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Emotions affect students’ success

Daniel Loera found that by creating a happy and safe environment for first generation students, they are more likely to engage in class. Loera presented his research “Emotional Intelligence and Student Success Among White and First- and Second-Generation Latina/o College Students” at the weekly faculty lectures series Monday in President’s Dining Room. / photo by Pablo Cabrera

Danielle Hunt
Staff Writer

On Monday afternoon, faculty and students met to learn the importance of emotional intelligence and how it affects a student’s success.

Daniel Loera, who presented his research for the faculty lecture series, focused on emotional intelligence and examined its relationship to the educational success and leadership involvement of college students.

“I have seen many teachers ask people about who and why, but they have failed to ask people about their feelings and how they show their feelings to other people and that is what I set out to do,” Loera said.

In order to fully test this experiment Loera used the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emo­tional Intelligence Test to measure emotional intelligence and then used the Leadership Engagement Instrument, which was designed specifically for the study to measure the actual levels of leadership engagements.

The MSCEIT measures the various emotional intelligence factors while GPA is used to measure academic success.

The MSCEIT test is based off of the four branches of emotional intelligence – perceiving emotions, facilitating thought, understanding emotions and managing emotions.

The LEI measures leadership engagement in terms of actual involvement, duration of involvement, level of involvement and path to involvement.

Loera tested both the University of La Verne and a local community college. For the community college there was no main effects and interaction of ethnicity and gender for the emotional intelligence scores.

However, for ULV, there was a significant main effect of ethnicity on the branch of perceiving and identifying emotions.

There was significant positive correlation for whites between GPA and emotional intelligence at ULV when it came to perceiving and identifying emotions.

Loera put the experiment in simple terms saying that there is a positive correlation.

“Those who are involved generally have higher emotional intelligence and are more inclined to grow and develop a higher emotional intelligence,” Loera said.

A majority of students in attendance found the lecture interesting and worthwhile.

“By being a psychology major I have come across emotional intelligence in my studies, however its effect on learning is something I knew very little about,” said Maxfield Brown, a junior psychology major. “Professor Loera’s study provides some practical tips for improving my emotional intelligence and studying habits.”

Overall Loera recommended that universities teach emotional intelligence to children so that they can benefit from what are proven outcomes for individuals with high emotional intelligence.

“I personally think that this lecture opened the doors and it brought out additional factors in the academic world that should be seen,” senior speech communication major Theresa Porter said.

“I think that anything dealing with psychology and emotions does open itself up to many studies and I think Loera did a great job of exploring it and left many future possibilities.”

Loera finished the lecture by explaining that the research in this field is not done.

In order to further understand how gender, ethnicity, first generation, immigration and socioeconomic status impact emotional intelligence we must work as a community to advocate the issue and bring about awareness.

Danielle Hunt can be reached at danielle.hunt@laverne.edu.

Pablo Cabrera

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