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Empirically explored in the study were emotional intelligence and assertiveness on pro-social behaviour. One hundred and eighty-six students (83 males and 103 females) of the University of Uyo, Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, were used in the study. Valid questionnaires and scales were used in the present study, such as; The Schutte Self Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT) developed by Dr. Nicola Schutte (1998), Rathus Assertiveness Scale (RAS) by Spencer Rathus (1973), and Adult Pro-Socialness Scale developed by Caprara (2005), were the scales used in collecting raw data from the participants. The study used a 2x2 factorial design and a 2-way ANOVA was the statistics used and analysed using version 20 of SPSS. The result indicates that emotional intelligence exerted a significant effect on pro-social behaviour, F (1,183) = 36.43, P<0.01); also found in the present study indicated that assertiveness exerted a significant effect on pro-social behaviour, F (1,183) = 36.43, P<0.01). thus, accepting the first and second hypothesis earlier stated, that students with high level of emotional intelligence will exhibit high level of pro-social behaviour than students with low level of emotional intelligence and also investigated in the present study is that students with high level of assertiveness will have high pro-social behaviour than students with low level of assertiveness and was thus confirmed. With discussion, and conclusion drawn. All drawing strength from earlier stated literature. Implication, recommendation and limitation given.



Identifying the conditions necessary for human flourishing depends in part on the perspective one chooses to take. One can take the perspective of an average person and ask, ‘what is necessary for an individual to flourish?’ (Heintzelmanrt al, 2012). Alternatively, one can take the perspective of a community or a society composed of many persons and ask, ‘what is necessary for a community to flourish?’ Taking an individual’s perspective will invariably highlight the necessity of finding meaning in life as a fundamental personal need (Heintzelman & King, 2014).

Viewing one’s own life as meaningful is associated with greater longevity, better physical health, and reduced depression and anxiety (Taylor, Kemeny, Reed, Bower, & Gruenewald, 2000). In contrast, taking a communal perspective will invariably highlight the necessity of pro-social behaviour as a fundamental communal need. Pro-social behaviour is critical for creating the trust and cooperation necessary to sustain impersonal and complex societies and markets (Bowles & Gintis, 2003). The present research investigates whether the personal and communal perspectives are linked. Specifically, I test whether helping other people can increase helpers’ perceptions of meaning in life, thereby establishing an empirical connection between personal and societal flourishing.

There are at least two reasons to predict that helping others can increase a sense of meaning in life. First, helping other people can increase helpers’ sense of self-worth, which is one of the basic needs that must be satisfied to achieve a sense of meaning in life, according to prevalent theoretical accounts (Baumeister & Vohs, 2002). Helping other people can increase selfworth because pro-social behaviour is universally admired and valued (Grossman, Uskul, Kraus, & Epley, 2015). Helping other people is a way for helpers to gain social acceptance and build a positive reputation, which in turn increase helpers’ social status in their communities (Grant & Gino, 2010). Because social acceptance is a critical determinant of self-worth and self-esteem (Leary & Baumeister, 2000), the reputational benefits of pro-social behaviour are likely to increase self-worth, which in turn can increase the sense that life is meaningful. Second, another reliable predictor of meaningfulness is social connection with others (Stavrova & Luhmann, 2016). Accordingly, social exclusion and loneliness can lead to substantial psychological damage, including decreased sense of meaning in life (Cialdini & Patrick, 2008). Helping another person is one of the most basic ways to establish and reinforce social connection.

Therefore, helping may increase meaningfulness by increasing the sense of connection to others. The present research tests whether either or both of these two potential mechanisms – emotional intelligence and assertiveness – can explain the relationship between helping and meaningfulness.

Although helping is primarily intended to benefit recipients, existing research finds that helping creates benefits for helpers as well. As mentioned, the most obvious benefit helpers receive is a boost to their reputation in the eyes of others. Observing a person help another increases evaluations of the helper, and in turn motivates recipients and observers to cooperate with helpers in subsequent interactions (Klein & Epley, 2014). This reputational mechanism is thought to underlie a substantial portion of the incentive for pro-social behaviour in general (Rockenbach & Milinski, 2006). Because helping others is viewed positively, helpers can expect to be rewarded with social approval and goodwill. Helping others also creates psychological benefits that do not necessarily depend on others’ judgments and reciprocity. Empirical evidence has thus far pointed to psychological benefits that are mostly hedonic in nature, increasing positive emotion and decreasing negative emotion. For example, spending money to benefit other people can increase happiness compared to spending money to benefit oneself (Weinstein & Ryan, 2010). Volunteering is associated with higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction (Thoits & Hewitt, 2001). Helping can also reduce sadness associated with seeing another person in need of help (Cialdini et al., 1987).

However, meaningfulness and happiness are distinct in important ways. For example, people find meaning in painful and stressful events in their lives, despite being unlikely to extract happiness from such events (Baumeister, Vohs, Aaker, & Garbinsky, 2013). Other experiences, such as nostalgic reflection on the past and thinking about one’s own mortality, increase people’s sense of meaning despite being hedonically negative (Benzoni & Tost, 2009). Compared to happiness, meaningfulness spans a wider range of emotions than simply positive ones, and is also associated with purely cognitive processes such as mental simulation and counterfactual thinking (Waytz, Hershfield, & Tamir, 2015). Therefore, simply because pro-social behaviour creates hedonic benefits does not necessarily mean that it also creates eudemonic benefits.

Intelligence is considered as one of the most desirable personality qualities in today's society. I.Q. and E.Q. tests are presently employed for many purposes such as selection, diagnosis and evaluation in all parts of society. It claims that, it is the single most effective predictor of individual performance at school and on the job (Andoh, 1998).

Evolutionary trend shows human beings to be the most pro-social of all species, which being a social species helps and guides their fellow mates to surge ahead in the battle for existence (Simpson et al., 2008). The term “pro-social” relates to behaviours which are positive and intend to benefit other individuals. This beneficial behaviour is further defined as which “covers the broad range of actions intended to benefit one or more people other than oneself-behaviours’ such as helping, comforting, sharing, and cooperating” (Batson etal., 2003).

Quite interestingly, whenever we refer to pro-social behaviour, the term Altruism intervenes. Altruism can be defined as “A motive to increase another’s welfare without conscious regard for one’s self-interests” (Myers, 2010). There is hardly anyone-to-one interaction between the two concepts, since altruism is a motivational notion behind initiating beneficial action towards the welfare of others and pro-social behaviour is the action itself, but it’s not a necessary criterion for a pro-social act to be altruistically motivated or an altruistic motivation to produce pro-social behaviour (Batson et al., 2003).

Definition of Intelligence

According to David Wechsler, intelligence can be defined as the aggregate of an individual to act with purpose and to deal effectively with the environment. Wechsler also postulated in 1943 that non-intellective abilities were important predictors for success in one’s life (Cherniss, 2000).

Definition of Emotions

Emotion is derived from the word “emover” which means to move or excite. More recently, the term relates to any subjective experience. Emotions can relate to expression of love, hate, attraction, aggression and disappointment (Girdhalwal, 2007). Emotions are internal events that coordinate many psychological subsystems including physiological responses, cognitions and conscious awareness. Emotions arise in response to a person’s changing relationships. When a person’s relationship to memory, to his family, and to humanity changes, this person’s emotions will change” (Tucker, Sojka, Barone & McCarthy, 2000)

Emotional Intelligence is essential for any student, as they are the leaders in their own life and drive either their success or failure of obtaining a degree. As any student would know, the motivation to success has to lie within themselves as the demands and stress levels are all part of the pursuit of educational success. The university and their staff complement act as a medium to obtain this degree, therefore, they are the management of the organization. Together with the leaders (students); who should be emotionally equipped to identify their own emotions and the emotions of other subjects; and the management (university) they play an ideal role in the performance and success of the student. 

“Emotional intelligence describes the ability, capacity, skill, or self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups” (weiten, 2007). People who possess a high degree of emotional intelligence know themselves very well and are also able to sense the emotions of others; they are malleable, resilient, and optimistic. Student involvement in extra-curricular activities can greatly contribute to students' development in social competence, reflective thought, altruism, and self-awareness (Kuh, 1993). Such opportunities foster the development of the student (Goleman, 1998).  Individuals with emotional intelligence have the ability to identify and utilize emotional information and then use that knowledge to manage relationships and solve problems (Mayer, Caruso, Panter, & Salovey, 2012).

Emotion is one of such factor which is said to play a significant role in the development of helping actions or pro-social behaviours, along with pro-social values and motives (Eisenberg, 1986, ). In alliance to the concept of “emotion” as a prevailing factor behind “pro-social behaviour”, a construct namely “emotional intelligence” has been found to be an antecedent carrying a lot of positive attributes one of which is pro-social behaviour (Mayer, Hsee & Salovey, 1993).

Emotions are involved in everything people do: every action, decision and judgment executed. Emotionally intelligent people recognize this and use their thinking to manage their emotions rather than being managed by them. In the course of last two decades, Emotional Intelligence (EI) concept has become a very important indicator of a person‘s knowledge, skills and abilities in workplace, school and personal life (Mayer, Hisee & Salovey, 1993).

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence  represents a specific subset group of tasks to social intelligence. It does not only encompass reasoning about emotions in social relationships, but also reasoning about internal emotions that are important for personal growth. EI is also more focused than social intelligence in that it pertains to emotional problems embedded in personal and social problems (Tucker et al., 2000). Emotional Intelligence (EI) is used interchangeably with Emotional Quotient (EQ) in many ways, where these terms are representative of emotional awareness and emotional skills. It is pointed out that an emotionally skilled person is skilled in four areas: identifying, using, understanding and regulating emotions (Salovey & Mayer, 1990).

Salovey and Mayer (1990) defined the term Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions in order to assist and understand emotions and emotional meanings. Bar-On (1996), defines EI as an array of personal, emotional and social abilities and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with the environment. It addresses the emotional, personal, social and survival dimensions of intelligence that are more important for daily functioning than traditional aspects of intelligence. This encompasses emphasises on the understanding of oneself and others and adapting to changing demands. Salovery and Mayer (1997) defines EI as involving the ability to perceive accurately, express emotion, access feelings, understand emotions and promote emotional and intellectual growth. Webster‟s New World Dictionary defines intelligence as the ability to learn or understand from experience or to respond successfully to new experiences, the ability to acquire and retain knowledge (Elder, 1997). However, EI is distinct from other intelligences and it is the intelligence applied to emotions. It is an individual difference where not all people are endowed with the same EI. EI develops over a person’s life span and can be developed during training. Thus, involves particular abilities to reason intelligently about emotions and the ability to understand and to manage emotions (Palmer, 2001).

Goleman (1998), explains emotional intelligence as the capacity for recognising one’s own and others feelings for motivating and managing emotions within relationships and within ourselves. In an organisational context if emotions are properly managed it can lead to trust, loyalty and commitment. (Vrba 2007) defines EI as an individual’s ability to use awareness of emotions to manage behaviour and relationships with others. (Hughes, Patterson and Terrell 2005) defined emotional intelligence as feelings individuals have in relationships. They stated that emotional intelligence can be defined as the capacity to reason with emotions and emotional signals and the capacity to enhance thought.

Hayward et al., (1997) define emotional intelligence as an array of cognitive skills, capabilities and competencies that influences a person’s ability to cope with environmental demands. However, the literature brings forth no consensus on the exact nature of emotional intelligence. (Goleman 1998) suggested five pillars or competencies of emotional intelligence viz. self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness and social skills. (Bar-On 2000), defined emotional intelligence as an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies and skills (intrapersonal, interpersonal, stress management) that can influence an individual’s ability to cope with environmental demands.

The Origin of Emotional Intelligence

The seeds of EI has been in bedded in what is known as Social intelligence (SI) which was first proposed by Thorndike in 1920 cited in (Kobe, Reiter-Palman & Rickers, 2001) and is defined as the „ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls. As a result of ongoing research and expansion of the knowledge of social intelligence, researchers have concurred that social intelligence contains two components (Kobe et al., 2001):

·         Being aware of or noticing others‟ needs and problems;

·         Adapting to different social situations.

Evidently EI and social intelligence overlap and the dilemma appears to be whether EI is a component of SI as it appears that SI has subsumed EI. Furthermore, it appears that SI has a much broader scope than EI and therefore could explain more of the variance associated with leadership (Kobe et al., 2001).

Robert Thorndike also noted the importance of non-cognitive aspects of intelligence for success. The work of these two researchers was not highly regarded as meaningful until 1983 when Howard Gardner started to write about “multiple intelligence”. He argued that intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences were as important as other measures of IQ (Cherniss, 2000).

Goleman et al (2000), have suggested that EI as a construct on its own, is not a strong predictor of job performance but provides the competencies that are. Goleman attempted to prove this by distinguishing between EI and emotional competence. He argued that emotional competences are linked to EI (Cherniss, 2000).

Mayer and Salovey’s ability model defines EI as a set of mental abilities that has to do with emotions and the processing of emotional information as well as contribute to logical thought and intelligence. In terms of this model, abilities are arranged from basic psychological processes to complex psychological processes and develop with age and experience. Mayer and Salovey further postulates that these abilities are independent of traits and talents and preferred ways of behaving (Gardner & Stough, 2001).

The model proposed by Wolmarans (1998) is a mixed approach to EI, where the EI assessment tool as depicted by the 360-degreee assessment instrument, as it is applicable to the South African organisational context. Wolmarans (2002) developed a statistically validated emotional intelligence tool taking into account seven competencies: self-motivation, self-esteem, self-management, change resilience, interpersonal relations, integration of „head and heart‟ and emotional literacy. This instrument is designed to provide accurate feedback, information on critical behaviours for success and direction for individual development. This instrument therefore collects performance assessments from supervisors, peers, clients and subordinates. These assessments are then collated and a comprehensive feedback report is provided on an individual’s performance and competence. According to Wolmarans (2002) the purpose of the Emotional Competency Profiler (ECP) is to give the individual an opportunity to reflect on their emotional skills through their own eyes as indicated by the ratings of others.

A number of researchers and authors have emphasised the importance of understanding and managing the impact of emotions and related behaviours in an organisational context. There appears to be a strong interest from the corporate sector as they seek to gain competitive advantage over competitors. EI arose from the assumption that it can contribute to the success and achievement of personal goals more so than IQ (Bar-On, 1988).

Bar-On developed a non-cognitive model and defines EI as an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies and skills that influence’s an individual’s ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures. Bar-on states that the component of the model relates to develops over time and can be improved through training and development programs (Gardner et al., 2001).

One of the more prominent researchers in this area argued that social intelligence is distinct from academic abilities and plays a very important role in determining how well individual deals with practicalities in later life. Goleman (1995) adapted a model of Salovey and Mayer (1990) to explore how EI relates to working life. According to his model, EI was split into two elements known as: personal and social competence. In terms of the competence model, emotional competencies must be learnt. Emotional competence is defined as a learnt capability based on EI that can result in outstanding performance at work (Cherniss & Goleman, 2001).

Goleman (1998) has suggested an EI framework that consists of four clusters:

·         Self-awareness – being aware of emotions and its significance; having realistic knowledge of strengths and weaknesses; having self-confidence.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research


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