Individual Differences and Decision-Making: An Exploratory Study into Emotional Intelligence and its effect on Risky Decision-Making and Delay Discounting Behaviours
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This study examined the effects of emotional intelligence (EI), personality and mood on two types of decision-making – delay discounting and risky decision-making. Delay discounting refers to the decreased value an individual gives a future reward, as the delay to it increases. Participants (N=231) were given access to an online survey where they completed a mini International Personality Item Pool (mini-IPIP), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), the Situational Test of Emotional Management (STEM), the Situational Test of Emotional Understanding (STEU), an Expression Recognition Test (ERT), a Risky Decision Making Task (RDMT), and a Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ). The main aim of this study was to explore the relationship between EI and decision-making. It was also predicted that risk taking and low discounting rates, i.e. taking the immediate reward, would be linked with higher extraversion and positive affect, whereas risk-averse behaviour would be linked with neuroticism and negative affect (Lauriola and Levin, 2001; Moore & Chater, 2003; Yuen & Lee, 2003). It was found that EI, especially emotional understanding, was linked with safer decision-making as well as a preference for the delayed reward in the MCQ in males, the employed, and the older age group. Support for the hypotheses on personality and mood was not found, instead agreeableness was found to predict picking the delayed reward in females and positive and negative affect were also found to predict picking the delayed reward in males and young adults respectively. Explanations for these findings and ideas for future research are discussed.