The relationship between emotional intelligence and learning outcomes, and the mediating role of emotional conflict
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A field sample of 1100 employees in the army was investigated to study the relationship between the individuals’ self reported emotional intelligence and learning outcomes in work groups, with two dimensions of emotional conflict as mediators, emotional person conflict and emotional task conflict. Most importantly, emotional intelligence predicted positively learning outcomes and emotional task conflict, and predicted negatively emotional person conflict. Further, emotional task conflict predicted learning outcomes positively, whereas emotional person conflict predicted learning outcome negatively. Particularly, the ability of regulation own emotions accounted for the negative relationship between emotional intelligence and emotional person conflict, and the ability of self emotion appraisal accounted for the positive relationship between emotional intelligence and emotional task conflict. However, the mediating effect of emotional conflict was weak, as the relationship between emotional intelligence and learning outcomes remained strongly significant also after the two emotional conflict dimensions were added to the model. Implications for theory and research, and directions for future research are discussed.