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The development of an assessment to identify deficits in facial expression decoding in young children

BAILEY, KATHARINE,ELIZABETH (2011) The development of an assessment to identify deficits in facial expression decoding in young children. Masters thesis, Durham University.

PDF (PDF of thesis for Katharine Bailey) - Accepted Version


Emotional intelligence (EI) has been found to relate to positive outcomes not only in personal and social development but also in academic achievement. Measurement of EI to identify deficits at an early stage presents opportunities for remediation for those at risk of under-achievement. There are several instruments that claim to measure EI and the more convincing of these do so by capturing the proficiency of individuals in specific abilities. One of the abilities often explored is the decoding of emotional facial expressions.
Examination of a group of important EI instruments found that, in all cases, they were mediated by language to some degree. The language issue has implications for valid measurement of children with low vocabulary skills, English as an additional language and those with learning difficulties. The instruments reviewed were often complex and time-consuming to deliver and not appropriate for use by non-specialists. Taken together, these factors limited their application to research with little scope for practical use in the classroom.
The thesis describes the development of FACES, a new test of EI that identified deficits in facial expression decoding in young children. In two studies, an instrument was developed using the Rasch model and was found to be valid and as reliable as the most widely used existing measures. Importantly, the scale used an innovative paradigm, which reduced the use of language and involved children in the development of the items to ensure it was accessible and enjoyable. The scale was found to quickly and successfully identify a low achieving at an age that allowed for intervention if appropriate. Overall, the findings suggested that the FACES measure of EI was suitable for use in the classroom as a quick and simple screening instrument that could contribute to an holistic profile of information on pupils, helping teachers identify those at risk.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:"emotional intelligence", "facial expressions", "emotion", "test development", "assessment development",
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Jun 2011 15:01

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