Title

Emotional Intelligence and Modern Prejudice: A Preliminary Investigation

Date of Award

Spring 2014

First Advisor

Dr. John H. Yost

Abstract

By supplementing psychological theory with concepts from multiple social sciences, this study develops a new model to explain the relationship between emotional intelligence and modern prejudice. This study is the first of its kind to examine the relationship between the constructs - two areas of study in social psychology that were previously thought to be unrelated. Emotional intelligence, and specifically the interpersonal domain of emotional intelligence, was predicted to be negatively correlated to measures of modern prejudice. Participants (n = 128) completed measures of emotional intelligence based on the ability model, as well as measures of modern racism, sexism, and homophobia. Emotional intelligence was significantly correlated with modern sexism and modern homophobia towards gay men, but not with modern racism or modern homophobia towards lesbians. Possible explanations for these mixed results involve intergroup differences related to outgroup emotion recognition and social distance.

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