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Ann Neurosci. 2012 Jul;19(3):107-11. doi: 10.5214/ans.0972.7531.190304.

Relationship between general intelligence, emotional intelligence, stress levels and stress reactivity.

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1
Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi - 110029 INDIA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stressful life events and daily life stresses have both deleterious and cumulative effects on human body. In several studies, stress has been shown to affect various parameter of higher mental function like attention, concentration, learning and memory.

PURPOSE:

Present study was designed to explore the relationship among GI level, EI level, psychological stress levels and acute stress reactivity in young normal healthy subjects.

METHOD:

The study was conducted on thirty four healthy male student volunteers to study a) acute stress reactivity in subjects with varying levels of General Intelligence (GI) and Emotional Intelligence (EI) and b) correlation between GI, EI, acute stress and perceived stress. Baseline GI and EI and acute stress and perceived stress scores were measured by standard assessment scales. Using median value of GI and EI scores as cutoff values, subjects were categorized into four groups. Among different GI-EI groups, acute stress reactivity was similar but salivary Cortisol (especially post stressor level) and perceived stress level was a differentiating factor.

RESULTS:

High level of EI was associated inversely with acute and chronic perceived stress level. Significant correlation was found between acute and chronic perceived stress levels. Level of general intelligence showed no relation to acute or chronic stress levels as well as acute stress reactivity. The differences in various groups of GI and EI had no effect on the baseline and post stress performance on Sternberg memory test and all the three conditions of Stroop test.

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion emotional intelligence as an attribute is better suited to handle day to day acute stress and chronic perceived stress.

KEYWORDS:

Emotional intelligence; General intelligence; Stress; Stress reactivity

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