Emotional Intelligence and Government Effectiveness: The Relationship Between Psychology and Global Policy
Student: Deja Sullberg
Advisor: Dr. John Kane
The goal of this paper is to analyze the relationship between global leaders’ levels of emotional intelligence and their respective countries’ levels of government effectiveness. Across the globe, the government sector is inherently political; in which heads of government are often appointed based on their credentials, connections, and policies. Although such features do hold significance, the personal characteristics and values of these leaders have often been disregarded. Past research has perpetually demonstrated that some of the most successful leaders in business, entrepreneurship, and other industries across the globe, are ones with high levels of emotional intelligence. Therefore, it is critical that psychological concepts of emotional intelligence, empathy, and integrity are considered when appointing global leaders, not only for the benefit of citizens but also for the betterment of government agencies. Utilizing the People & Values sub-index from Brand Finance and the Government Effectiveness index from the World Bank, I hypothesized that higher scores on the People & Values index would predict higher scores on the Government Effectiveness index. In other words, countries with leaders that have higher levels of emotional intelligence will also have governments that are more effective in their domestic dealings. To test this, I ran a multivariate regression analysis which yielded statistically significant results indicating that a 1-point increase on the People & Values index predicts a 1.37-point increase on the Government Effectiveness index. This analysis demonstrates that there is a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and government effectiveness, demonstrating that such psychological concepts should be considered when electing heads of government across the globe.