Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Alexander, V.E., Bartrum, D.E., & Hicks, R.E. (2014). Emotional intelligence and optimistic cognitive style in certainty in career decision making. GSTF Journal of Psychology, 1(2), 22-26.

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© Copyright, 2014 GSTF

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) licence

2014 HERDC submission




The current study tested whether Trait Emotional Intelligence variables and Optimistic Cognitive Style together predicted feelings of certainty in career decision making. Few studies have examined the effects of trait emotional intelligence or life style orientation on career choice, and no study has been found that combined both the life orientation (optimism) and the trait emotional intelligence domains and facets: this current study examined the relative weights of these facets and lifestyle orientation in relation to career certainty. Participants were from a convenience sample of 142 university students who completed a paper-and-pencil survey containing the following measures: the Life Orientation Test-Revised (assessing optimism, the Trait Emotional Intelligence Scale (TEIQue), and the Career Decision Scale (CDS).

It was found that optimism and the four main domains (of wellbeing, self-control, emotionality, and sociability) and several of the subscales of the TEIQue correlated significantly with career certainty. A unique significant predictor of Career Certainty was found to be Stability-Impulsivity (a facet in the Self-Control domain of the TEIQue) but optimism was not a factor in predicting career certainty when the stability-impulsiveness factor was accounted for. Self-control- stability (low impulsiveness) predicted career certainty. It would seem that stability in thinking and action helps career commitment (certainty). Implications are drawn for career development counselling and suggestions made for future research.



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