IQ directly relates to how students perform on tests in the first two years of dental school. But emotional intelligence (EI) trumps IQ in how well dental students work with patients, report researchers from Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine and Weatherhead School of Management.
EI influences how well dental students recognize and manage their emotions and professional relationships, explain Kristin Victoroff, DDS, PhD, and Richard Boyatzis, PhD, in the current issue of the Journal of Dental Education article, "What is the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Dental School Clinical Performance?"
EI differs from IQ, which measures the ability to think and perform on tests. EI, also a form of intelligence, is the ability to read one's own moods and those of others, remain calm under pressure and be optimistic and adaptable to change.
"Emotional intelligence is distinct from traditional intelligence or IQ," said Boyatzis, a Distinguished University Professor and professor of organizational behavior, psychology and cognitive science. He developed the EI management model and coauthored a book series on how to use it in business. He added that people need both to be successful.
The study evolved from discussions by heath-care educators about whether EI should be used in the admissions process or as a measure in clinical practice.
Boyatzis explained that other standardized admissions tests are equally incapable of predicting success in other fields, like medicine, management, and other fields. "Such tests predict grades in courses but not effectiveness in professions. This is the first test of this relationship in dentistry, and one of the clearest studies of the dynamics," he said.
Until now, no evidence was available to determine if EI had a connection to clinical education, said Victoroff, the associate dean for education and associate professor of community denti
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Case Western Reserve University