Mannion, G. (2009) The effect of self-deception on the relationship between trait emotional intelligence and wellbeing. In: 44th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference 2009, 30 Sept - 4 Oct 2009, Darwin, Australia.
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A significant amount of recent research has been undertaken in the psychological research domain on the constructs of emotional intelligence and wellbeing. This research has shown a positive relationship between the level of emotional intelligence and the wellbeing of an individual. Limited research has been conducted on the potential mediating factor of self-deception on the measurement of emotional intelligence and of wellbeing, and the relationship between the two constructs. This study aimed to investigate whether self-deception, as measured by the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR, Paulhus, 1984), does mediate the relationship between emotional intelligence and wellbeing. Emotional intelligence was measured using the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire – Short Form (TEIQue-SF, Petrides & Furnham, 2006). Wellbeing was measured using two instruments, the Personal Project Systems Rating Scale (PPSRS, Little, 1983), and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10, Kessler et al., 2002). It was hypothesised that the emotional intelligence of an individual is related to the levels of wellbeing of that individual, and that self-deception levels will be a mediating variable in the reported relationship between emotional intelligence and wellbeing. One hundred and one participants returned the questionnaire package, at a response rate of 100%. Ninety nine of these questionnaire packages were retained for analysis. Two simultaneous multiple regression analyses were performed to assess the mediation effects of self-deception on the relationship between emotional intelligence and on both measures of wellbeing. The results of these analyses showed a strong relationship between emotional intelligence and wellbeing. The results further showed that a partial mediation effect of self deception was present in the relationship between emotional intelligence and hedonic wellbeing, but not in the relationship between emotional intelligence and eudaimonic wellbeing. These findings confirm the previously reported relationship between emotional intelligence and wellbeing. The findings raise some interesting questions for future research, including the relationship between self-deception and both emotional intelligence and wellbeing, and the distinction between hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing when examining the mediating effect of self-deception. Practising psychologists may gain a better understanding of the relationship between emotional intelligence and wellbeing, which can be used to assist individuals to achieve optimal wellbeing. An improved understanding of the influence of self deception on this relationship may also benefit therapeutic practice
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