Correlation of social intelligence with individual social competence
Varetska O. V.
Candidate of Pedagogical Science, Associate Professor Doctoral Candidate
Institute of Higher Education National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine
Varetska Olena Volodymyrivna,
Сorrelation of social intelligence with individual social competence.
Key words: social intelligence, emotional intelligence, social competence.
Конкретизированы функции социального интеллекта. Показано существование связи между социальным интеллектом как познанием социальной действительности и социальной компетентностью как продуктом этого познания. Оба феномена позволяют адекватно адаптироваться в условиях социальных изменений, обеспечивают объективную оценку ситуаций и принятия исполнения решений. Рассмотрена также связь между социальным интеллектом и профессиональной направленностью личности, между социальным и эмоциональным интеллектом. Подтверждена важность эмоционального интеллекта для достижения жизненного успеха человека, а также взаимосвязи между характерными факторами социального интеллекта как «кристаллизованные социальные знания и социально-когнитивная гибкость». Автором предлагается рассматривать одним из ориентиров процесса обучения развитие социального интеллекта и социальной компетентности личности, которые непосредственно связаны с системой высшего, последипломного образования учителя, поскольку педагоги каждый день решают сложные вопросы социального содержания.
Варецкая Елена Владимировна,
Взаимосвязь социального интеллекта и социальной компетентности личности.
Ключевые слова: социальный интеллект, эмоциональный интеллект, социальная компетентность.
Scholars and experts in the sphere of education and state administration, ordinary citizens (foremost parents) are concerned about the fact of how and who teaches schoolchildren and students, to what extend their knowledge will be in demand for national economy, whether it is possible to get a postgraduate degree and what young specialist or teacher should look like today. According to the telephone questioning data of Gorshenin Institute on “Protection of Children’s Rights in Ukraine”, held 29 – 31 May, 2012, every second citizen in Ukraine (50,8%) expressed the opinion that good education is most essential for the children. One third of polled consider that it is important to bring up honest and kind children (38,6%), to set them in the healthy way of life (36,7%). About fourth of respondents consider important to teach children courage, firmness, ability to defend themselves (23,8%). Other opinions concern mastering a profession that “always gives the slice of bread” (22,8%); teaching self-discipline, industriousness, good organization (18,6%); developing mental skills (16,4%); forming the ability to adapt to circumstances (11,5%); developing business skills (10,8%); familiarization with the democratic values (6,2%); teaching tolerance (5,7%); teaching sincere belief in God (4,8%). The answer “something else” was given preference by 6,2% respondents, and 4,7% failed to answer this question. Thus, we see that parents are concerned about intellectual development of schoolchildren and by teaching children mankind values which are spiritually common to all.
The search of ideal attracts social attention to the problem of pedagogical personnel training. Progressive changers and achievements in all the spheres of human activity and society predetermine the guiding lines of educational process at higher school. One of such guiding lines there can be defined as social intellect and individual social competence.
Researches of current importance. The issue of social intellect has been in the focus of attention of such foreign and home scholars as K.Abulhanova-Slavska, H. Eysenck, N.Aminov, U.Babayeva, D.Veksler, G.Gardner, J. Gilford, U.Yemelianov, N.Kudriavtseva, V.Kunitsina, О.Lunyova, E.Myhailova, М.Molokanov, G.Olport, М.Saliven, R.Sternberg, Е.Thorndike, D.Ushakov, Т.Hant, А.Ujaninova, etc. Different views on social intellect show an enormous amount of unsolved questions in this sphere. Social competence, different aspects of individual social competence evolution have been studied by such home and foreign scholars as of V.Baidenko, R.Gryskkova, І.Zumnya, U.Kunning, B.Creme, V.Kunitsina, V.Landsheer, G.Rot, B.Runde, В.Seid, B.Shpinat, G.Shotmeer etc. The core, contextual and structural characteristics of social competence have been covered in scientific works of S.Goncharov, V.Kunitsina, V.Pervutynskyi etc. Even taking into account the research of О.Bodalyov, V.Kunitsina, V.Pervutynskyi and some others, the question of correlation between social intellect and social competence has been only partly examined.
The aim of the article is to investigate the correlation between social intellect and individual social competence.
Basic material exposition. The concept “social intellect” appeared in 1920 in Harper’s in the article by Е. Thorndike (Thorndike, 1920). The scholar asserted that there are three types of intellect, an abstract intellect (ability to understand abstract verbal and mathematical symbols and perform certain actions with them), concrete intellect ability to understand notions and objects of the material world, perform actions with them) and social intellect (ability to understand people and cooperate with them) (After ). Emphasizing the value of social intellect in the professional activity, the scholar claimed, that the best mechanical engineer can fail as a leader through the shortage of social intellect.
In 1937 G. Olport suggested his own definition of this concept (After ). The results of our analysis considering the interpretation of concept “social intellect” give an opportunity to assert that in different times the supporters of different psychological schools interpreted this notion in their own way. In particular as:
- foresightedness in interpersonal relations and ability to behave wisely in human relations (Thorndike, 1920);
- special ability to evaluate people correctly, predict their behavior and provide adequate adaptation in interpersonal relations; as separate ability, that is included into the set of personal qualities contributing to the best understanding of others (G.Olport, 1937);
- ability to get along with other people (Moss F. & Hunt Т., 1927);
- ability to deal with others (Hunt Т., 1928); knowledge about people (Strang R., 1930);
- ability to get along with others, ability to put oneself in somebody’s place (Vernon P.E., 1933);
- ability to estimate senses, mood and motivation of acts of other people critically and correctly (Wedeck J., 1947);
- the adaptation of individual to human existence (Vechsler D., 1958).
J. Gilford group researches of social intellect contributed to the development of psychological idea of social intellect. N.Cantor and J. Kihlstrom claimed that the separation of two different aspects of social intellect, such as understanding of people behavior and adaptive cooperating with other people, played an important role in this process (Cantor, N., Kihlstrom, J. F., 2000).
One of the prime examples of the cognitive approach to intellect study is the theory of “plural intellects” suggested by G.Gardner. The scholar assumed that intellect is not a unitary cognitive ability and distinguished eight different types of intellect. G. Gardner marked that social intellect is in correlation with interpersonal intellect that in its turn is “based on the major ability to notice differences between people, to be more exact, contrasts in their mood, temperament, motivations and intentions”. These abilities in their complexity are typical of teachers, physicians, parents, and also religious and political leaders [1, 32]. Thus, the development of social and interpersonal intellect as a characteristic of competence is important for teacher’s personality.
Further researches followed the path of matching individual differences with the description of decision making processes. We consider appropriate to pay attention to the statement of H. Eysenck about the existence of biological, psychometric and social intellect . According to his opinion, 70% psychometric intellect depends on biological and 30% on the factors of environment (education, culture, social and economic status). For this reason intellect may be referred to as a fundamental property, and the variety of its behavioral displays may be referred to as consequences of its nature. H. Eysenck suggests estimating social intellect examining individual ability of psychometric intellect IQ application for social adaptation. At the same time, Russian psychologies, in particular V. Druzhinin proposed a model of range to correlate individual features and mental codes, and M. Holodna claims the necessity of ontological approach in the research of individual intellectual characteristics.
In researches of N. Cantor (1978) the fundamental notion for the interpretation of social intellect is “individual cognitive basis”, that can be defined as declarative and operative (procedural) knowledge (presentation, personal remembrances and rules of interpretation, and also experience and certain approach of individual to the problems of social life) that an individual applies to interpret events and create plans in the situations of everyday life. This repertoire of knowledge is determined as a social intellect (After [4, 464] ).
The conception of social intellect of S.Kosmitsky and О.John (1993) attracts our attention, in accordance with it seven components form two groups: “cognitive” (estimation of prospects, understanding of people, knowledge of social rules, openness in relationships with others) and “behavioral” (ability for interpersonal relations, social adaptation, warmth in interpersonal relations (After .). This conception represents the features of social intellect as a phenomenon clearly enough, in fact the very interaction of cognitive and behavioral factors contributes to the efficiency of this phenomenon in the practical use (N.Pylypenko).
In home researches U.Emelyanov (1987) is credited for the first attempt to define social intellect, which he considered closely connected with the concept of “social sensitivity”.
An integral conception of social intellect was worked out by V.Kunitsina. In accordance with it social intellect is an independent psychological phenomenon, which is multidimensional with a complicated structure. It’s a global ability “that emerges on the basis of complex of intellectual, personality, communicative and behavioral characteristics, including the level of power material well-being of processes of self-regulation; these characteristics stipulate the prognostication of interpersonal situations development, interpretation of information and behavior, readiness to social cooperation and making decision”. Such ability allows reaching harmony with an environment. In relation to social intellect, in the opinion of V.Kunitsina, it involves the following aspects:
- communicative and personality potential (complex of properties, that facilitate or bother communication, serving the basis of such integral communicative properties as psychological cooperativeness and communicative compatibility; it is a basic bar of social intellect, that plays a key role forming the long-term mutual relations oriented on the prospect of development and positive interaction);
- characteristics of consciousness (sense of self-esteem, freedom from complexes, superstitions, low-spirited impulses, openness to new ideas);
- social perception, social thinking, social imagination (capacity for understanding and design of the social phenomena, understanding of people and reasons which cause these phenomena);
- energy characteristics (psychical and physical endurance, activity, stamina).
V. Kunitsina distinguishes the basic functions of social intellect. They are: providing of relevance, adaptivity in changing environment; forming the program and plans of successful cooperation in tactical and strategic directions, decision of current problems; planning of interpersonal events and prognostication of their development; motivational function; expansion of social competence; self-development, self-knowledge, self-training .
The correlation of social intellect with social competence, specified by V.Kunitsina, is important for our research. In her opinion, these concepts can be estimated examining such properties of mature personality, as relevance, independence and authenticity. As well as О.Bodalyov, V.Kunitsina refers to social intellect as cognition of social reality, and social competence is referred to as a product of this recognition. The scholar determines their common features as providing the possibility of adequate adaptation in the conditions of social changes; providing the correct estimation of situation, acceptance and implementation of faultless decisions; having quantitative characteristics and levels that can be measured.
V.Kunitsina specifies also the differences, in particular, content features and functions of these phenomena. The fact that attracts attention emphasized by the scholar is the following: the less evaluation stereotypes of social competence a man has in his consciousness, the higher and more integrated is his social intellect, the more differentiated is his perception, the more adequate is his understanding of himself and others. Nevertheless the more stereotypes a man keeps and uses in his consciousness, the simpler it is for him to behave in different typical social situations . Taking into account this fact, it is important for development of social intellect of teachers to overcome some stereotypes that result in the decline of motivation in professional activity, development of social competence.
In the late 90th there was an opinion in science, that for successful realization of personality in life and activity of major importance is his ability to cooperate effectively with surrounding people in the system of interpersonal relations, ability to orient in social situations, to determine personality features and emotional states of other people correctly, to choose the adequate methods of communication and realize all these abilities in the process of cooperation. These ideas emerged as a result of emotional and social intellect studies.
The study of the Russian scholars, in particular of N.Kudryavtseva, О.Lunyova, D.Ushakova and others are of interest for the interpretation of the issue of social intellect. Thus, in the studies on correlation of general and social intellect N.Kudryavtseva (1994.) employs the concept of intellectual potential, which is referred to as a group of psychical properties and mechanisms that determine the progressive changes of intellect . Its key elements are defined as intellectual status, cognitive motivation, ability to self-reflection and self-determination, and mental capacity. On the basis of her own studies the scholar distinguished the integrative index of intellectual personality potential – “intellect unity”, that represents the key components of intellectual development mechanism, increase of coincidence on the levels of personality: general intellect (ability to solve tasks on interpersonal levels), social intellect (ability to solve problems on interpersonal levels), reflection (index that balances the development of intellect).
Thus, social intellect, according to the conception of N.Kudryavtseva, can be defined as an ability to rational, mental operations the objects of which are the processes of interpersonal cooperation. The individual is characterized as psychologically autonomous and independent, that allows him to resist the pressure of people and circumstances. An important component in the structure of social intellect is the self-appraisal of personality. And among the determinants causing quality changes in the development of social intellect, the author distinguishes a motivational component (After ). Thus, to develop the social intellect of teachers they should be encouraged and motivated supporting their achievements.
О.Lunyova outlines the content and functions of the concept “social intellect” as individual and interpersonal phenomenon, integrating the processes of cognition of social reality, personality descriptions and mechanism of adjusting of personality actions, determines his behavior in social interactions .
Special attention is deserved by the structural dynamic theory of the Russian psychologist D.Ushakov, in accordance with which the individual adult or child intellect features in the kind, they are fixed in the research process do not remain an unchanged invariant, but are altered in the process of life according to certain laws. It is the author’s opinion that exactly these laws of forming individual features must be in the focus of study of individual differences of intellect psychology. It refers to social intellect, as “social intellect, as we understand it as an intellect, is an ability for social phenomena cognition, that only involves one of the components of social abilities and competence, but does not conclude the agenda” . Only at these terms, in the scholar’s opinion, social intellect can be referred to as one of the intellect types,... “forming together with the rest of them a capacity for the higher type of cognitive activity - generalized and mediated” [10, 18]. However, for the decision of this task in relation to prognostication of personality success on the further stages of development, other approaches are worth consideration. Thus, it is possible to state, that we lack clear and unambiguous views on the essence of concept “social intellect”. In scientific researches, we came across with its interpretation as a variety of general intellect (Binet, Spirman), as a general intellect type (Veksler), as an integral ability to communicate with people. It is important to state that in foreign and home researches the concepts “social intellect” and “social competence” are often combined, united, in fact “both phenomena give possibility to adapt in the conditions of social changes, provide the objective estimation of situation, acceptance, implementation of decisions” .
The level of personality social intellect, as D. Ushakov states, depends on: forming potential that is apparent on the level of general intellect; personality, first of all emotional, features, that more or less, bring over individual to communication with other people and their cognition; depends on the life of the individual (whether a man focused on cooperating with other people or on individual practice). Among the characteristic structural features of social intellect distinguished by D.Ushakov are continual character; non-verbal representation; loss of exactness of social evaluation in the process of verbalization; forming is in the process of implicit studies; use of “internal” experience, as it is the “internal” experience which supports in social cooperation, and is the very aspect that fully distinguishes social intellect from other types of intellect [10, 17].
Following D.Ushakov [9, 222], we are convinced, that there are other characteristics essential for success in the life besides intellect; an important role is often played by a case, and in addition, there are situations in which excessive intellect is contra-indicated. Any teachers questioning shows a mental tendency in accordance with which it is enough to have subject knowledge, be demanding, persistent in decision making realization for successful pedagogical activity. At the same time, frank answers of students from the eighth form to two questions: “Lesson of what teacher would you like to skip and why?” and “What teacher would you like to conduct a lesson instead of a skipped one and why?” represent quite another picture. From 106 polled - 96 expressed a wish to skip the lesson of chemistry and 79 wished to have the lesson of physics, instead. The students expressed the following opinions: “Every lesson of chemistry spoils our mood”; ”Her lessons make my heart sink – she is just about to ask me and shout at me”; “The teacher of physics always understands us and never offends”; “Even if you did not learn the lesson, you know that the teacher of physics will never humiliate you before others and will not scold, as others”; “We feel that the teacher of physics loves us and does not want to distress with cutting remarks". The results of questioning also showed one very important circumstance: it turned out that the teacher of chemistry had got most of voices as an experienced specialist, as most intellectual authority and at the same time nobody loved her, students were afraid, and that is why made bad progress in her subject. Oppression of natural needs of children in self-esteem, dividing the class into “good” and “bad” when the only criterion is success in studies sooner or later can absolutely kill the cognitive needs of children, their educational activity.
At the same time, the problem of interpersonal cooperation between teachers and students remains one of the urgent for modern school. It is not all the same for student, parents, and state on the whole who gives knowledge. Our educational life asserts, as V.Zots states, that it’s not the mind cunning (tactical resources) to dot one's “i's” but wisdom (vital values) . A modern student requires from the teacher abilities for changes, use of flexible pedagogical technologies, permanent search of new forms, continuous self-perfection. This situation introduces new requirements, and additional tension into teacher’s activity. Teachers must take this into account and try to change stereotypes for further successful development and self-realization.
It is impossible to set aside the opinion of D.Ushakov that in a profession people already appear to a certain degree to have equal intellect. However, as the scholar states, people with insufficient cognitive development do not choose difficult professions or are screened on the way . Taking into account the above-mentioned, the results of Russian scholars N.Aminova and М.Molokanova research (1992) are important. They studied the correlation of social intellect with the professional orientation of personality. The results of analysis of modern psychologists’ researches cover the idea that expansion of testable personality properties range, including personality emotional sphere and capacity for effective interpersonal cooperation to this list, gives an opportunity to get more exact picture of personality mental potential.
Moreover, as А.Savenkov states, special experiments manifested that many children and adults, that did not show high results after the special tests (intellect, creativity or educational success), but showed positive results on the parameters of emotional and social development, appeared successful enough in life and work. Their advantages in the life progress often appear so dramatic, that are able to provide not only social status, but even and to drive them further to make them prominent.
However, as V.Yurkevitch asserts, referring to his own researches and works of other authors, 95% of intellectually gifted experience certain difficulties of emotional intellect functioning. V.Yurkevitch accents on the fact that this category of children are characterized of “brightly expressed infantilism in emotional sphere”, depressed interest in the activity not related to getting knowledge, “difficulties in communication with peers” etc. .
Just the same opinion is expressed in researches by R. Riggio (Riggio RE, 1991). It was proposed to conduct social intellect testing on the basis of six social skills: emotional expressiveness, emotional sensitiveness, emotional control, social expressiveness and social control. The scholar also used a test on the hidden ethic skills (when the knowledge of proper behavior is estimated in social situations). The fact that attracts attention is that Р. R. Riggio suggests to refer to “social intellect” as “emotional intellect”. It is non-random and they are inseparably linked with each other. We can find the same opinion expressed by А.Savenkov .
Approximately 80% of life success is provided by so called non-cognitive factors such as emotional intellect for instance. Such opinion is expressed by the American psychologist D.Golman. In early 90s D.Golman drew the attention of scholars and experts to the issue of emotional intellect. He suggested interpreting it as self-motivation, resistance to disappointments, control above emotional flashes, ability to renounce pleasures, adjusting of mood and ability not to give way to emotions interfere with the ability to think, feel empathy and hope.
Special interest for our research of social intellect evolution and social competence forming is presented by the idea of К.Jones and J.D.Day (Jones К. & Day JD 1997), about the interaction between two characteristic factors of social intellect: “crystallized social knowledge” (declarative and knowledge on the basis of experience about the well known social events) and “social and cognitive flexibility” (ability to apply to social knowledge solving unknown problems). In fact the change of economic, social terms of life pulls out new, unknown problems before teachers, which must be successfully solved at different life periods by the teachers who must behave as a role model.
That is the reason why the research by N.Cantor and R. Harlow (Cantor N. & Harlow R., 1994) attracts our attention. Taking into account transitional life periods, in particular, transition from a college to higher school, the scholars, managed to find the method of individual differences assessment in human priorities determination.
The conclusion of А.Savenkov [6; 7] that people formulate the plans of their actions, watch their progress, assess the results of their own activity, address to their biographic memory to understand different reasons that caused their achievement and possible alternative actions, appears important in this context. When the vital job processing runs into serious difficulties, people must revise the plans or revise their plans and set them anew. Herein, in our opinion, both optimistic constituent to teacher’s mastery and optimistic ability of personality is revealed.
Supporting А.Savenkova we consider that emotional intellect can be examined as an element of social intellect. Three groups that describe the criteria of the above-mentioned concept also deserve our attention: cognitive, emotional and behavioral. Each of these groups involve the following:
1. Cognitive: social knowledge is knowledge about people, knowledge of the special rules, understanding of other people; social memory (names, persons); social intuition, which refers to feelings interpretation, mood interpretation, understanding of people activity impulses, ability to perceive the behavior within the framework of social context; social prognostication, that is action plan formulation, personal development control, reflection of personal development and estimation of untapped alternative possibilities.
2. Emotional: social expressiveness that is emotional expressiveness, emotional sensitiveness, emotional control; empathy - the ability to put oneself in somebody’s place (to overcome a communicative and moral egocentrism); ability for self-regulation.
3. Behavioral: social perception, that is an ability to listen to an interlocutor, sense of humor; social cooperation - an ability and willingness to work together, ability for collective interaction, collective creative work; social adaptation, that is an ability to explain and convince others, ability to get along with other people, openness in relationships with others.
The scholar is convinced that these criteria enable to develop procedures of discovering and quantitative assessment of social intellect parameters. It is especially important that the conception of social intellect fully represents its constituents and can be helpful as the general program of its evolution of educational activity.
Conclusions. Interpreting the content of the concept “social intellect” most scholars confine themselves to enumeration of its features within the limits of certain scientific approaches or their own reasoning. It can be explained by the structural and notional complexity of the phenomenon, its internal and external multi-contextuality. In most cases the essence of the concept is referred to cognitive, behavioral and emotional aspects. There is a correlation between a social intellect and social competence.
The problem of social intellect and social competence evolution is directly related to the system of higher, postgraduate education as teachers have to solve social problems every day.
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