Fr-SYM-684-2 - Do High Emotionally Intelligent Individuals Overemphasize Emotions And Emotional Information? Testing The Hypersensitivity Hypothesis

Management of emotions at work
Friday May 19   11:30 AM to 12:30 PM (1 hour)
Emotion in the workplace
Management of emotions at work
Do high emotionally intelligent individuals overemphasize emotions and emotional information? Testing the hypersensitivity hypothesis
M. Fiori 1,*, A. Ortony 2
1University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2Northwestern University, Evanston, United States
Main Abstract Content: Purpose. We test the hypothesis that Emotional Intelligence (EI) contributes to greater sensitivity to emotions and emotion information in a way that may benefit or impair social perception depending on whether emotional reactivity originated within or outside the task at hand.
Design/Methodology. In Study 1 (N=165) high EI individuals amplified the importance of valenced information, providing harsher interpersonal judgments of a negatively-described individual and more favorable interpersonal judgments of a positively-described individual (the hypersensitivity hypothesis). In study 2 (N=84) high EI individuals were more strongly affected by incidental anger when forming negative impressions of an ambiguously described target (the curse hypothesis).
Results. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that high EI individuals are hypersensitive to emotions and emotion information, and that this hypersensitivity can help or hinder social perception depending on where the source of emotional reaction is located (e.g., tied to the social perception or unrelated).
Limitations. Study 2 would have benefited from a larger sample size that would have increased the power to detect complex relationships among variables, including a moderated mediation.
Research/Practical Implications. We show that EI may have both positive as well as less positive consequences in social perception.
Originality/Value. We have provided the first empirical test of both the hypersensitivity hypothesis that individuals high in EI are particularly sensitive to affective information and emotions, and of the curse of emotions hypothesis that this can sometimes result in judgments that might not be in their best social interests (Antonakis, Ashkanasy, & Dasborough, 2009).


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