Social Perception, Emotional Intelligence and Attachment Style: Does A Correlation Exist?
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Kamran, Emma Z
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Abstract This study investigated whether correlations existed between social perception (SP), emotional intelligence (EI) and attachment styles (AS). The sample consisted of 92 Caucasian participants recruited from the Scottish areas of Edinburgh, Hamilton and Dumfries, aged between 18 and 91 years. Participants completed a questionnaire consisting of the TEIQue-SF (Petrides & Furnham, 2004) which measured participants’ emotional self-efficacy and behavioural tendencies, the STEU test (MacCann, 2006), which was included to measure participants’ objective EI ability and the RSQ (Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994) was included to calculate participants’ AS. A social perception test (SPT) was devised for the purpose of this study and consisted of 30 spontaneous photographs accompanied with two or three alternative answers to choose from, one of which was the correct answer. The main findings of the analysis revealed a significant positive correlation existed between ability EI and SP, with the participants’ number of correct responses on the STEU correlating with the number of correct responses they obtained on the SPT. No correlations appeared to exist between SP and AS, however several significant correlations occurred between the AS variables of avoidance, anxiety, secure, and fearful and both measures of EI. For example, the lower participants rated themselves on avoidance, correlated with an increase in their response for the TEIQue-SF and STEU. Analysis was also conducted to see if age and gender had any relationship with SP, EI and AS. Age was found to significantly correlate with SP, in that participants’ score on the SPT increased in relation to the younger the participants’ ages. An independent t-test revealed that gender affected the extent to which participants rated themselves as secure in attachment, with females rating themselves higher than males. The results of this study provide insight into the relationship that exists between SP, EI and AS, with strong correlations suggesting the need for future research to explore the possibility of causation and mediation. Within this study, the significant correlations and those that did not reach significance are discussed in relation to previous literature and suggest further areas of research to be investigated concerning SP, EI and AS.