Social Intelligence Amongst Undergraduate Management Students: An Exploratory Study.

AuthorSinghai, Manisha


Psychologist Edward Thorndike propounded the concept of Social Intelligence in 1920. Social Intelligence is "the ability to understand men and women, boys and girls and to act wisely in human relations". The concept of Social Intelligence is related to both practical and cognitive aspects. Practical aspect is the ability to respond towards people and the cognitive aspect is the ability to understand people. A clear understanding of the people and their behavior is important as this helps in shaping the attitude towards different individuals and situations. From elementary nurseries to meeting boardrooms Social Intelligence is required everywhere. With the work of Edward Thorndike publications began to appear on Social Intelligence in Harpers Monthly magazine in the 20th Century. Thorndike also stressed on interpersonal effectiveness as one of the vital parameters for attaining success in various fields of life. Later in 1920s, Social Intelligence was defined by Moss Hunt (1927) as "the ability to get along with others". With the understanding of the behavioral traits of others, how well one is able to get along with others is also important. In order to unlock the stems of dialogue, a proper communication is necessary as communication is the key for getting along with others.

Vernon (1933) described that, "Social Intelligence is reflected in the general ability to get along with people in general, social technique or ease in society, knowledge of social matters and susceptibility to stimuli from other members of a group, as well as insight into the temporary moods or underlying personality traits of strangers". A general assumption is that people continue to learn as they age with experience and maturity. This helps them in attaining an understanding of their surroundings. Social Intelligence helps in assessing the impact of one's behavior over others. With combination of new strategies and new behaviors one can be successful in dealing with others.

Models of Social Intelligence

Greenspan 's Hierarchical Model of Social Intelligence (1979): The model designed by Greenspan laid emphasis on Social Intelligence to be only one constituent of adaptive intelligence. There are three main constructs in social intelligence namely; social sensitivity as reflected in social reasoning and role taking, social insight dealing with moral judgment and intuitions and social communication dealing with problem solving skills.

Maslow s Model of Social Performance: Abraham Maslow, in 1986, designed a model of Social Intelligence with five focus points. Social attitudes display the concern for others and the interest level. Social performance skill deals with the actions. The ability of an individual to relate to others is the empathetic ability. The level of an individual's sensitiveness with others is the emotional expressiveness. A person's comfort level in social situation is the confidence level.

Albrecht 's Model of Social Intelligence: The model by Albrecht's proposed in 2005 has five key constituents which were called as SPACE. "S" stands for situational radar which is the ability to scan situations and also perceive the context that helps in determining the successful behavioral strategies. "P" stands for Presence and defined as self-worth or self confidence or the exterior sense of one own self perceived by others. "A" stands for Authenticity which deals with the perception of an individual being honest with one-self or with others. "C" stands for Clarity which implies using clear concepts and a clear and understandable language. "E" stands for being Empathetic which implies the sense of belongingness with others.

Goleman's Model (1998;2001): Goleman proposed a model of Social Intelligence in 1998 which was a combination of biology and brain. Goleman tried to distinguish between two cerebral processes as "high road" and "low road".

When one thinks and analyze deliberately he/she uses a slower neurological passage and is on the "high road". On the contrary, when one's thoughts are more emotion based, they are on the "low road". According to Goleman, the skill of successfully utilizing both high and low road processes is Social Intelligence. The model given by Goleman presents two broad categories as:

* Social Facility includes self presentation and also embraces synchrony.

* Social Awareness deals with the social cognition, empathy and attunement.

Literature Review

Survival in the society without Social Intelligence is not possible. An individual is able to develop healthy co-existence with other people because of Social Intelligence. It has been observed in various studies that Social Intelligence helps an individual in tracking various social tasks and in solving major life issues. The review of related literature on Social Intelligence reveals that it has attracted researchers globally. The success in academic performance depends on Social Intelligence of students. Academic performance is positively related to Social Intelligence (Brown & Anthony, 1990). In a study conducted by Bailey in 1968, the assessment of Social Intelligence amongst the students of fifth grade was done using the friendship rating scale which revealed that Social Intelligence is different from academic achievement. In a study it was found that the students with high score are higher achievers of Social Intelligence (Saxena & Panigrahi, 2009). Another study conducted by Riggio (1991) revealed that Social Intelligence and academics are overlapping but conceptually different constructs.

No significant difference was observed in Social Intelligence between low creative and high creative adolescents (Singh, 2007). According to a study by Kaur and Kalaramna (2004), socio economic status and home environment affect Social Intelligence. Inter-connections between Social Intelligence, values, wisdoms and interpersonal personality traits were revealed in a study conducted by Vyrost and Kyselova (2006). Social skills are required in learning environment for the students entering into a new educational stage with different caliber peers and of different cultural background. According to Davis (2010), the college environment and university environment are very different. Students should use their social skills for interacting with teachers and peers. Students with a better level of Social Intelligence tend to be better achievers (Robert, 2013). Malik (2018) revealed in their study that male students have a better Social Intelligence than the female students. As per their findings during the university years the overall development of Social Intelligence was good. Another study conducted by Nagra (2014) and Kundu et. al. (2015) revealed that as their study was conducted in the Indian background there is no significance difference between female and male students regarding their social skills. The difference between these studies is...

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