The purpose of this project is to assess individual differences in social intelligence by applying the concept of working memory and its framework to the area of social intelligence. By adopting a working memory perspective, I aruge that a core aspect of social intelligence is the mental ability to handle multiple social tasks efficiently and hypothesize that individuals with a larger capacity of social working memory should be recognized as more socially and interpersonally adjusted than those with a lower capacity. To test this hypothesis, a new social intelligence task called the """"""""Multiple Social Tasks (MST)"""""""" has been developed. This computer test consists of two dual-processing tasks in which examinees are asked to identify (1) facial expressions in still photos and (2) the feelings of interviewee's in short video clips under simulated social interactions. To establish the construct validity of the MST, four studies will be conducted to test its predictive, discriminant, and convergent validity, along with the generalizability of the MST. In Study 1, the effects of social vs. cognitive distracting tasks on emotion recognition will be examined in order to further understand how different types of distracting tasks influence recognition accuracy under simulated social situations. In Study 2, the predictive, convergent, and discriminant validity of the MST will be tested using peer-ratings on social skills collected in a longitudinal study. In Study 3, the construct validity of the MST will be re-evaluated using different measures of social skills observed in a stranger-encounter situation. Finally, Study 4 will address the issue of the generalizability of the MST beyond a college sample. The main goal of Study 4 is to explore the association between social working memory and social skills with adult community samples that consist of a wide range of ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds among individuals. If the construct validity of the MST is successfully established through the four studies, this new test can be a useful tool to reevaluate a spectrum of interpersonal adjustment problems including social impairment in High- Function Autism or Asperger Syndrome. The results of this project can also facilitate the development of innovative intervention programs that promote social skills.
|Kang, Sun-Mee; Lau, Anna S (2013) Revisiting the out-group advantage in emotion recognition in a multicultural society: further evidence for the in-group advantage. Emotion 13:203-15|