Emotional IQ Contributes to Computing Coursework
Success, Virginia Tech Researchers Say
The emotional intelligence of students indirectly contributes to academic success in information technology studies, according to preliminary results from research conducted by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
The research team, led by faculty members of the university’s Pamplin College of Business, measured how well students in computer science and information systems programs coped with stressful situations. The study also measured their levels of emotional intelligence, defined as “the ability to perceive, assess and positively influence personal and others’ emotions.” The researchers then examined the effects of these intrapersonal factors on their grades.
“One of the study’s premises was that meeting the challenges of demanding curricula often requires more than innate intelligence,” says Dr. France Belanger, a member of the research team.
“To explore this assumption, we measured coping strategies and emotional intelligence — two intrapersonal variables that are rarely studied in the computing field,” she continues.
The researchers found that although students’ emotional intelligence was not directly linked to academic success, students with higher levels of emotional intelligence had more self-efficacy (self-confidence and knowledge that one can handle any problems or challenges effectively) — and that having more self-efficacy in turn enhanced their academic performance.
The preliminary results are part of a larger, longitudinal study on student recruitment and retention of minorities in information technology being conducted by the researchers with funding from the National Science Foundation. The project focuses on the impact of rarely studied intrapersonal factors, including learning style, visual-spatial intelligence and “resilient” personality, as well as such interpersonal factors as mentoring and internships, according to officials.
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