Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions. Students with higher emotional intelligence skills achieve better grades and standardized test scores compared with their peers who score lower in emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence Skills and Benefits

Emotional intelligence includes understanding human motivation, emotion, and being able to recognize how others are feeling. These skills support the ability to learn academic subject matter such as history, social studies, and language arts.

For example, kids who are able to recognize whether someone else is happy, sad or having a bad day, are able to better understand the characters, conflicts and resolutions in a reading assignment. Furthermore, being able to recover from negative emotions helps kids remain focused and concentrate on lessons throughout the school day.

Outcomes Among Students With Higher Emotional Intelligence

  • Improved focus, attention, and study skills
  • Greater leadership abilities
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Reduced burnout
  • Better academic performance


The research was published in the Psychological Bulletin.

American Psychological Association

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