*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on ScienceDaily.
Students who are better able to understand and manage their emotions effectively, a skill known as emotional intelligence, do better at school than their less-skilled peers, as measured by grades and standardized test scores, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
“Although we know that high intelligence and a conscientious personality are the most important psychological traits necessary for academic success, our research highlights a third factor, emotional intelligence, that may also help students succeed,” said Carolyn MacCann, Ph.D., of the University of Sydney and lead author of the study. “It’s not enough to be smart and hardworking. Students must also be able to understand and manage their emotions to succeed at school.”
The research was published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.
MacCann and her colleagues analyzed data from more than 160 studies, representing more than 42,000 students from 27 countries, published between 1998 and 2019. More than 76% were from English-speaking countries. The students ranged in age from elementary school to college. The researchers found that students with higher emotional intelligence tended to get higher grades and better achievement test scores than those with lower emotional intelligence scores. This finding held true even when controlling for intelligence and personality factors.
What was most surprising to the researchers was the association held regardless of age.
“Students with higher emotional intelligence may be better able to manage negative emotions, such as anxiety, boredom, and disappointment, that can negatively affect academic performance,” she said. “Also, these students may be better able to manage the social world around them, forming better relationships with teachers, peers, and family, all of which are important to academic success.”