the victim is physically absents from the spot such as burning the enemy's house when he is in his vacation to other place.

Gender Differences Aggression

According to Anderson and Huesman (2003), during preschool years, gender difference in aggression is noticeable. Although both genders are adapting physical aggression, boys are showing more physical aggression than girls. Meanwhile, verbal and indirect aggression of girls is similar to or even greater than boys. Furthermore, they found that during adolescence, the girls showing more indirect aggression than boys while physical aggression of boys is higher than girls. Yet the verbal aggression between girls and boys is actually equals.

One study by Lively et al. (2008) found that women were reported having more anger as compared with men. This is because women perceived greater inequity in their social roles and relationships. For example, women need to play a role to take care the children, cooking for the family, and some working ladies still need to do house chores after a tired working day. Similarly, Simon and Lively (2010) reported that the anger experienced by women is more intense and lasted longer than men.

However, Boman (2003) did a research in first year of high school students. He found that there is no significant difference between genders in experience of anger, but boys are significantly more hostile towards school as compared with girls. Interestingly, he found that those who experienced lower level of the hostility tend to show the lower level of anger, and indicate more constructive coping mechanisms.

Dutton, Straus, Medeiros (2006) did a research on gender equality and gender hostility among 18,903 university students in 27 nations, found that there is a high prevalence of low-level hostility among both genders. As the result, they concluded that is there is a lesser hostility between women and men in a more equal society such as Netherlands and Sweden. However, there is no significant difference between hostility among men and greater gender equality. Lastly, they also concluded that women actually tend to have a higher hostility level than men.

This study will be more focus on the emotional intelligence and aggression between genders among UTAR, Perak campus students. There are few findings showed the different results. Therefore, I expected that my result will be unique and it can stand for the emotional intelligence and aggression between genders among UTAR, Perak campus students.

Emotional Intelligence and Aggression

Furthermore, Newton (2011) used Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Test (EQ-I) to examine the three emotional intelligence factors (emotional self-awareness, problem solving and stress tolerance) as they relate to workplace aggression and she found that there was a negative correlation between these 3 emotional intelligence factors and interpersonal deviance as well as organizational deviance. Take an example, people who do not know how to solve a problem and manage their own stress respond aggressively to the stimulus without aware that they are actually doing the aggressive behaviour.

Additionally, Petrides, Sangareau, Furnham and Fredrickson (2006) carried out a research titled as Trait Emotional Intelligence and Children's Peer Relations at School, and they found that those with high trait emotional intelligence tend to nominated as co-operation and good leader and fewer nominated as aggression and dependence. For instance, high trait emotional intelligence people are always playing a role of non-aggressive leader and independence.

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