Dentists need to be smart to succeed. But emotional intelligence (EI) plays a role in success, too, as evidenced by a recent study of Japanese students. Researchers at the Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at Niigata evaluated the ability of 129 undergrads to deal with different communication situations.
The 88 males and 41 females completed the Japanese version of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test in communication skills. The females tended to have a much higher EI score than the males. Also, the high-grade academic performers had higher EI scores than the low-grade academic performers.
The researchers concluded that EI’s influence on academic performance mainly was due to the students’ ability to accurately perceive emotions and understand emotional issues. EI also enables these students to parse our personality factors from the more changeable aspects of human behavior.
Though more studies are required, they said, the researchers believe dental educators should help their students develop the emotional competencies they will need to prosper in their careers. Educators also should support low achievers to increase their self-confidence instead of just concentrating on technical skill and academic performance, the researchers said. These students then may see their emotional management skills and learning approaches improve.
The study, “Emotional Intelligence Score and Performance of Dental Undergraduates,” was published by Odontology. It was written by Yuh Hasegawa, Kazunori Ninomiya, Kazuyuki Fujii, and Tsuneo Sekimoto.