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Gender Differences in Emotional Intelligence of University Teachers.

Byline: Shumaila Shehzad and Nasir Mahmood, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, University of the Punjab, Lahore

Conventionally, some typical emotional states are attached with gender i.e. females are considered to be emotionally more expressive whereas males to be emotionally cool and stable. The present study seeks if this difference exists even when they are at their workplace. Therefore, this study is aimed to explore the university teachers' emotional intelligence level with regard to their gender. Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Short Version (EQ-i:S) (Bar-On, 2002)was administered to conveniently selected university teachers (female= 399, male= 480)in Punjab, Pakistan to assess their emotional quotient (EQ). It comprises five sub-scales: interpersonal, intrapersonal, stress management, adaptability, and general mood. Findings of the study revealed that female teachers' mean score (M= 39.47, SD= 6.75) was significantly higher than that of male (M= 38.36, SD=6.38) only on interpersonal skills t (879) = 2.518, p= .012, with small effect size (Cohen's d = 0.017).

Both gender groups were similar as far as remaining sub-factors and overall Emotional Intelligence (EI) are concerned. The results clearly indicate that both male as well as female teachers are equal on EQi scores and may handle all the difficulties in a similar way.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, motional quotient, Bar-On EQi:

Changing needs of the society, influenced by industrialization, urbanization and globalization compel women for a changing role. They are no more house hold ladies only. They have stepped out into the outside world to become a considerable part of work force. They are engaged in getting higher education to go side by side with men on their work place. According to Higher Education Commission (2011), male enrollment percentage was 59.15 in year 2006 which decreased to 55% in 2010. Contrarily, female enrollment percentage increased from 40.85 % in 2006 to 45% in 2010. With an increased number of female students in higher education, the number of female teachers is also increasing day by day. There were 747 female teachers in 1993 in higher education institutes. The number increased to 1375 in 2003 (Pakistan Economic Survey, 2011-2012). A few of them have gained eminent posts as well. Now they are teaching side by side with their male counterparts.

Teaching is an emotional endeavor. The researchers declare that teaching is an intense emotional work (Hargreaves, 1998; Liljestrom, Roulston and deMarrais, 2007). It does not only demands content knowledge and pedagogical skills but also emotional intelligence to be successful in the field of teaching (Hargreaves, 1998). It becomes important to recognize which gender group is more emotionally intelligent and adjusts better in the university environment. It is also important to realize which group makes others (students, colleagues) feel comfortable working with them, and which group better solves the work place problems.

It will ultimately let us know whether inclusion of female teachers in university workforce will be beneficial or not. Generally, it is believed that woman is an emotional sex who not only feels/senses the emotions of others easily but also expresses her own emotions more intensely (Brody and Hall, 2000). Contrarily, man is not socially allowed to express his emotions as strongly. He is always portrayed as a dominant being; one who can better manage stressful situations; and one who is more adaptive and more assertive (Sanchez-Nunez, Fernandez-Berrocal, Montanes and Latorre, 2008).

As this is the case of a common man and woman. The present study is designed to find out whether this situation prevails in men and women working in the university sector as teachers, having the similar academic qualification and enjoying the same economic and social status. The present study aims to assess if female and male university teachers have similar profiles of weaknesses and strengths in different skills of emotional intelligence. It has been discussed since long what emotional intelligence actually is and which sub constructs it comprises. The formal history of emotional intelligence starts from 1872 with Darwin's work on the importance of emotional expression for survival (Hess and Thibault, 2009). In the later century, although cognitive aspects of intelligence were emphasized, yet quite a few leading researchers recognized the significance of non-cognitive aspects as well. For example, in 1920, Thorndike (1936) employed the term social intelligence.

Thereafter, every researcher in the field of EI has described it in his own way. Salovey and Mayer (1990) describe EI as follows: Emotional intelligence involves the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth. (Mayer and Salovey, 1997, p. 10).

The theory of EI touched the climax of fame after publication of Daniel Goleman's bestselling books Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ in 1995 and forth coming book, working with Emotional Intelligence in 1998. He delineated EI as the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships" (Goleman, 1998, p.317).

Bar-On (2006) characterizes EI as a cross-section of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate with them, and cope with daily demands"(Bar-On, 2006, p. 14).He has given five sub skills of EI. These are (a) intrapersonal skills, (b) interpersonal skills, (c) stress management skills, (d) adaptability skills, and (e) general mood (see table 1).

Emotional intelligence has two parts in common. On one hand, it entails recognition of individual's own emotions and then managing them to facilitate emotional competence. On the other hand, it includes their capabilities to handle other persons' emotions to create healthy social relations. Like many other professions, teaching is the field that needs both the competences. Teachers not only have to manage their own emotions but they also have to manage their relations with students, parents, colleagues and administrators. To become successful in this field, they need to enhance their emotional intelligence (Viin, Juust and Tooman, 2010). Teachers, in educational organizations, come up with not only the head (cognition)" but also with the heart (emotion)" (Day and Qing, 2009, p.17). Therefore, the educational organizations are no more thought to be rigorously cognitively-directed settings. There is an emergent recognition of emotions in teachers' life.

Their emotional intelligence has been recognized as a skill that makes them perform better in different dimensions of teaching for instance classroom management, student teacher relations and decision making (Bay and McKeage, 2006).

Although an immense body of research present there which aimed at exploring the gender differences concerning EI yet it is unable to provide the reader with a lucid picture of the situation.

A greater part of research affirms that females score significantly higher than males on a number of emotional intelligence sub factors for instance interpersonal EQ, emotional self-awareness and overall emotional intelligence (Palmer, Manocha, Gignac and Stough, 2003), emotion perception and the experiential area (Kafetsios, 2004), intrapersonal and interpersonal skills (Parker, et al., 2004), interpersonal scale (Alnabhan, 2008; Wessell, et al., 2008), overall EI, perception, and understanding and managing emotions (Ciarrochi, Chan and Caputi, 2000), expressing their emotions and predicting consent feelings (Mayer and Geher, 1996), perceiving emotions (Mayer, Caruso and Salovey, 1999), sensitive to the emotions of others, have better recall of emotion-laden information regarding others and have a more extensive vocabulary for emotions (McIntyre, 2010) to be searched yet.

Interpersonal scale of EQ-i and managing emotions branch of the Mayer, Salovey and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test(MSCEIT) (Austin, Farrelly, Black and Moore, 2007), interpersonal and stress management (Esturgo-Deu and Sala-Roca, 2010), perceiving emotions, facilitating thoughts and managing emotions (Bay and McKeage, 2006), experiencing EI and strategic EI subscores on theMSCEIT (Brackett, Mayer and Warner, 2004), understanding emotions (Gardner, 2005), empathy (Tapia and Marsh, 2006), assimilation, understanding and regulation (Zeidnerand Olnick-Shemesh, 2010) and overall emotional intelligence (Grubb and McDaniel, 2007; McIntyre, 2010; Penrose, Perry and Ball, 2007).

In opposition to it, men have been found to be better than their counterparts on adaptability and emotions regulation components (Alnabhan, 2008), Self-control (Sanchez-Ruiz, PACopyrightrez-Gonzalez and Petrides, 2010), stress tolerance, impulse control (Bar-On, Brown, Kirkcaldy and Thome, 2000) intrapersonal and stress management scale (Wessell, et al., 2008).

There subsists another slice of research which declares that both the gender groups are similar regarding emotional intelligence (Castro-Schilo and Kee, 2010; Gurol, Ozercan, and Yalcin, 2010; Ngah, Jusoff and Abdul Rahman, 2009; Rastegar and Memarpour, 2009).

Gender differences in EI are extensively documented. A major portion of research pronounces that females are better than males as compared to a minor portion which declares males to be better than females or equal to them. Still they do not reach a certain conclusion. Use of different research instruments to measure EI may be one of the causes of different findings. But cultural difference also matters. Findings of those studies are also not very similar which are using the same EI measure. That is why; the findings of a study conducted in one culture cannot be generalized to any other culture. There are some eminent scholars in Pakistan as well who have worked on emotional intelligence and have developed their own indigenous scales to measure emotional intelligence (Batool and Khalid, 2011; Dawood, 2007). Still, their focus was not on gender differences in EI.

Keeping this in view, the major objective of this study is to compare the gender specific profiles of university teachers' emotional intelligence in Punjab, Pakistan.

Method

This study is descriptive in nature and survey method was used for data collection.

Sample

Sample consisted of conveniently selected university teachers in the Punjab, Pakistan (N=879), of whom 399 (45%) were female and480 (55%)were male. There were 591 (67%) teachers from public sector and 288 (33%) from private sector universities. Their mean age was 34.83 years (SD=9.98) ranging from 23 to 73 years. Their mean teaching experience was 8.69 years (SD=8.63) ranging from 1 year to 48 years. Qualification levels ranged from post graduation to PhD (40% post graduates, 36% M Phil, and 24% PhD degree holders). They were representatives of all the teaching designations (63% lecturers, 26% assistant professors, 8% associate professor, and 3% professors.

Measures

Demographic data sheet Keeping in view the nature of survey, a questionnaire was developed by the researcher to obtain information about teachers' demographic characteristics such as teaching disciplines, teaching experience, qualification, university type (public or private), gender, age, marital status and rank.

Bar-On EQ-i: Short. Bar-On EQ-i: Short was used to measure the university teachers' emotional intelligence level. It is a 51 items self report measure which assesses total EQ in addition to five constituting factors: intrapersonal, interpersonal, stress management, adaptability and general mood. It includes a positive impression scale and an inconsistency index as validity measures. The former is meant for determining if respondents are attempting to provide an exaggerated impression of them. The latter is used to detect contradicting or careless responses. Description of subscales, their scope, serial number in final scale, number of items, example items are presented in table 1.

The data were analyzed to find out the internal reliability coefficients of the scale. Bar-On EQ-i: Short (Bar-On, 2002)) appeared to be reliable enough to be administered in Pakistani culture. Internal reliability coefficients for Bar-On EQ-i: S scales. (by gender and age) are given in table 2

Table 1 Description of Subscales, Their Scope, Serial number of Items in Final Scale, Total Number of Items and Sample Items of Bar- On EQ-i: Short

Subscale###Scope###Serial Number in final Scale###No. of

###items

AIntrapersonal###ability to know and manage yourself###3,9,15,21,27,33,39,44,48,50###10

Interpersonal###ability to interact and get along with others###2,8,14,20,25,32,38,43,47,51###10

Stress management###ability to tolerate stress and control impulses###4,10,16,22,28,34,40,45###8

Adaptability###ability to be flexible and realistic, and to solve###5,11,17,23,29,35,41###7

###a range of problems as they arise

General mood###concerns your outlook on life, your ability to###1,7,13,19,26,31,37,42,46,49###10

###enjoy yourself and others and your overall

###feeling of contentment or dissatisfaction

Positive impression###A validity measure###6,12,18,24,30,36###6

Total EQ###An array of non-cognitive capabilities,###All the items except those in positive 51

Table 2 Internal Reliability Coefficients for Bar-On EQ-i: S Scales (By Gender and Age)

Gender/EQ-i Scales###less than 30 years###30-39 years###40-49 years###50+ years

Male###

Intrapersonal###.83###.82###.85###.78###.76###.75###.80###.73

Interpersonal###.84###.79###.84###.80###.81###.77###.81###.85

stress management###.82###.82###.83###.70###.78###.77###.81###.80

Adaptability###.77###.80###.79###.70###.79###.70###.81###.80

General mood###.81###.69###.85###.61###.84###.67###.77###.75

positive impression###.71###.65###.71###.65###.72###.67###.72###.76

total EQ###.93###.92###.93###.90###.91###.91###.91###.92

Female

Intrapersonal###.81###.70###.82###.79###.84###.74###.81###.67

Interpersonal###.82###.80###.79###.81###.79###.88###.76###.72

stress management###.82###.75###.79###.77###.81###.79###.77###.61

Adaptability###.81###.71###.79###.78###.81###.80###.84###.74

General mood###.85###.65###.85###.73###.85###.80###.85###.57

positive impression###.76###.59###.65###.56###.68###.56###.51###.70

total EQ###.92###.88###.92###.91###.92###.93###.92###.85

Procedure

The data were collected with the permission of chairpersons of the departments in public sector universities and registrars and rectors in private sector universities. Even after permission from concerned authorities, consent from the teachers themselves was also sought. The Bar-On EQ-i: Short was distributed to almost 1200 teachers across 13 universities with the help of research fellows. Some of the teachers returned the questionnaire at the same time and the others took a week or two to return it. 882 teachers returned the forms back. Return rate was 74%. The forms from three teachers were discarded as they did not mention their demographic information and returned it incomplete .

Table 3 Psychometric Properties of the Major Study Variables

###Range

Variable###N###M###SD###Potential###Actual

Intrapersonal skills###879###33.58###6.858###10-50###12.00-50.00

Interpersonal skills###879###38.86###6.574###10-50###10.00-50.00

Stress management###879###26.69###5.882###8-40###08.00-40.00

Adaptability skills###879###26.10###4.707###7-35###10.00-35.00

General mood###879###36.12###5.629###10-50###16.00-50.00

positive impression scale###879###17.19###4.326###6-30###06.00-30.00

Total EQ score###879###161.37###22.211###45-225###85.00-221.00

total EQ###879###32.27###4.442###9-45###17.00-44.20

Table 4 Gender wise Comparison of University Teachers' Emotional Intelligence Score

EQ-i: S Scales###Gender###M###SD###df###t###Cohen's d

Intrapersonal Skills Female###33.36###6.83###877###-.886###0.029

###Male###33.77###6.87

Interpersonal Skills Female###39.47###6.75###877###2.518###0.084

###Male###38.36###6.38

Stress Management###Female###26.57###5.94###877###-.518###0.017

###Male###26.78###5.83

Adaptability Skills Female###26.16###4.88###877###.375###0.012

###Male###26.04###4.56

General Mood###Female###36.16###5.87###877###.204###0.007

###Male###36.08###5.42

Total EQ###Female###32.35###4.48###877###.463###0.014

###Male###32.21###4.41

Data Analyses

Data were analyzed with the help of SPSS-15 software package. Mean score of respondents on Bar-On EQ-i: Short was calculated. Independent sample t test for measuring gender differences in EI was applied.

Results

The mean, standard deviation and range (potential as well as actual) for each factor and overall EI is given in Table 3. Potential range is the minimum and maximum possible score range on any variable whereas actual range is the score range which was calculated on the present data.

Table 4 compares the mean EI score of male and female university teachers. It is evident that female teachers' mean score (M= 39.47, SD= 6.75) is significantly higher than that of males (M=38.36 , SD=6.38 ) only on interpersonal skills t (879) = 2.518, p= .012, with small effect size (Cohen's d= 0.017) whereas male teachers could not surpass their counterparts significantly in any of the EI sub skills. Both the groups gained equal score on rest of the four skills and overall EI.

Discussion

Findings of the study revealed that females are better than male teachers in interpersonal skills. Female teachers are more emotionally self aware, and are more empathic, in interpersonal skills. These findings are in accordance with those of Bar-On (2002).

Roots of these differences can be sought out in socialization, societal expectations (Naghavi and Redzuan, 2011) and teaching of emotions (Sanches-Nunez, et al., 2008) as parents share emotional talk and use more emotional terminology with their daughters than with their sons (e.g., Adams, Kuebli, Boyle, and Fivush, 1995; Fivush, 1991, 1998; Fivush, Brotman, Buckner, and Goodman, 2000) . Brody (1997) also affirms social process including (a) power and status imbalances, (b) dissimilar gender roles, and (c) different socialization history of both the groups to be responsible for gender differences in EI.

Females' motherly nature may also cause their better relations with others especially with their students. In Pakistan, joint family system is part of her culture. Parents start preparing their daughters mentally since their adulthood that they have to cope up with joint family after their marriage. They are trained to build relations and show patience all through their life (UNESCO,2011). On the other hand, male and female teachers scored equally on rest of the EI skills and overall EI. Both of them are equally aware of their emotional state, are equally adept in managing their stress, can adapt to the changing environment equally well and have the similar general mood. These findings correspond with the views of Goleman (1998) who argues that neither females nor males surpass each other as far as their emotional intelligence is concerned. Every individual has a personal EI profile with one's own strengths and weaknesses.

He further argues that both the gender groups share more similarities than dissimilarities. Some females may be as adaptive as are males and similarly, some males may be as sensitive and expressive as are females. When their profiles are averaged out, there remain no sex differences in overall EI. That is why, no gender differences appeared in overall EI in this study as well as in that of Bar-On (2002).

It may be so because both the gender groups are in the same profession and their professional requirements make them equally emotionally intelligent.

They enter the profession with the same academic qualification and their job demands are similar as well. Findings of the study are encouraging for females in teaching profession in higher education. In a male dominating society like Pakistan, they do not lag behind their male counterparts as far as their emotional intelligence is concerned. They can meet the demands of teaching profession equally well and can handle all the difficulties successfully they have to face during their job successfully.

Use of Bar-On EQ-i: Short, a self-report measure, was one of major limitations of the present study. This study may be replicated by using any ability based instrument e.g. Mayer, Salovey and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) (Mayer, Salovey and Caruso, 2002) for better understanding of teachers' emotional intelligence level.

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Date:Jun 30, 2013
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