Emotional intelligence, patterns for coping with decisional conflict, and academic achievement in cross-cultural perspective (evidence from selective Russian and Azerbaijani student populations)
Background. Choice, under conditions of uncertainty, is mediated by integral dynamic regulatory systems that represent hierarchies of cognitive and personality processes. As such, individual decision-making patterns can be studied in the context of intellectual and personality potential. This article presents the results of a cross-cultural comparison of personality characteristics, such as coping with uncertainty, emotional intelligence, and academic achievement, between Azerbaijani and Russian university students.
Objective. We aimed at establishing metric invariance and at highlighting relationships between emotional intelligence and the scales of the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (MDMQ).
Design. Azerbaijani and Russian student samples were selected for this study due to the almost identical educational programs offered by Moscow State University to students in Moscow and its branch in Baku. Coping with uncertainty was measured by the MDMQ, emotional intelligence by the EmIn questionnaire, and academic achievement by GPA scores. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to verify factor structure invariance and congruence.
Results. The congruence of factor structures for both questionnaires was verified. For the MDMQ four-factor structure for both samples was confirmed. For the EmIn questionnaire, invariance for two scales was established — “Understanding other people’s emotions” and “Managing own emotions”. Relationships among personality traits, gender, age, and academic achievements are explained for the Lomonosov Moscow State University students in Moscow (Russia) and its branch in Baku (Azerbaijan). No crosscultural differences were found for emotional intelligence and productive coping (Vigilance). A cultural difference was established in unproductive coping preference for Buck Passing. A similarity between the cultures was captured in the relationship of higher emotional intelligence (EQ) scores to higher Vigilance scores and to lower levels of unproductive coping patterns. Vigilance was a predictor of academic achievement, but only in the Russian sample.
Conclusion. The similarity of the educational systems, as both samples studied similar programs, demonstrates very few cross-cultural differences.
Themes: Social psychology
Keywords: uncertainty, emotional intelligence, vigilance, buck passing, procrastination, GPA, Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (MDMQ)