Association between level of emotional intelligence and severity of anxiety in generalized social phobia

Madeline Jacobs, Joseph Snow, Marilla Geraci, Meena Vythilingam, R. J.R. Blair, Dennis S. Charney, Daniel S. Pine, Karina S. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Generalized social phobia (GSP) is characterized by a marked fear of most social situations. It is associated with an anomalous neural response to emotional stimuli, and individuals with the disorder frequently show interpretation bias in social situations. From this it might be suggested that GSP involves difficulty in accurately perceiving, using, understanding and managing emotions. Here we applied the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) to medication-free GSP (n = 28) and no pathology (n = 21) individuals. Patients with GSP performed within the normal range on the measure however severity of social anxiety significantly correlated with emotional intelligence (EI). Specifically, there was a negative correlation between social anxiety severity and Experiential (basic-level emotional processing) EI. In contrast, there was no significant correlation between social anxiety severity and Strategic (higher-level conscious emotional processing) EI. These results suggest that EI may index emotional processing systems that mitigate the impact of systems causally implicated in GSP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1487-1495
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Keywords

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Emotional responding
  • Generalized social phobia
  • MSCEIT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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