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First Do No Self HarmUnderstanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience$
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Charles Figley, Peter Huggard, and Charlotte Rees

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383263

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383263.001.0001

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Distributed Emotional Intelligence

Distributed Emotional Intelligence

Resource to Help Medical Students Learn in Stressful Settings

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 Distributed Emotional Intelligence
Source:
First Do No Self Harm
Author(s):

Natalie J. Lewis

Charlotte E. Rees

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383263.003.0001

Medical students have to cope in stressful environments during training and later in their career. Emotional intelligence (EI) is useful in helping students and doctors cope, because of enhanced ability to manage stress. Yet conventional models of EI are limited in that they frame EI as an internal, static, and measurable trait. Such models assume a simplistic view of stress and fail to consider the importance of context. We have developed an alternative model that reconfigures EI as a distributed, dynamic phenomenon and an emergent property of a complex system. Our model of distributed EI may offer a valuable resource for learning how to cope in stressful settings because it takes account of the unique, global features of a group context, such as group atmosphere or shared affect. Learning how to access and respond to this shared affect, the intelligent part of collective emotional behavior, may ultimately govern how stressful encounters are managed. Helping students develop sensitivity to context is the key to distributed EI, and the work presented here will be useful for medical students, doctors, and learning facilitators. We present empirical evidence for the emergence of distributed EI in a problem-based learning group (PBL) during a stressful interaction, discuss theoretical implications of distributed EI, and offer suggestions on how small group facilitators might work within a collective framework to help students manage stressful environments.

Keywords:   emotional intelligence, coping, stress management, shared affect, collective behavior, problem based learning, situational awareness

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