Learning! Attack of the Emotionally Smart Delinquent Girls


File this one under C for Counterintuitive: turns out that teen girls with higher emotional intelligence have an increased likelihood of delinquent behaviour.  For boys, not so much.

Emotional Intelligence refers to a person's empathy towards the emotions of others and control over their own, so you would think it would calm a person down, right?  After all, we assume the delinquent behaviour comes from a desire for attention, validation, or simply sensation-seeking.  So a person who's in tune with their emotions should be less needy for these things, right?

Turns out, for girls, that's not the case.

The best reason the researchers could come up with is that teen girls are more likely than boys to engage in social/subtle forms of bullying that require more emotional intelligence to execute well, and that girls who like to get their bully on might also like to get their drink on or their staying-out-way-too-late-with-boys on.

Ultimately, though, that's just a guess, the research was purely correlational.

Source: BPS Research Digest

Comments