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Experiential and Strategic Emotional Intelligence Are Implicated When Inhibiting Affective and Non-Affective Distractors: Findings from Three Emotional Flanker N-Back Tasks

School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Received: 31 July 2020 / Revised: 15 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 February 2021 / Published: 1 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Socio-Emotional Ability Research)
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to a set of competencies to process, understand, and reason with affective information. Recent studies suggest ability measures of experiential and strategic EI differentially predict performance on non-emotional and emotionally laden tasks. To explore cognitive processes underlying these abilities further, we varied the affective context of a traditional letter-based n-back working-memory task. In study 1, participants completed 0-, 2-, and 3-back tasks with flanking distractors that were either emotional (fearful or happy faces) or non-emotional (shapes or letters stimuli). Strategic EI, but not experiential EI, significantly influenced participants’ accuracy across all n-back levels, irrespective of flanker type. In Study 2, participants completed 1-, 2-, and 3-back levels. Experiential EI was positively associated with response times for emotional flankers at the 1-back level but not other levels or flanker types, suggesting those higher in experiential EI reacted slower on low-load trials with affective context. In Study 3, flankers were asynchronously presented either 300 ms or 1000 ms before probes. Results mirrored Study 1 for accuracy rates and Study 2 for response times. Our findings (a) provide experimental evidence for the distinctness of experiential and strategic EI and (b) suggest that each are related to different aspects of cognitive processes underlying working memory. View Full-Text
Keywords: emotional intelligence; MSCEIT; n-back task; updating; inhibition; affective distractors; accuracy rates; response latencies emotional intelligence; MSCEIT; n-back task; updating; inhibition; affective distractors; accuracy rates; response latencies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lim, M.D.; Birney, D.P. Experiential and Strategic Emotional Intelligence Are Implicated When Inhibiting Affective and Non-Affective Distractors: Findings from Three Emotional Flanker N-Back Tasks. J. Intell. 2021, 9, 12. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jintelligence9010012

AMA Style

Lim MD, Birney DP. Experiential and Strategic Emotional Intelligence Are Implicated When Inhibiting Affective and Non-Affective Distractors: Findings from Three Emotional Flanker N-Back Tasks. Journal of Intelligence. 2021; 9(1):12. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jintelligence9010012

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lim, Ming D., and Damian P. Birney 2021. "Experiential and Strategic Emotional Intelligence Are Implicated When Inhibiting Affective and Non-Affective Distractors: Findings from Three Emotional Flanker N-Back Tasks" Journal of Intelligence 9, no. 1: 12. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jintelligence9010012

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