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J Edu Health Promot 2015,  4:66

A study of the academic performance of medical students in the comprehensive examination of the basic sciences according to the indices of emotional intelligence and educational status

1 Skin Diseases and Leishmaniasis Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, School of Management and Medical Information, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Research Institute of Shakhes Pajouh, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication06-Aug-2015

Correspondence Address:
Rahele Samouei
No. 67, Jey-Talar Neighborhood, Bahman Street, Isfahan, Post Code: 8199939637
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-9531.162387

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Background: Considering the increasing importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in different aspects of life, such as academic achievement, the present survey is aimed to predict academic performance of medical students in the comprehensive examination of the basic sciences, according to the indices of emotional intelligence and educational status. Materials and Methods: The present survey is a descriptive, analytical, and cross-sectional study performed on the medical students of Isfahan, Tehran, and Mashhad Universities of Medical Sciences. Sampling the universities was performed randomly after which selecting the students was done, taking into consideration the limitation in their numbers. Based on the inclusion criteria, all the medical students, entrance of 2005, who had attended the comprehensive basic sciences examination in 2008, entered the study. The data collection tools included an Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (standardized in Isfahan), the average score of the first to fifth semesters, total average of each of the five semesters, and the grade of the comprehensive basic sciences examination. The data were analyzed through stepwise regression coefficient by SPSS software version 15. Results : The results indicated that the indicators of independence from an emotional intelligence test and average scores of the first and third academic semesters were significant in predicting the students' academic performance in the comprehensive basic sciences examination. Conclusion : According to the obtained results, the average scores of students, especially in the earlier semesters, as well as the indicators of independence and the self-esteem rate of students can influence their success in the comprehensive basic sciences examination.

Keywords: Academic performance, comprehensive examination of basic sciences, emotional intelligence, medical students

How to cite this article:
Moslehi M, Samouei R, Tayebani T, Kolahduz S. A study of the academic performance of medical students in the comprehensive examination of the basic sciences according to the indices of emotional intelligence and educational status. J Edu Health Promot 2015;4:66

How to cite this URL:
Moslehi M, Samouei R, Tayebani T, Kolahduz S. A study of the academic performance of medical students in the comprehensive examination of the basic sciences according to the indices of emotional intelligence and educational status. J Edu Health Promot [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 Dec 18];4:66. Available from: http://www.jehp.net/text.asp?2015/4/1/66/162387

  Introduction Top

Emotional intelligence, in recent decades, has been considered as an achievement elixir in the various comprehensive aspects of life and include perception capacity, expression, understanding, cognition, application, and self-management of the emotions of self and others. [1],[2]

Emotional intelligence will help an individual to apply his skills in the best way, in social relations, and in particular circumstances, will help him/her recognize an inappropriate action from an appropriate action, be hopeful, empathize with others, listen to the others' emotions, ignore smaller rewards to achieve much larger rewards, persist against the problems and maintain the motivation in all circumstances, attract others' trust, [3] be accountable, convinced, lively, be a novelty seeker, be in balance emotionally, [4] and be optimistic and goal-oriented in life. [5],[6]

Having an emotional intelligence quotient rate causes one to spend less psychological energy in negative incidents and to achieve more benefits from the positive incidents. [7] With regard to these features, some of the references pointed out that people's destiny to obtain many achievements is dependent on their emotional intelligence. In this regard, emotional intelligence is a decisive determinant, for example, the unsuccessfulness of some people with high IQ (intelligence quotient) or unexpected success of some others with average and normal IQ. Thus, emotional intelligence is the predictor of individuals' success in life, education, and so on. [8]

Dewey correlated this issue to the education system; in this system, only academic ability is emphasized and EI is disregarded. [9]

Therefore, Austin et al., believe that social and emotional competence is considered as a determinant for academic achievement. [10] Hence, emotions have consistently been seen as essential components of learning, along with the emphasized cognitive capacity of the psychologists and instructors of educational sciences. [11]

Many evidences indicated the association between EI and academic achievement in many different surveys. [12],[13],[14],[15],[16]

However, considering the importance and impact of emotional intelligence on different aspects of life, such as the educational life, the mentioned survey tried to predict the academic performance of medical students in the basic sciences comprehensive examination, based on EI indicators and their educational status in this period; especially medical students who required a higher commitment level, a more complete performance, and more accountability, of the service providing type.

In the following section, relevant domestic and foreign researches in this regard have been mentioned briefly:

Besharat et al., in separate researches on students reported that there was a significant and positive correlation between some of the components of EI and academic achievement. Haddadi et al. in a study on Shahed and non-Shahed students of Tehran University concluded that there was no correlation between EI and academic achievement. [17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25]

It has been reported that emotional skills have a long-term effect on success. The American Psychiatrists Association, studied the educational experiences of 21 women and came to a conclusion that those with higher EI had higher academic achievement. Gumora and Arsenio, Diguseppe, Robert, Parker, Petrides et al., Abdollah et al., Parker et al., Wraight, Rice, and Bradshow, in separate researches, reported that there was a positive and negative correlation between EI and academic achievement. Moreover, Woitasze and Alsama, Drago, and Bastian et al., illustrated an inconsistent result in different researches based on the fact that there was no correlation between emotional intelligence and academic achievement. Stratton et al., in a study that had reviewed EI in medical students, had come to realize that with increase in the academic semester of the students, they showed considerable reduction in emotions, mood modification, sympathy, and increased distress on account of the EI indicators. Lazaguirre, when studying freshmen, had concluded that the variables of problem solving and social accountability of EI indicators were in association with academic achievement. [14],[15],[16],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36],[37],[38],[39]

Studies conducted in different countries have emphasized the impact of various emotional intelligence indicators on students' academic performances. The present study aims to investigate this subject in medical students, based on their biomedical examination, and show that this examination plays a decisive role in a student's ability to continue his/her education in this major, and then it answers the research question of whether the educational function of medical students, according to excitable intelligence indices, is a predictable method.

  Materials and Methods Top

This study was a survey that was performed on the medical students of the Isfahan, Tehran, and Mashhad Universities of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2008. The mentioned students had participated in a comprehensive basic sciences examination, in September 2008. Students who were guests or transferred to these schools were excluded. The universities were randomly selected and the students underwent census (n = 182).

Following coordination with the Dean of the colleges and universities and contact with student representatives, the standardized emotional intelligence questionnaires were distributed, after explaining the study objective. On the other hand, accurate accessibility of the students' average scores was conducted by obtaining the user ID and code through the SAMA software affiliated to the Research Deputy of the University. Thereafter, the score of comprehensive basic sciences examination of each of the students was received with the coordination of the Research Chancellor of the universities from the Educational Section of the schools (colleges).

The emotional intelligence questionnaire had 90 questions with 15 Likert scales of, problem-solving, happiness, using stress tolerance, self-actualization, emotional self-awareness, realism, interpersonal relationships, optimism, self-esteem, impulse control, flexibility, social responsibility, empathy, and self-expression by responding. Reliability was reported to be 0.93 through the Cronbach's alpha coefficient and 0.87 by the split-half method. [40] After collecting the data, they were analyzed by the SPSS software version 15 and stepwise regression test.

  Results Top

The results showed that the predicted coefficients of the three independent variables including average scores of the third semester, the first semester, and the independence score (one of the 15 scales of the EI questionnaire) were significant toward the academic performance of the students in the comprehensive basic sciences examination [Table 1] and [Table 2].
Table 1: Multiple correlation coefficients of the emotional intelligence subscale and average score of the five semesters of basic sciences in predicting the academic performance of medical students in comprehensive basic sciences examination

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Table 2: Reviewing significant coefficient predictors of the academic performance of medical students

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According to the results of the statistical test, the three predictive academic performance variables were, average scores of the third semester, the first semester, and independence scale, from the EI questionnaire.

  Discussion Top

With the aim to widen the varied effects of emotional intelligence on different dimensions of the individual, social, academic, occupational, family life and so on, the present study predicted the academic performance of the medical students in a comprehensive examination of the basic sciences, according to the indices of emotional intelligence and educational status. According to the results of the regression coefficient, among the independent variables (a mean of the five semesters of basic sciences and 15 EI scales), three predictive academic performance variables of the students included average scores of the third semester, the first semester, and the independence scale from the EI questionnaire.

The correlation between EI and academic performance also was indicated in many researches, like those of: Zare, Mansouri, Yousefi and Kheir, Haddad Kouhsari, et al., Razavian Shad, Besharat, et al., Dehshiri., Samari and Tahmasbi, La`lifaz and Asgari, Elias, APA, Gumora and Arsenio, Digiuseppe, Rice, Holt, Bradshaw, and Lizagairre. [17],[18],[19],[25],[21],[12],[22],[13],[24],[26],[28],[29],[34],[16],[39]

However, Bastin et al., and Haddad Kouhsar et al., in their studies, found no correlation between emotional intelligence and academic achievement. [25],[37]

In this study, out of 15 components of EI, only the independence scale was a significant predictor for academic performance of medical students in the comprehensive basic sciences examination. The finding of this study was compatible with the study findings of Dehshiri, and supported it; while in the Rice's study, out of 11 EI components, 10 components showed a significant correlation with academic performance and in the study by Lisa Cuir, responsibility and problem-solving had the highest correlation with academic performance. One of the major causes of difference in results and in the type of scales associated with the predictor of academic performance of the students could be the difference between the individual characteristics of the study samples in Iran and other countries.

On the other hand, with regard to the independence component (that was a significant predictor in this study), the ability to recognize the inner capacity, talent, and the capability for doing the things someone is able to do, wants to do, and enjoys doing, will be reviewed. The prerequisite for being accepted in the medicine course also is to try and work hard. Therefore, individuals must use their own capacity, talent, effort, and abilities independently, to achieve success.

  Conclusion Top

Taking into consideration the influence of emotional intelligence on individual, social, occupational, and educational life aspects, as well as the fact that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned, it is imperative to provide students with the related training during the academic semesters, which will help improve their academic performance and enhance their occupational skills and abilities.

Financial support and sponsorship

Medical Science University of Isfahan.

Conflict of interest

There are no conflict of interest.

  References Top

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  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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