Are the Emotionally Intelligent Happier? Associations Between the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQUE) and External Measures of Happiness and Well-Being.
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This study used self-report questionnaires to investigate emotional intelligence (EI) in relation to happiness and well-being. Previous research has supported the links between well-being and life satisfaction to EI. This study aimed to look specifically at associations between the full version of the ‘Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire’ (TEIQue) (Petrides, 2009) for trait EI and an external measure of happiness. A student sample (N=187) completed 4 questionnaires online; The TEIQue for trait EI, the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (Hills & Argyle, 2002) for happiness, and two scales, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985) and the ‘Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule’ (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988) were combined to form an overall well-being measure. The data showed high internal consistencies and was primarily analysed via Pearson’s product moment correlations. As hypothesised, overall trait EI was significantly positively correlated to happiness. Significant correlations were seen between happiness to all trait EI factors and all trait EI facets, excluding empathy and emotion management. Emotion management was shown to be a significant predictor of happiness via regression analysis. Regression analysis also suggested ‘well-being’ was the only overall TEIQue factor that could significantly predict happiness. ‘Social competence’, ‘stress management’, ‘emotion regulation’, ‘emotion management’ (in that order), were the only TEIQue facets suggested to significantly predict happiness. Females showed higher levels of empathy and emotionality and no age related differences were found. Unexpectedly, overall trait EI was not correlated to overall well-being. No significant negative correlations were seen. These results offer preliminary evidence that happiness shows a genuine relationship to trait EI, as measured by the full version of the TEIQue. Limitations to the study are discussed and a number of suggestions for future research are outlined.