The Dark Side Of Emotional Intelligence
By Lori Keong
Emotional intelligence is generally regarded as a good thing — the skill, defined by the Oxford psychology dictionary as the “[a]bility to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour,” is an important tool for forming and navigating interpersonal relationships. But new research suggests it also has a dark side: Young women with higher emotional intelligence are more likely to commit acts of delinquency, finds a study recently published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology.
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For the study, led by Plymouth University’s Alison Bacon, researchers asked 96 college students a series of questions to evaluate them on a spectrum of thrill-seeking tendencies, delinquent behavior, and emotional intelligence. They had expected that while people with thrill-seeking tendencies might also have delinquent impulses, if these people also had high levels of emotional intelligence, that intelligence would help them curb those impulses. This was true — but only for males. Females were actually more likely to engage in delinquent acts if they reported higher levels of emotional intelligence.
Why might that be? Part —> Read More Here