Τετάρτη, 5 Σεπτεμβρίου 2007

Impact of Components of Emotional Intelligence to Social Anxiety

Συγγραφή: Αγγελική Γερμανάκη

Dating back to the early years of psychology as a science, personality theorists have debated a lot about whether dimensions of personality generally are consciously experienced or unconsciously experienced by the individual.
The purpose of the specific study is to examine two concepts, Emotional Intelligence and Social Anxiety and if and how they are related. Those concepts have much to do with personality as they refer to the way and the strategies people use in their interactions with other people. More specifically, the paper examines the relation and the effects of the four aspects of emotional intelligence, optimism and mood regulation, appraisal of emotions, social skills and utilization of emotions, on social anxiety. The paper will provide some general information about anxiety and emotional intelligence, as well as information for some of the existing theories concerning each one of them. Additionally, a general background of previous researches for each subject will be presented. More emphasis will be given in the description of the way this research has been conducted, the means that have been used and the results that the research gave.
According to Freud, personality consists of three major systems, the id, which represents the pleasure principle, the ego, which represents the reality principle and the superego, which represents the morality principle. Any behaviour, problematic or not, comes from the interaction and the possible conflicts between these three concepts. Freud suggested that the development of personality in humans happen in five stages, which he called, psychosexual stages of development. Those stages are: the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage and the genital stage. (Wade, 1998).
An other very important psychodynamic theorist, Carl Jung, emphasized on the ego and its functions and he believed in the ego’s positive force, which helps the person move forward. He also believed that personality is not only affected by past experiences and conflicts, as Freud suggested, but also from the future goals and expectations. Finally he focused on introversion and extraversion as the main characteristics (traits) of personality (Wade, 1998).
Contrary to Freud’s theory on personality, Adler supported the idea that human beings develop throughout their whole life and that people move towards personal growth and achievement. This desire for perfection and personal development, according to Adler’s view comes from the feeling of inferiority that people develop when they become aware of their limitations as mortal, human beings. The striving for development is their attempt to deny and ignore their weaknesses and present themselves as being strong and capable (Wade, 1998).

Social anxiety
Anxiety is a very common feeling among people, and it can take various forms and exist in various levels. Anxiety is basically an emotional state. It is a condition in which the person experiences feelings of worry, tension and sometimes feelings of distress and discomfort (Edelmann, 1992). Anxiety can be of two kinds: functional anxiety and non functional anxiety. Anxiety is a mechanism, which help the person survive and protect the self against possible dangers. It also motivates individuals to take action, sometimes preparatory, and move towards a goal (for example, study before an exam). This kind of anxiety is called functional anxiety (Thyer, 1987). On the other hand, when the levels of anxiety are high, then it can cause difficulties and even impairment in the person’s everyday functioning and performance as it causes unreasonable and sometimes irrational responses (for example, extreme worry and fear of a certain situation). This kind of anxiety is called non functional anxiety (Thyer, 1987).
Anxiety has been associated up to some extend with disorders like depression and more specifically with neurotic depression. Rapee (1991) views neurotic depression as a more severe anxiety which comes later in life. Other authors suggest that anxiety symptoms can be separated from the symptoms of depression, but still, they agree that they usually co-exist in the same individual (Shaw, 1986, Inderbitzen, 1995).
There are various theories that attempt to explain the nature, the function and the etiology of anxiety.
Freud’s psychoanalytic theory emphasises on sexual and aggressive instincts, as well as on the personality concepts of the id, the ego and the superego. The id is the personality system which functions based on the pleasure principle and moves towards satisfaction, reduction of tension and avoidance of pain and is the first of the three to be developed as it is present from the moment of birth. The id includes two major sets of instincts which are the sexual instincts or life instincts (libido) and the death or destructive instincts. Those instincts or drives, as Freud called them, guide the human behaviour. The ego, on the other hand, operates based on the reality principle and serves as a mediator between the id and the superego, which includes the moral values and inhibitions as well as the conscience (Wade, 1998). Freud’s main focus was on the human unconscious and how it operates.
Freud also talked about defence mechanisms which are strategies that people use unconsciously in order to reduce anxiety and protect themselves from it. The basic defense mechanisms are: repression, projection, displacement, reaction formation, regression and denial.
Freud, referring to anxiety, supported the idea that anxiety derives from the continuous and unconscious conflicts that exist between the id, which represents the pleasure principle, the ego, which represents the reality principle and the superego which represents the moral principle. According to Freud, there are 3 kinds of anxiety. The first kind is the reality anxiety which it appears as a distressing emotional experience deriving from a threat or a danger that comes from the external environment and has a real basis. Freud argues that this kind of anxiety has its roots to previous childhood experiences (Fischer, 1970). The second kind of anxiety is the moral anxiety, which derives from the superego and takes the form of shame and guilt. The third kind is the neurotic anxiety. Neurotic anxiety has its cause in the impulsive instincts (id) and develops from the fear that the ego defences won’t be able to prevent those impulses from being expressed (Fischer, 1970).
Freud believed that neurotic anxiety has three main forms. In Free-floating anxiety or expectant anxiety, people tend to expect the worst things to happen and they usually interpret everything as being a bad sign. Those people hold pessimistic views about life and they often experience fear, either rational or irrational. Those people, according to Freud are the ones who actually suffer from neurotic anxiety (Freud, 1973). There is also another form of anxiety, called phobic anxiety. This anxiety, or else phobia, is related to the fear of a specific object or a specific situation, for example, fear of dark or fear of snakes (Fischer, 1970). Finally, there is the panic state of anxiety, which includes sudden panic symptoms such as tremor or shortness of breath, where no obvious justification, danger or threat, exists (Fischer, 1970).
According to Freud, the healthy functioning ego manages to deal with anxiety and defend against it, through some processes and defences. It also uses anxiety in order to get prepared for any possible danger that might appear (Wollheim, 1991).
Karen Horney also talked about anxiety and neurosis. She believed that inner conflicts play a very important role in neurosis. She also supported the idea that all people face conflicts in their everyday life and that this is not neurotic, and that it is the unresolved conflicts that lead to feelings of anxiety and anxiety related disorders (Horney, 1966). Anxiety is related to fear as they both include bodily symptoms such as increased heart beat or breathing difficulties. But the difference is that a person experiences fear in the face of a danger, while anxiety is what a person feels in the thought of a possible danger (Horney, 1937).
Horney studied neurosis and neurotic people. She believed that neurotic people have specific needs which if they are not satisfied cause anxiety. Those needs seem derive from fears and internal conflicts and they although they may be common among all people (for example, a need for affection or need for power), in the neurotic individual they are exaggerated, excessive and intense (Horney, 1950). Neurotic needs are also characterised by their illusory elements, as most of the times they appear to be unrealistic, and their totally subjective value (Horney, 1942).
According to Horney, anxiety and neurosis are mainly caused by the interactions with other people. Therefore, she believed that there are three interpersonal styles of interacting with people. First of all is the ‘moving towards people’ style of interaction. This type of person (the compliant type) has a great need for approval and affection and his self-esteem depends mainly on how other people treat him (if he feels approved and accepted or not). When these needs don’t get satisfied anxiety appears along with a great fear of rejection (Horney, 1966). The second style is ‘moving against people’. This is the aggressive type of person. This person believes that all people are bad and hostile and he has an excessive need for power which he can use in order to exploit other people to reach his goals. He is always ready and prepared for fight and he considers himself as strong, honest and very capable (Horney, 1966). The last type is the detached type of person, who tends to move away from people. This person tries to keep emotional distance from other people, sometimes even from him self. He has a need for superiority, just like the other two types, otherwise he wouldn’t feel strong enough to withdraw and remain alone. This person is very afraid of intimacy and dependency that is why he can form short-lasting but intense relationships and enjoy them as long as no dependent feelings are involved. This is called neurotic detachment (Horney, 1966).,
There are four ways to deal with anxiety. First, is rationalization, second, is denial (conscious or unconscious) and third is to deal with anxiety using alcohol or other substances (Horney, 1937).
Sullivan’s theory is very similar with Horney’s. He believed that anxiety derives from the relations with other people. He also agrees that people need to feel approved and accepted, as the human beings have the need to co-exist with others. The degree of anxiety depends on how important is the person that disapproves and on the severity of the way he expresses that disapproval (Fischer, 1970). For example, if a person is negatively judged by another person whom he doesn’t know, the amount of anxiety caused will be less than if he was judged by a person whom he needs and loves.
According to Sullivan, people tend to see themselves in the same way that they think other people see them or they tend to feel about themselves in the way they think that others feel about them. This is a source of anxiety which could be prevented by stopping seeing things that way. Sullivan believed that the human organism develops mechanisms in order to minimize and deal with anxiety. There are four major mechanism that human organism uses to deal with the anxiety which has its cause in the belief that a person holds about him being not an adequate human being: sublimation, selective inattention, substitution and dissociation (Fischer, 1970).
Finally, Sullivan supported the notion that there are three ways to see one self. The first one is to see the self as ‘the bad-me’. That includes all the bad and unwanted aspects of one self, which remain hidden. The second way is seeing one self as ‘the good-me’, which focuses on the good aspect of the self. The third way is the ‘not-me’ which has to do with all those things and characteristics that cause anxiety and therefore, the person keeps into the unconscious (Fischer, 1970).
Erich Fromm believed that anxiety derives from the person’s inability or difficulty to express and impose control and from the fear of being alone. He supported the idea that is the human freedom that causes feelings of anxiety, aloneness and helplessness therefore there are three mechanisms that the person can use in order to escape that freedom.
The first mechanism is authoritarianism. In order for the person not to feel alone, anxious and helpless, he decides to believe and put all his hopes to a superior power, disregarding, in a way, his own weaknesses and responsibilities. Learning and believing to this power gives the person a sense of safety and strength to deal with his life. This power may be either a religious figure or a political leader or anything else that represents great power. Because the person believes so much in that outer power and because he acquires strength and hope out of it, he demands that this power figure shows no weaknesses. If it does then all the feelings of love and devotion turn in to feelings of disappointment and hate (Fromm, 1942).
The second mechanism is destructiveness. The person feels very powerless and anxious and also feels threatened by those who own the power. Therefore he needs to destroy those who have the power in order to feel safe and strong. Sometimes this destructive tendency is conceived and interpreted in such a way that becomes rationalised and in many cases other people may agree. For example destroy those who have power in the name of patriotism or religious beliefs. Destructive impulses must be expressed no matter what the cost would be. They must always find an object to destroy otherwise they are so strong, that they may lead the person even to suicide (Fromm, 1942).
The third mechanisms in which Fromm refers to is called automaton conformity. Using that mechanism, the individual adopts the values, the ideas, the way of living and thinking of the mass in order not to feel alone. The idea behind that mechanism is that, performing and living like most of the people do, gives a sense of security and belongingness. The person abandons the uniqueness of him self and choose to become identical to millions of other people so he won’t feel the anxiety of the aloneness (Fromm, 1942).
Fromm believed that all these three mechanisms are totally unhealthy ways of dealing with anxiety. The only healthy way for him, is for the person to accept his freedom and the possibilities that offers to him, and use that freedom, in order to develop and express himself. Fromm also supported the idea that the biggest power comes with individuality, therefore people should try to keep their uniqueness.
All of these theorists seem to challenge Freud’s basic assumptions on anxiety and argue more with Adler’s point of view that anxiety derives from people’s interpersonal relationships and comparisons (Wade, 1998).

Social anxiety is a type of anxiety which seems to be a relatively common phenomenon and it exists in various forms and levels, depending on the person and on the situation that produces this anxiety. It is a form of anxiety which is strongly related to the beliefs of Sullivan, Horney and Fromm as it derives and refers to the anxiety a person feels when interacting with other people. It has to do with the fear and the feelings of worry and discomfort that an individual experiences when unknown people are around him. These feelings usually derive from the preoccupation and the importance of other people’s opinion and judgements (Craske, 1999).
People who are socially anxious tend to get upset and uncomfortable by the presence of other people, especially unknown or unfamiliar people (Buss, 1980). It is true that most people feel calm and relaxed when they are surrounded by friends and familiar persons as they feel confident and secure to act and talk without worrying that they might be misunderstood or misjudged. This familiarity most of the times is related to informality because in such occasions the person acts freely as he feels. On the contrary, in formal situations, where strangers are present, there is some formal behaviour that needs to be adopted and performed. Therefore, people with social anxiety tend to avoid being in such situations where the risk for embarrassment and social evaluation is higher (Buss, 1980). How familiar a situation is, is very important for a socially anxious person.
The socially anxious individuals have a strong desire for social approval and acceptance. Therefore they want always to make a good impression to others. Though, they tend to hold negative and dysfunctional thoughts about them showing a non-effective performance and consequently these thoughts result to anxiety and anxiety responses (Beck, 1985). They are preoccupied with what others will think of them and with their own performance in front of other people. Additionally, they worry a lot about possible negative judgements and evaluations which results to self-focus attention. That means that doubts and thoughts of incapability and failure to present one’s self in an adequate way are being triggered which, in turn, result to social anxiety and consequently, in poor performance (Craske, 1999).
Socially anxious individuals tend to remember and recall unpleasant events, similar to the present situation and they often devaluate or ignore their social skills and capabilities, focusing on their expected failure. But that does not mean that they lack social skills (Edelmann, 1992). Many of these individuals have equally developed social skills with non anxious individuals but they underestimate them and they have no faith on their capabilities.
In the study of Wenzel (2003), a group of socially anxious individuals and group of non anxious individuals were asked to perform a task in two different conditions. In the first condition they had to make a speech in front of another person before its task and in the second condition they had to read silently from a book before each task. According to the results, both socially anxious and non anxious individuals showed feelings of discomfort in the first condition, although thus condition seemed to facilitate anxious participants and cause difficulties to the non anxious on two memory tasks. Results may be influenced by the difficulty of the task.
Social anxiety seems to affect the performance on a difficult task in a negative way because anxious people tend to worry more about their performance and as a result they don’t pay enough attention to the task (Wenzel, 2003).
Another study which compared the performance of socially anxious and non anxious individuals indicated that anxious persons do not necessarily show an inferior social performance, while in situations where they were observed to perform in a less effective way than non anxious individuals, still their performance was seen as being adequate enough (Strahan, 1999).
According to the skill deficit model a person may develop social anxiety because he/she thinks he can not handle the demands of a social situation. That may be because the person hasn’t learnt how to behave in such situations, because he can not put the learnt behaviour in practice or because he believes he will not manage to behave as expected (Edelmann, 1992). Negative comments from other people concerning a specific social behaviour can increase the anxiety of the individual.
Social anxiety is also related with concepts such as embarrassment, shame, shyness and anxiety caused by the presence of an audience, especially when this consists of unknown people. Social anxiety is also related to the term, social phobia, which is an exaggerated social anxiety (an extreme form) (Edelmann, 1992).
Quilty (2003) found that people who suffer from social phobia tend to be financially dependent and to have low social support. Additionally, they have poor education and sometimes they have increased suicidal ideation. Both socially anxious and social phobic individuals face problems with social relationships and social functioning but individuals who suffer from social phobia show a significantly more severe impairment as the levels of anxiety are significantly higher (Quilty, 2003).
In a study made by Bodinger (2002), individuals who suffer from severe social anxiety they reported having sexual dysfunctions referring to arousal and desire, as well as to the actual sexual satisfaction. Generally, they reported difficulties in sexual interactions, because of their great agony for good performance.
As mentioned above, anxiety disorders and specifically social anxiety is generally associated with cognitive dysfunctional factors of negative imagery, and mental representations of physical or personal damage. These thoughts correlate with increased self-focused attention and monitoring leading to low performance and disassociation. Persons with high anxiety levels adopt “safety techniques” such as eye contact avoidance in order not to get noticed of their blushing. Also, they tend to memorise verbal strings and compare them with what it is actually said in order to avoid making mistakes and appearing foolish. This cognitive overload makes them appear distracted and disoriented, since they victimise themselves by putting in action the mechanism described by Beck as negative thinking. The consequences are low self-esteem and negative self evaluating beliefs. The trap in which they are falling in is summarized by the sentence “if my performance is not perfect, then I am an inferior and incompetent person”. This sequence of thoughts produces feelings of depression, which helps maintaining anxiety. This is in accordance to the findings of Kessler, Stang, Stein and Walters (1999), that there is a high comorbidity between social anxiety and depression.
Studies on working memory of anxious patients revealed that there is an obvious attentional bias in social evaluative threats (Mansell, Clark Ehlers, 2003). In addition, Marc Leod et al (1986) found that people suffering from social anxiety exhibit selective attention bias and process mentally stimuli which appear to be threatening. Depressed patients on the other hand, do not show similar patterns of attention focus. Ellis and Ashbrook (1987) however, argued that distractability is the common element between depression and anxiety. Their mood induction techniques showed that depressed patients are in greater disadvantage to control normal tasks because negative thoughts raise the amount of working memory used. Eysenck (1989) supported that it is not clear whether this cognitive disadvantage reflects the negative mood or if it causes negative feelings. Again the causality issue is not clearly defined.
Feelings of inferiority are produced to anxious patients because of their perceptions of social performance skills. According to Christensen, Stein and Means-Christensen (2003), socially anxious people tend to see themselves in a negative way and consequently they believe that other people see them negatively too. Additionally, other people can see the discomfort in social situations and therefore they characterize them as being quite and less sociable but not as being less likeable.

Components of Emotional Intelligence as predictors of Social Anxiety
Although there is not any available research on the direct relation between social anxiety and emotional intelligence, still, many of the findings mentioned above indicate a possible connection between the two concepts.
It should be cleared that both intelligence and emotional intelligence are multidimensional terms.
There are various theories on intelligence which attempt to define intelligence as a concept and as a phenomenon. Three of the most important theories are those of Spearman, Stenberg and Gardner. Each of these theorists views intelligence from a different point of view.
Spearman’s theory of intelligence suggests that intelligence has a single dimension. He supports the notion that people who appear to be smart in one area, they are usually smart and capable in other areas too. Spearman suggested that intelligence has two factors: the g factor which represents the general intelligence, which is the ability to perform mental, cognitive operations in various levels and extents and the s factor which represents other specific intellectual abilities (Spearman, 1950). According to him, the g factor permits good performance on all, or most of intellectual tasks, therefore is of a great importance. On the contrary, the s factor allows performance on a single task and therefore is not consider by him as being important.
Stenberg, on the other hand, believed in the multidimensionality of intelligence (Stenberg, 1995). He introduced the triarchic theory of intelligence which consists of three sub-theories and supports the notion that intelligence is not only one thing. This is a theory about individuals and their relations with the internal, the external world and about the way experiences serve as mediators between the two worlds (Sternberg, 1985). Stenberg believed that there are three dimensions of intelligence: the componential intelligence, the experiential intelligence and the contextual intelligence. Each one of them represents each one of the sub-theories, accordingly.
The first sub theory, the componential intelligence, has to do with those mental abilities which are more closely related to success on IQ and achievement tests, or else with analytical ability. It is related with the recognition of a problem and the strategies the individual chooses to apply in order to solve it The second sub theory, the experiential intelligence, has to do with creative thinking and problem solving, or else creative ability. People with experiential ability learn quickly and easily to perform new tasks. Finally, the contextual intelligence is a more practical kind of intelligence which people use in their everyday life in order to adapt and function in their environment. It is more of a practical ability (Sternberg, 1985).
Howard Gardner agrees with Sternberg on the multi dimensionality of intelligence. He believes that intelligence has 7 dimensions. The logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability that a person should have in order to be able to think in a logical way, using deductive reasoning and it is related to scientific and mathematical thought. Linguistic intelligence involves a high capacity to use language as well as the ability to use it in different ways and to manipulate it in order to express one self in various ways (for example in a poetic way). Spatial intelligence refers to the ability to form and apply mental images in problem solving. Sternberg believed that spatial ability is not only a visual ability and that it can also develop in blind persons. Musical intelligence refers to the ability to recognise and compose various musical parts, tones and rhythms. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence has to do with the ability to synchronise and coordinate the body movements and is essential to people who work with their bodies (e.g dancers). Finally, there are two more kinds of intelligence which can also be considered as one because they have to do with very similar abilities. Those are the personal intelligences. The first personal intelligence refers to the ability to understand other people’s feelings and thoughts and the second one refers to the ability to understand one’s own feelings and emotions. All these intelligences rarely are separated. Usually, they are related, which means that they co-exist in one person (Gardner, 1983).
Nowadays, another kind of human intelligence, the so called Emotional Intelligence, is becoming more and more popular and it is considered by many people as being equally important as IQ. Still, there’s seems to be a debate about which one is more important for a person to have, although these two kinds of intelligence seem to be separate rather than contradictory (Goleman, 1996). As the theories of Stenberg and Gardner support, there are other kinds of intelligence beyond the IQ. Emotional Intelligence has to do with the way and to which extent an individual is aware and in touch with his emotions as well as with the emotions of other people. Emotional Intelligence includes also the ability to form and maintain effective relationships and the ability to have control over one’s emotions (McMullen, 2003).
According to Salovey (Goleman, 1996, p.43) Emotional Intelligence involves five factors:
a. Knowing one’s emotions. That is the ability that an individual has to recognise his emotions as well as their intensity when he experiences them. The extent to which the person is aware of his self and his emotions.
b. Managing emotions. That refers to the ability not only to recognise one’s emotions, but also to the ability to manage them and take control over them, instead of being left to be carried by them.
c. Motivate one’s self. People, who are able to motivate themselves towards a specific goal, are people who usually show higher commitment to tasks and responsibilities. These are also people who are more effective and more productive that those less able to motivate themselves.
d. Recognising emotions to others. Recognising and understanding one’s emotions is equally important with recognising and understanding the emotions of other people. This is what is known as empathy. It refers to a person’s ability to see and recognise other peoples’ verbal or non-verbal messages that usually reflect the emotional state at a given moment. Being able to understand what another person feels, wants or needs is very important not only in the everyday life and the everyday relationships but also in a person’s professional life, especially in medical professions or professions that have to do with management.
e. Handling relationships. People who can recognise, manage and have control over their own emotions and the emotions of others, they are usually people who are more socially competent and therefore, more popular and with an increased ability of forming and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships.
Emotionally intelligent people tend to be more secure and cooperative with other people (Schutte, 2001).
In a study made by Lopes (2003), emotional intelligence was found to play a very significant role in people’s satisfaction with their social relationships. Those individuals, who manage emotions well, reported having positive and successful interpersonal relationships and little or no negative interactions with their friends (e.g fights). In general, satisfaction with social relationships is related with extraversion and managements of emotions while it is negatively related with neuroticism (Lopes, 2003).
Similar findings were given also by Scutte (2001). In seven studies which attempted to examine the relation between emotional intelligence and interpersonal relationships, individuals who scored higher on emotional intelligence, scored also high on empathy and self-monitoring in social situations, as well as on social skills tests. Additionally, those people were reported to be more cooperative with their partners and to have high scores on intimate relationships. Finally, they were found to be more satisfied, both in marriage and in non marital relationships, when they consider their partner as having also a high emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence has been found to have positive relation with life satisfaction in general and be negatively associated with depression tendencies and depression (Saklofske, 2003). It is also related to people’s ability to handle and manage their moods changes but not to the ability to prevent their changing moods from affecting their thoughts and judgements (Ciarrochi, 2000).
Goleman (1996) pointed out that rational thinking and attention depend on working memory which is controlled by the prefrontal lobes. The emotional centres of the brain have strong connections with the prefrontal areas. Therefore, anxious patients experience lack in attention and interpretation of stimuli due to the intercorrelation of the emotional centres and logical processors.
According to Goleman (1996), working memory is limited referring to the capacity of attention, and when the anxious individuals maintain those negative and distressing thoughts, the result is that this capacity becomes even more limited. Anxious persons are so focused on the thoughts of failure that they become unaible to think of anything else. As a consequence, this possible failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is suspected that people with social anxiety would fail to fulfil the criteria of the social skills component of emotional intelligence and this disadvantage will enhance their preoccupation with what other people think. The failure to recognise emotions or distorted appraisal of their own emotions would lead in low potential of handling relationships and as a consequence to depressive feelings and pessimism.
In this study four factors of emotional intelligence will be examined in relation with social anxiety. The four factors are the ones examined by the Schutte’s test of emotional intelligence which is based on Salovey’s test for EQ. Although Salovey, in his original questionnaire measures 5 factors (which were mentioned previously), Schutte in his test measures only four, “optimism and mood regulation” “utilization of emotions” “ social skills” and “emotional appraisal”.


Aims of the present study
The present study is being conducted as an attempt to relate the concepts of emotional intelligence and social anxiety, as there are no previous studies to have examined if and how those terms are related. The research question is if emotional intelligence can predict social anxiety, and if it does, to which extend. Therefore, there are four hypotheses to be examined: a) Optimism and mood regulation will be a significantly negative predictor of social anxiety, b) appraisal of emotions will be a significantly negative predictor of social anxiety, c) social skills will be a significant negative predictor for social anxiety and d) utilization of emotions will be a significantly negative predictor of social anxiety. Those for hypotheses derived from the factors of emotional intelligence measured by the 33-item scale which has been used for the specific study.

Methodology
Design
Two questionnaires were used for the collection of data foe emotional intelligence and social anxiety. The sample which participated in the study was random in terms of age and sex but all the participants were of the same country. The dependent variable was the social anxiety and the independent variables were the four factors of emotional intelligence measured by the questionnaire.

Participants
A total of 71 individuals participated in the present study. All of the participants were coming from Greece in order to for the sample to have consistency and the results to be representative for the specific culture. The sample was random, which means that the participants did not have to be of a specific group (for example, college students) or of a specific age (for example, adolescents), instead they were selected randomly. The only requirements was for the individuals to be over 18 (adults) and under 60. There were no ethical considerations regarding the participants (for example, they did not suffer from any disorder or they were not misled about the nature of the study). No personal information was asked by the participants.

Measures
Measure for Social Anxiety
In order to measure social anxiety, the Social Activities and Distress scale was used. This is a 28-item self-report scale which can be answered in a simple true or false answering scale. The higher the participants scored in the test, the higher the social distress. There are various reversed items in the test, which means that in specific questions the answered must be reversed for the calculation of the results. For example if true counts for 1 point and false counts for 2 points, in a negative question such as ‘I feel anxious when I am with unknown people’, where the participants has stated true, then in the calculation of results the answer must be reversed and count for 2 instead of 1, as the true in that case indicates higher social anxiety. The test was created by Watson and Friend (1969). The test takes approximately 15 to be completed and it was translated in Greek for the purposes of the study. The translation was made in order for the participants to be able to clearly understand the questions and in order to avoid misunderstandings which could affect the results.
Although the questionnaire was appeared to be a unidimentional test, measuring only one factor, still a factor analysis was made in order to see the number of factors the test of social anxiety actually measures. The factor analysis, as shown at the table 1 below, gave only one factor of social anxiety measured by the specific test. Finally, items 17 and 19 of social anxiety were excluded from the further statistical analysis as they were below .30 in value.

Table 1
Factor loadings for social anxiety

Factor Matrix(a)

Factor
1
SANX1 .570
SANX2 .672
SANX3 .497
SANX4 .569
SANX5 .478
SANX6 .632
SANX7 .405
SANX8 .676
SANX9 .477
SANX10 .553
SANX11 .529
SANX12 .715
SANX13 .370
SANX14 .568
SANX15 .467
SANX16 .591
SANX17 .188
SANX18 .416
SANX19 .072
SANX20 .568
SANX21 .373
SANX22 .466
SANX23 .455
SANX24 .551
SANX25 .519
SANX26 .421
SANX27 .448
SANX28 .444
Extraction Method: Principal Axis Factoring.
a 1 factors extracted. 4 iterations required.


The reliability analysis for the social anxiety questionnaire showed that SAD has a reliability of .9018.

Measure for Emotional Intelligence
In order to measure Emotional Intelligence, the 33-item emotional intelligence scale was used. This 33-item scale has been created by Schutte, as a result and following the model of the 62-item emotional intelligence test by Salovey and Mayer and using a factor analysis (Schutte, 1997). The questionnaire is a self-report scale, which consists of 33 items that can be answered in a 5 point scale, with 1 representing ‘totally disagree’ and 5 representing ‘totally agree’. The test includes one reversed question, which is the item 5, and which when the results are being calculated it must be reversed. For example, if the participant has answered 1 in this question, it must be considered as being 5, or if he has answered 2 it must be considered as 4. It takes approximately 20 minutes to be completed, and it was also translated for the purposes of the study. The test measures four factors of emotional intelligence: optimism and mood regulation, appraisal of emotions, social skills and utilization of emotions (Brackett, 2003, p.3).
Factor analysis for the 33-item scale showed that the test consists of only one factor and that other three were close to the significant point of 3.0, which determines how many factors can be extracted from the test. Looking at the scree plot, it was obvious that besides that one factor, which was initially extracted by the factor analysis, there were three more factors which formed a group very close to the first factor.
A second factor analysis for four (4) factors gave the following table.

Table 2
Factor loadings for emotional intelligence


Factor Matrix(a)
Factor
1 2 3 4
EMOTIN1 .345 .150 -.316 .179
EMOTIN2 .453 -.072 -.096 .122
EMOTIN3 .494 -.198 -.553 .322
EMOTIN4 .322 -.226 .203 -.275
EMOTIN5 .032 -.258 .290 .233
EMOTIN6 .379 .180 -.095 -.243
EMOTIN7 .378 .347 .074 -.112
EMOTIN8 .421 -.140 .262 -.361
EMOTIN9 .430 -.031 .353 -.016
EMOTIN10 .403 -.181 -.187 .141
EMOTIN11 .285 -.101 .140 -.438
EMOTIN12 .271 .101 .128 .298
EMOTIN13 .199 -.426 .272 -.051
EMOTIN14 .365 -.095 -.432 -.181
EMOTIN15 .296 .043 .242 -.004
EMOTIN16 .132 -.099 .273 .399
EMOTIN17 .369 .178 .235 -.120
EMOTIN18 .126 -.151 .107 .141
EMOTIN19 .551 -.097 -.019 .131
EMOTIN20 .465 .581 .089 -.009
EMOTIN21 .383 .203 -.014 .382
EMOTIN22 .491 -.208 .260 -.039
EMOTIN23 .459 -.094 -.369 .227
EMOTIN24 .597 -.118 -.077 -.525
EMOTIN25 .286 -.308 .417 .275
EMOTIN26 .409 .308 .316 .181
EMOTIN27 .438 .578 -.138 -.070
EMOTIN28 -.187 .432 .368 .049
EMOTIN29 .254 -.088 .195 .233
EMOTIN30 .486 -.032 .042 -.074
EMOTIN31 .561 -.085 -.257 -.091
EMOTIN32 .320 .203 .051 .192
EMOTIN33 -.154 .572 .039 -.033
Extraction Method: Principal Axis Factoring.
a 4 factors extracted. 8 iterations required.

According to table 2, there are four factors of emotional intelligence measured by the 33-item scale.
Although the authors did not refer to the four factors of the test, some other authors stated the factors they believed the test measures. Still, they, also, did not mention the name of each factor and which items are included in each one of them. Consequently, the items were categorised in each factor, for the purposes of this study, depending on which they have a 3.0 and above. The items which fall under to factors they will be no further used for the statistical analysis.
Consequently, items are distributed as following. Items 1, 2, 3, 10, 14, 19 and 23 belong to the first factor, which measures optimism and mood regulation. The second factor consists of the items 7, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 32, and measures utilization of emotions and the third factor includes the items 4, 6, 8, 11 and 30 which measure social skills. Finally, the fourth factor consists of the items 5, which is also counts as a reversed question in the test, items 12, 16, 25 and 29. The fourth factor measures the appraisal of emotions. The questions 9, 13, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 28, 31 and 33 will not be used for the further statistical analysis as they do not clearly belong to any of these factors or they seem to belong in more than one factor. In general, the rest of the factor loadings were found to be above .30 in value.
The first factor measures ‘optimism and mood regulation’, the second factor measures ‘utilization of emotions’, the third factor measures ‘social skills’ and finally, the fourth factor of the emotional intelligence questionnaire measures the ‘appraisal of emotions’.
The reliability test for each factor showed that: the first factor has a reliability of .7267, the second factor has .7129, the third factor .5509 and the fourth factor has reliability of .5313. The two first factors seem to have higher reliability while the third and the fourth factor have a lower but still, high enough reliability (as it is above 0.5).

Procedure
The procedure of collecting data from the participants was as following. The participants received and completed the two questionnaires in quite places where they could concentrate and were there would be as less disruptions as possible. They were told that they were going to participate in a study where they would have to complete two questionnaires, one measuring emotional intelligence and one measuring social anxiety and that their results from the tests would be anonymous and confidential.
Before answering the tests they were asked to be honest and as non-biased as they could. They were also informed that they could ask for any clarification, concerning the questions or the way they should be answered, if and when needed. Finally, they were informed that, if for any reason, during the completion of the tests, they felt that they want to quit and stop the procedure, they were free to do so. They were not asked to give any demographics or other personal information besides their age range, which was asked in order to ensure that they belonged to the age range of 18-60 years old. After the completion of the questionnaires, the participants were thanked once again for their help and they were reassured one more time about the confidentiality of their results.

Results
The Pearson’s correlation test was used for the purposes of the study, in order to find the correlation between the four factors of emotional intelligence and the correlation between those four factors and social anxiety.
Table 3
Correlations for emotional intelligence’s factors and social anxiety

Correlations(a)

SANX EMOTINF1 EMOTINF2 EMOTINF3 EMOTINF4
SANX Pearson Correlation 1 -.302(*) -.023 -.342(**) -.380(**)
Sig. (2-tailed) . .011 .852 .004 .001
EMOTINF1 Pearson Correlation -.302(*) 1 .359(**) .267(*) .160
Sig. (2-tailed) .011 . .002 .024 .183
EMOTINF2 Pearson Correlation -.023 .359(**) 1 .285(*) .207
Sig. (2-tailed) .852 .002 . .016 .084
EMOTINF3 Pearson Correlation -.342(**) .267(*) .285(*) 1 .067
Sig. (2-tailed) .004 .024 .016 . .581
EMOTINF4 Pearson Correlation -.380(**) .160 .207 .067 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .001 .183 .084 .581 .
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
a Listwise N=71

The above table reports both significant and non significant correlations. The significance levels set where 0.05 and 0.01.
According to the table, factor 1, “optimism and mood regulation” is significantly correlated with factor 2, “utilization of emotions”. Factor 1 is also significantly correlated with factor 3, “social skills”. On the contrary, factor “optimism and mood regulation” is not significantly correlated with factor 4, “emotional appraisal”.
Factor 2, “utilization of emotions” is correlated with all the other factors of emotional intelligence. The correlation of “utilization of emotions” with “emotional appraisal”, although is not significant, still, it approaches significance. Those two factors have a, so called, marginal significance. Marginal is called when the p (significance value) is higher than .01 and lower than .05.
Factor 3 of emotional intelligence, “social skills”, seems to be significantly correlated with factors 1 and 2, “optimism and mood regulation” and “utilization of emotions”. On the other hand there is no correlation between factor 3, “social skills” and factor 4, “emotional appraisal”.
Factor 4, “emotional appraisal” seems to have no correlation with the rest of the four factors, besides the marginal correlation it has with factor 2, “utilization of emotions”.
Regarding the correlations between the four factors of emotional intelligence and the one factor of social anxiety, the table shows that the first factor of emotional intelligence, “optimism and mood regulation” has a significant negative correlation with social anxiety, while no correlation seems to exist between the second factor of emotional intelligence, “utilization of emotions” and social anxiety. “Social skills” and “emotional appraisal” show also a negatively significant correlation with social anxiety.
Running the regression analysis in order to testify the initial hypothesis, the general R Square value shows that in general all four factors of emotional intelligence are significantly related to social anxiety. The four components of emotional intelligence, taken together, explain the 31.6% of variance in individual’s scores on social anxiety.
But, the table of coefficients which examines the four factors one by one in order to see if each one of them, separately, is a negative predictor for social anxiety, shows different results.
In regression analysis one should expect the beta scores to be similar with the correlations.

Table 4
Coefficients(a)

Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients T Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 61.126 6.069 10.071 .000
EMOTINF1 -.325 .151 -.240 -2.156 .035
EMOTINF2 .375 .184 .231 2.040 .045
EMOTINF3 -.690 .234 -.319 -2.952 .004
EMOTINF4 -.719 .204 -.368 -3.518 .001
a Dependent Variable: SANX

According to the table of coefficients, the first factor seems to be a significantly negative predictor of social anxiety. Similarly, the third factor of emotional intelligence, “social skills” seems to be a significantly negative predictor of social anxiety. Finally, the fourth factor of emotional intelligence, “emotional appraisal” is also a significant negative predictor of social anxiety.
Factor 2 of emotional intelligence, “utilization of emotions” seems not to be a negative predictor for social anxiety. On the contrary, it seems that the second factor changes its value from negative that it was in the correlation test to positive in the regression test, as if it gives an f value of .231 in the beta scores. That problem is probably caused, because the factor 2, “utilization of emotions” as shown in the correlation analysis, is positively correlated with all the other factors of emotional intelligence. Consequently, this causes a problem which is called problem with multicollinearity. Multicollinearity occurs when one or more independent variables are correlated with the others (Ferguson & Takane, 1989). In this case, factor 2 is correlated with the other three factors of emotional intelligence.

Discussion
According to the statistical findings, and in agreement with the initial hypothesis, emotional intelligence is actually related to social anxiety. The results indicated that three of the four factors of emotional intelligence, measured by the specific test, optimism and mood regulation, appraisal of emotions and social skills serve as negative predictors of social anxiety. So, in general, the initial hypothesis is successfully testified as the two concepts, emotional intelligence and social anxiety, are actually related in a negatively significant way. The higher the person scores in emotional intelligence, the lower his scores in social anxiety.
Although the overall results shows that emotional intelligence is related and can, in fact, predict social anxiety, if one attempts to look the relation that exists between each factor of emotional intelligence (separately) and social anxiety, there the results are somewhat different. According to the findings, the first factor of emotional intelligence, which measures optimism and mood regulation, is a negative predictor for social anxiety the same as with factor 3, which represents social skills and factor 4 which represents the appraisal of emotions. All of these components can negatively predict social anxiety, which means that the higher the scores are in each of these factors, the lower the scores in social anxiety. In other words, when an individual has a high ability for regulation and appraisal of emotions as well as high social skills, then this individual will have low social anxiety. On the other hand, although three of the four components of emotional intelligence were found to be significantly negative predictors for social anxiety, the factor 2, which is utilization of emotions, was found to have no relation with social anxiety, when measured separately.
This factor, according to the results is neither a significant negative predictor, nor a significant positive predictor for social anxiety. “Utilization of emotions” initially, seemed to be significantly and positively related to social anxiety, contrary to the expectations; but the discrepancy between the beta weight and the zero-order correlation makes the results inconclusive regarding this component of emotional intelligence. In other words, it is not clear if this component is unrelated or is a significant positive predictor, regarding social anxiety. That finding is probably due to the fact that the specific factor, utilization of emotions, was the only factor that was found to be related with all the other three factors of emotional intelligence and that caused problems in the further statistical analysis, resulting in this awkward finding. It doesn’t mean though that utilization of emotions is not an important factor for emotional intelligence or that is not important for reducing social anxiety. But its high correlation with the other three factors influenced the further statistical results.
In general, the findings support the research hypothesis in the sense that emotional intelligence, as a general concept, is actually related and can predict social anxiety in a negative way. That means that an individual who has the ability of being aware of emotions and the ability to manage them in an effective way, usually shows low or no social anxiety as he can handle emotions, situations that involve unknown people and new relationships. He appears to be confident about his capabilities and his social skills and is not afraid of confronting unknown people. That person, when being in social situation, does not feel discomfort or distress, and does not, normally, feel anxious about acting, talking or introducing himself to new people. This person is not afraid of being judged or negatively evaluated by other people, or at least he/she does not seem to worry so much about it and he has confidence in his social abilities and faith about his effective performance. On the contrary, a person who has low emotional intelligence, seems, according to the findings, that he will probably show higher levels of social anxiety and distress, especially when unknown people are present, showing great concern about the effectiveness of his performance and the comments which this performance will cause.
Although there are no specific studies examining the relation between emotional intelligence and its factors and social anxiety, yet, the findings of various research concerning social anxiety, referring to terms such as self esteem, social skills, perception about oneself, poor relationships, self doubts and negative thoughts about performance and evaluation, which in general are aspects of emotional intelligence, provide a negative correlation with social anxiety.
Strengths and limitations
The present study had certain limitations. First of all, concerning the tests used to measure emotional intelligence and social anxiety, there were various difficulties to be faced and overcome. Although there was no difficulty finding and using the Social Activities and Distress Scale for social anxiety, the test for emotional intelligence it was extremely difficult to be found as there are no such tests available in the market or in any other easily accessible source. After an extended search the 33-item scale for emotional intelligence was found within a journal, yet the authors had not stated neither the factors which the test measure nor the items that belong in each factor. They mentioned only the fact that the test measures four factors and that those factors are optimism and mood regulation, appraisal of emotions, utilization of emotions and social skills.
Due to the fact that the 33 items were not categorized in each factor, a factor analysis had to be done in order to examine if there are indeed four factors to be measured and which items fall under which factor. Statistical analysis also showed that there were certain items in the test that seemed to belong in more than one factor, so in order to solve this problem, those items were eliminated from the further statistical analysis. Factor analysis for the 33-item scale showed that there was one clear factor measured in the test, although it was supposed to measure four factors. Looking though, at the scree plot, it was obvious that beside that one factor, there were three more factors which were forming a group very close to the first one, and their values were very close to the value needed in order for them to be considered as factors of the test.
Additionally, the specific study is the first study which has been conducted to measure the relation between the two concepts of emotional intelligence and social anxiety. Although that is also a major strength of this study, it created problems in finding resources and references not only for the measures needed for the conduction of the study but also for the literature sources which would support the study. Limited bibliography was available and almost no bibliography connecting the two concepts, in any way.
Besides the limitations mentioned above, the current study has also some strengths to present. First of all, the fact that is the first study to examine the relation between emotional intelligence and social anxiety and second that besides the existence of a relation between them, it specifically examines if emotional intelligence, as a whole and each of its factors separately, can predict social anxiety. This study could be used as the basis for further research on this subject.
In addition, the fact that the questionnaires were translated in Greek in order to give more valid results, besides a limitation (because of the time needed for the translation), it also consists a strength of the study as it reduces the chances of invalid answers given by the participants due to the difficulty of answering a questionnaire which was in a language other than their own.
Future recommendations:
As future suggestions, it would be interesting to examine some further things concerning emotional intelligence and social anxiety, besides the relation between them and if emotional intelligence can be a negative predictor for social anxiety. It would be interesting to examine the relation between them and if the one affects the other, by taking under consideration not only the age of the participants, but also the gender or the occupational background. For example, if and how different would be the scores on both emotional intelligence and social anxiety if one would compare the answers based on the gender of the subjects, or if and how the results would be affected by the occupational position of the participants (higher and lower positions or occupations in which the person is constantly in touch with other people) It would be also worth to examine if the educational background of the participants has any affect on their scores both in emotional intelligence and in social anxiety, expecting people with higher education to have higher scores on emotional intelligence.
Another way to look at the relation between emotional intelligence and social anxiety, would be by focusing and examining a specific age group of people, for example 20 to 30 years old people. That would be interesting because in that age, most people enter the occupational arena where they have to interact with lots of new, unfamiliar people while they are still in the age where they interact with people in their everyday life, making new relationships or meeting new people. So, how they view those interactions and how developed their emotional intelligence is would be good to examine, as well as how their emotional intelligence affects their levels of social anxiety.
The same study could also be conducted as a cross-cultural study, measuring the relation between emotional intelligence and social anxiety in two different cultures, preferably in opposite cultures, in order to point out any possible similarities or differences in their results. For instance, it could examine those two concepts in two cultures with different beliefs and values. It would be really interesting to see how different cultures view emotions and how they handle them and experiencing them when they are in social situations where they have to meet and interact with unknown people.

Conclusion
A major issue that generally persists appearing in correlation studies is the causality factor. The regression model used, does not clarify whether low emotional intelligence scores cause high anxiety levels or vice versa. Moreover, we can not be certain that third factors such as, attention deficits, societal pressure, self expectations etc, do not determine the association between emotional intelligence and anxiety. Many studies share this in common: high levels of environmental uncertainty and eagerness to control all possible threatening situations, may lead to low self-esteem, emotional intelligence scores and high levels of anxiety. This procedure is mainly unconscious and resembles the way depressed patients exhibit lack of involvement and scarcity of motivation.
According to Beck and Clark (1988) the concept “cognitive triad” (negative view of self, the world and future) which is basically an unconscious process, leads depressed individuals to considering internal sources as a major filter for viewing the world, whilst anxious persons pay greater attention to external information, over maximising threat and personalizing irrelevant or minor judgements (Finlay-Jones and Brown, 1981). Therefore, we can conclude that, contrary to depression, which is focused in past losses, anxiety has a strong relationship with possible future dangers, affecting the optimism component of emotional intelligence.
Anxiety disorders are multidimensional, comprising of both conscious and unconscious factors and psychological and social etiology. It might be an over simplification to correlate one possible independent variable such as emotional intelligence with the whole spectrum of anxiety. In initial psychoanalytic theories there was an obvious shift of emphasis in conflict of uncontrolled subconscious factors, while empirical studies pay attention to overt behaviours and measurable aspects. However it is most crucial that the causes of social anxiety are clearly defined so as therapeutic methods to be applied. Taking into consideration the indication that higher emotional intelligence is associated with lower levels of anxiety and taking into account that standardized training programs for emotional intelligence are developed, an experimental model should be employed. This could be possible if we compared a control group of anxious persons with a group of anxious patients who participated in emotional intelligence training programs and see whether statistically significant differences will be established.

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