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Individual Sources, Dynamics, and Expressions of Emotion, Research on Emotions in Organizations vol.

Chapter: 6


The ARM Model to develop emotion-related abilities (Ability EI)

This chapter introduces the new theoretical framework for developing emotion-related abilities
according to the Emotional Intelligence construct definition of Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2006).
The ARM model has been devised and demonstrates a triadic cycle of emotional Awareness,
Reflection, and Management relating to affect, cognition, and behaviour. The ARM model
constitutes an approach to nurture emotion-related abilities (ability EI) and responds to criticism
raised by Zeidner, Roberts, and Matthews (2009). The ARM Theory was corroborated by both
learning theory and schools of counselling. The potential to develop emotion-related abilities in
emotional awareness, reflection and reasoning, coping and management is discussed.

Keywords: Emotional Intelligence Development, Ability EI, Developing emotion-related abilities, EI

Wolfgang G. Scherl
Business School
University of Stralsund
Zur Schwedenschanze 15
18435 Stralsund
Phone: 0049 3831-456820
0049 3831-456790

Wolfgang G. Scherl is Professor at the Business School, University of Stralsund. He did his PhD at the
University of Nottingham in organizational psychology in the field of developing emotion-related abilities and
Ability Emotional Intelligence. His current research interests focus on developing emotion-related abilities
(ability EI), management development, leadership, soft skills and management education. He developed a new
theoretical framework to develop emotion-related abilities (ability EI) and operationalized the intervention by
applying the MSCEIT instrument.

The development of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is still in its infancy despite the numerous
consultancies that offer EI training programmes for organisations. Such development concepts are
missing serious scientific underpinnings and the benefits for individuals as well as corporations are,
respectively, questionable and scientifically not evident (Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000; Clarke,
2006; Jordan, Ashkanasy, Haertel, & Hooper, 2002; Lindebaum, 2009; Lopes, Ct, & Salovey,
2006; Matthews, Roberts, & Zeidner, 2004; McEnrue & Groves, 2006; Zeidner, Roberts, &
Matthews, 2002).

Research on EI development makes several claims to provide benefits for individuals, corporations,
and education; however the accomplishment of such EI interventions remains ambiguous (Clarke,
2006; Zeidner, Roberts, & Matthews, 2008). More recently, high magnitude in EI appears to have
several benefits for private and business settings. Individuals with a high level of EI are generally
found to be healthier, emotionally more stable, more resilient, and less susceptible to emotional
exhaustion and burnout (Brotheridge & Grandey, 2002; McQeen, 2004; Storm & Rothmann, 2003).

The perceived benefits for corporations may include improved performance (Ct & Miners, 2006;
Law, Wong, Huang, & Li, 2008), lower absenteeism and fluctuation rates (Brotheridge & Grandey,
2002), efficient leadership styles (Antonakis, Ashkanasy, & Dasborough, 2009; Gardner & Stough,
2002; Palmer, Walls, Burgess, & Stough, 2001), lower levels of stress, enhanced health and wellbeing (Mikolajczak, Luminet, & Menil, 2006), and efficient team processes (Halfhill & Nielsen,
2007; Moriarty & Buckley, 2003). Due to the increasing importance of EI, several researchers
postulate the development of EI, not, however, with concepts recommended by popular science
literature, but rather with scientifically sound and theoretically grounded interventions focusing on
a robust EI framework and emotional abilities (Clarke, 2006; Lopes, et al., 2006; Zeidner, et al.,

However, EI development literature is very optimistic; it recommends EI training and development

to enhance emotion-related abilities and skills, particularly for corporations (Bachkirova & Cox,
2007; Cherniss & Adler, 2000; Ciarrochi, Forgas, & Mayer, 2001) and education (Bay & Mckeage,
2006; Boyatzis, Stubbs, & Taylor, 2002; Qualter, Gardner, & Whiteley, 2007; Wong, Foo, Wang, &
Wong, 2007; Zeidner, et al., 2002, 2008).

The educational sector, particularly primary and secondary education, is concentrating on the
development of emotion-related abilities and skills, and has been integrating such training activities
for years (Cohen, 1999; Elias, Hunter, & Kress, 2001; Elias, Zins, & Weissberg, 1997; Greenberg,
Zins, & Elias, 2003; Hennessy, 2007; Kusche & Greenberg, 2001).

Various programmes in social and emotional learning (SEL) are discussed in Zins, et al. (2007;
2004) to enhance emotion-related abilities and skills (Zeidner, Matthews, & Roberts, 2009). SEL
supports students developing their abilities and skills in effective communication, self-perception,
active listening, emotional self-control, problem-solving, social skills, and in decreasing problem
behaviour in school (Elliott & Gresham, 1993; Greenberg, et al., 2003; Hennessy, 2007; Kelly,
Longbottom, Potts, & Williamson, 2004; Kusche & Greenberg, 2001). Only a few programmes in
SEL applied systematic assessment tools to operationalise their results. Therefore, the benefits of
these SEL programmes on students overall EI are ambiguous. However, the bulk of research has
been discussing possibilities for developing EI (Campell, Campell, & Dickinson, 1992; Caruso &
Salovey, 2004; Cherniss & Adler, 2000; Tucker, Sojka, Barone, & McCarthy, 2000), but some rather
critically (Clarke, 2006; Lopes, et al., 2006; Matthews, Emo, Roberts, & Zeidner, 2006; Salovey &
Sluyter, 1997; Zeidner, Matthews, Roberts, & MacCann, 2003; Zeidner, et al., 2002) due both to
different EI conceptualisations and the paucity of appropriate theories and conceptualisations for
developing emotion-related abilities.

In particular, Zeidner et al. (2009) raise legitimate criticism against the modus operandi of such EI
interventions. There are two main caveats to be considered. First, research in EI differentiates
between two distinct conceptualisations namely trait EI and ability EI. If EI can be developed, then
the question emerges whether EI as a construct of emotion-related abilities or traits is addressed. The
first is related to cognitive intelligence and an individuals maximum performance, and the second is
related to the personality framework and an individuals typical performance (Boyatzis, 2009;
Freudenthaler & Neubauer, 2007).

Second, EI development programmes are too broadly defined, including various social and emotionrelated abilities, skills and competencies. Excessively defined development programmes have the
least EI-relevant content and neglect to concentrate on a clear EI concept either ability EI or trait EI
and their underlying abilities and skills to be developed. Therefore, a clearly defined theoretical
framework to develop EI is essential. Hitherto, only for trait EI have there been some concepts to
develop emotion-related skills and competencies (Cherniss & Adler, 2000; Nelis, Quoidbach,
Hansenne, Kotsou, & Mikolajczak, 2011; Nelis, Quoidbach, Mikolajczak, & Hansenne, 2009).
However, for ability EI a clearly-defined theoretical framework to develop emotion-related abilities
and an individuals maximum performance is still missing (Zeidner, et al., 2009). This chapter
outlines the first theoretical framework to develop ability EI based on the EI construct definition
from Mayer et al. (2008a). It thus does justice to the legitimate criticism of Zeidner et al. (2009) that
EI intervention programs should be based on a solid theoretical framework, permitting a clear
definition of EI (p. 245). Therefore, the concept of ability EI is to be discussed followed by the
developmental model to develop emotion-related abilities (ability EI).

Ability Emotional Intelligence

The question if emotions and intelligence are interrelated or, if so, how they are interrelated or even
more, is there a kind of intelligence that is actually based on emotions?, was answered by Salovey
and Mayer (1990), who presented their construct of Emotional Intelligence (EI) justified by

combining emotion and intelligence (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000b). Their definition of EI is
based on emotion-related mental abilities and clearly differentiates to existing trait and competency
models of EI. Salovey and Mayer (1990) originally defined EI as the ability to monitor ones own
and others emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide ones thinking
and actions (p. 189).

It is therefore important to differentiate between intrapersonal and interpersonal emotions and the
substantial information they contribute to cognition and behaviour. However, one important
component in their previous definition is missing, which is considered the prerequisite of EI: the
perception of emotions. Emotional intelligence cannot begin without the first branch of emotional
intelligence (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000a:109), that is, emotional perception. Emotional
perception deciphers emotional expressions and signals and uses voice, tone, facial expression, and
emotional reactions to perceive multifaceted emotional information. Emotions can only be monitored
if individuals are aware of them, which has been included in their refined definition of EI. They later
define EI as the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought,
to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to regulate emotions reflectively so as to
promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey, 1997: 5). Based on this definition
and warranted by consideration of emotion and intelligence, EI is structured into four dimensions
which incorporate emotional perception, integration, understanding and management (Caruso &
Salovey, 2004; Mayer, et al., 2008a; Mayer, et al., 2000a; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2006).

Emotional perception describes the awareness and identification of the emotions in oneself and
others. It involves the ability to grasp emotions and feelings, and to recognise and differentiate
between honest and dishonest emotional expression. The second dimension, emotional integration,
describes the process of entering into the cognitive system where emotions induce cognitive
processes and may change cognition positively (joy) to facilitate, or negatively (anxiety), to
exacerbate thinking processes.

The thinking process can therefore have empowering effects in terms of positive emotions such as
being more creative and facilitating thinking to perceiving a new job as a challenge rather than as a
threat. The thinking process can also have debilitating effects in terms of negative emotions such as
being mentally more restricted and captured due to anxiety or failure. The third dimension, emotional
understanding, describes the abilities of understanding, interpreting and analysing emotions,
interrelations and their different meanings, for instance, the relation between loving and liking a
person or simultaneous emotions of love and hate, and the ability to reason with the emotions
perceived. The second and third dimension, emotional integration and understanding, reveals the
dominant interdependency between emotion and cognition to assimilate and understand emotional
information (information processing). According to the EI construct theory by Mayer and colleagues
(2006), cognition has substantial valence in their second and third EI dimension to ameliorate
emotion-related cognitive processes; emotional integration and emotional understanding are the
most cognitively saturated (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, & Sitarenios, 2001: 235) abilities in the EI
construct definition. Cognition processes emotional information and makes sense and use of it, also
in terms of problem solving and decision making. Therefore, ARM focuses on the development of
cognitive emotion-related abilities in its second dimension.

The fourth dimension, emotion management, is concerned with coping and how individuals manage
their own emotions (intrapersonal) and those of others (interpersonal). It addresses emotional coping
to enhance or maintain positive emotions, and alleviate negative emotions, but not to suppress them
or the information they may contain. Emotional management is a behavioural-expressive part of EI,
based on the previous dimensions (perception, integration, and understanding) to manage and
regulate emotions, occurring within or between individuals. Consequently, individuals can only
manage what they are aware of, or what they really know about emotions their own and those of
others. It becomes sensible that emotional perception is the foundation that emotional integration,
understanding and management are built upon (Mayer, et al., 2000a; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso,

Developing Ability EI - The ARM Model

The theoretical model, the ARM model, incorporates three dimensions to develop emotion-related
abilities or what is labelled ability EI; e.g. emotional Awareness, Reflection and Management
(ARM). ARM was developed to nurture emotion-related abilities (ability EI) where EI is defined as
mental ability, and thus doing justice to emotion and intelligence (Antonakis, et al., 2009; Jordan &
Ashkanasy, 2008; Zeidner, et al., 2009). This model attempts to answer the criticism of Zeidner et al.
(2009; 2002) that the development of ability EI is ambiguous and a clearly structured and elaborated
theoretical framework to develop emotion-related abilities is still missing.

The ARM model is based on the EI construct definition from Mayer et al. (2006) which includes
abilities such as perceiving emotions, using and understanding emotions and managing emotions.
Predicated on this definition of EI and the underlying emotion-related abilities, considerations were
made first, by learning theory and how individuals gather knowledge and skills, and second, by the
affective, cognitive and behavioural school of counselling. During research on how to develop
emotion-related abilities it appeared, however, difficult to find a unique learning theory and a unique
counselling approach to nurture and develop holistically EI. A triadic approach was suggested and
became successively apparent. During the initial analysis of the EI construct, the four composite EI
dimensions from Mayer et al. (2006) were isolated into four main realms. This process facilitated the
understanding and continuative analysis of each single dimension and the emotion-related abilities
involved. Emotion-related abilities were then structured into three developmental realms: affect,
cognition and behaviour.

According to the EI definition and a developmental perspective of emotion-related abilities, three

main realms relate to: first, the notion that affect subsumes perceiving emotions; second, the idea
that cognition subsumes using emotions to facilitate thinking and the understanding and analysis
of the meaning of emotions perceived; and third, that behaviour subsumes managing and working
with emotions judiciously. However, the three realms: affect, cognition and behaviour, are

interdependent because only what is known or an individual is aware of can be understood and
managed. A mind map was delineated to reveal initial considerations and thinking processes for how
to separate and develop emotion-related abilities predicated on the EI construct definition from
Mayer et al. (2006).

As previously mentioned, the separation of the EI abilities revealed that learning theory and selected
schools of counselling (SOC) may display some potential to develop these emotion-related abilities.
Subsequently, a new model (ARM model) is proposed to develop emotion-related abilities. The
triadic approach delineates first, A for emotional Awareness, for instance, What do I feel? or
Which emotions are accompanying me during the business meeting or exam? Second, R
describes the Reflection on emotions, the thinking, the reasoning and discussion about specific
emotions perceived in daily situations, for instance, Why do I feel like that?, followed by
questions, Does it make sense? or Is it appropriate to be captured by certain emotions? It is thus
connecting emotion with cognition to support emotional reasoning, analysis, and reflection on
perceived emotions. Third, M describes the Management of emotions, which addresses a practiceoriented and behaviour-expressive approach. This facilitates to coping with emotional events in both
intrapersonal and interpersonal spheres, and to regulating appropriately and expressing rather than
suppressing emotions. The ARM model is presented in Figure 1.



The ARM model to develop emotion-related abilities is founded on the ability model of EI from
Mayer et al. (1997; 2006), which subsumes four dimensions of EI; emotional perception, emotional
integration, emotional understanding, and emotional management. The ARM model encompasses
three developmental dimensions such as affect (awareness and perception), cognition (reasoning and

eflection), and behaviour (managing). It incorporates either, learning theories1 to consider different
possibilities of how individuals learn (Kolb & Kolb, 2005), and developmental aspects of selective
schools of counselling2 to facilitate and foster the development of emotion-related abilities (Corey,
2009). In summary, the EI construct covers three developmental realms for nurturing emotion-related
abilities that are affect, cognition, and behaviour (behavioural expression). Three ARM dimensions
facilitate the development of emotion-related abilities such as emotional awareness, reflection, and
management. First, according to EI, affect incorporates abilities in awareness and perception of intraand interpersonal emotions. Second, cognition proceeds and involves thinking processes to
assimilate emotions, that is, to reflect on, understand and analyse perceived emotions which can be
either positive or negative in nature. This process can facilitate thinking in terms of positive emotions
(being happy, feeling lucky, being in love) or impede thinking in terms of negative emotions (rage,
being angry, feeling unlucky). The thinking process is also able to change negatively-perceived
emotions into positive ones e.g. to reflect on sadness, or if there might also be another angle to look
at the current situation and find a solution. Further, thinking may transform a feeling of hopelessness
into a more constructive one, i.e. to investigate opportunities and find loopholes and change the
situation or solve a problem.

Therefore, thinking can amend the perceived emotions according to Ellis (2003) theory and
consequently, thinking changes again the emotion-cognition loop is interdependent and interacts
continuously. Thinking and reflecting on emotions reveals the importance of whether the perceived
emotion makes sense (in case of self defeating) or if someone feels unhappy with the actual
circumstances. In that case, cognition can elicit how to change the situation in order to feel happy
once again. In other cases, someone might consider expressing the perceived emotion immediately or
think and reason first about it, thus finding a more constructive possibility to express appropriately
the perceived emotion in order not to insult or offend another person. Third, the behaviour-


Learning through Feeling Thinking Doing

Affective Cognitive Behavioural School of Counselling

expressive realm of EI entails ways of acting and interacting in an emotionally intelligent way to
manage successfully and regulate emotions perceived. Based on the two aforementioned realms,
affect and cognition of EI, the third realm, behaviour, may complement holistically the circle of
emotion-cognition-behaviour. The management of emotions involves the prerequisite emotionrelated abilities, the awareness and understanding of, and reflection on emotions connected with how
to express and behave in a judicious and emotionally intelligent way. These three realms reveal the
developmental potential of emotion-related abilities in affect, cognition and behaviour.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> TABLE 1 ABOUT HERE

Having now a ternary but interdependent developmental concept, EI incorporates affect, cognition,
and behaviour, which is outlined in Table 1. It appears that the three main realms of EI apply to a
developmental perspective to combine both the learning cycle (Kolb, 1984), and its underlying
triadic learning theory (feeling, thinking, doing), and the affective, cognitive, and behavioural school
of counselling (Corey, 2009; Hannabuss, 1997; Herbert, 1986) to develop emotion-related abilities.

The Four Disciplines of Ability EI Development

The development of the ARM model to develop ability EI encompasses four disciplines: emotion
intelligence, learning theory, and counselling, incorporating a developmental and coaching-related
perspective to nurture individual growth, and to anticipate future hassles and disturbances, which are
to be discussed in more detail.

Emotions not only play a dominant role in peoples working environments but also in their private
lives (Ashkanasy, Haertel, & Zerbe, 2000; Cherniss & Goleman, 2001; Haertel, Zerbe, & Ashkanasy,
2009). Even though emotions are accepted in the latter, they seem to be ignored in the workplace and
in education (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Elias, et al., 1997; Haertel, et al., 2009; Muchinsky,
2000). Only recently the importance of emotions and their impact on and their utilisation for work

performance (Ashkanasy, 2002; Ashkanasy, et al., 2000; Bachkirova & Cox, 2007; Elfenbein &
Ambady, 2002; Giardini & Frese, 2006; Gibson, 2006; Haertel, et al., 2009), and education (Bay &
Mckeage, 2006; Dirkx, 2006; Greenberg, et al., 2003; Hennessy, 2007; Lopes, Salovey, Ct, &
Beers, 2005; Moore & Kuol, 2007), has stimulated further research. Emotions cannot be separated
from individuals during their working hours or the time spent in school because emotions are
intrinsically tied to integral human functioning (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Reddy, 2001).

Emotions are phenomena elicited in response to a stimulus and appear in a ternary process,
incorporating affective (sheer feeling of an emotion), cognitive (appraisal of the felt emotion), and
behavioural (coping with and appropriate expression of the felt emotion) components, and can be
either positive or negative (Frijda, 2008; Izard & Ackerman, 2000). Significantly, the interrelation
between emotion and cognition discloses a thinking process appearing consciously and
unconsciously respectively. If a stimulus is causing a positive emotion (e.g. a compliment for
collaboration in class), it is more likely that the student will enjoy the class and thus be committed to
the teacher and the curriculum. Therefore, the student might want to experience the positive emotion
again and again (thinking about), and engage in the class by providing further collaboration (prosocial behaviour). The ternary process appears in affect; in this case, the sheer perceived emotions
are joy and pleasure, and they are elicited by the teachers empowerment (positive stimulus). The
ramifications of the felt positive emotion on cognition and behaviour are supportive and empowering
but could also be devastating if the feedback is negative and ruinous.

In fact the definition of intelligence is yet difficult to depict, there is disagreement on how to explain
or define what is meant by intelligence. Different explanations have been outlined and discussed
which expound intelligence as a purposeful modus operandi, i.e. to allow one to think rationally and
adapt effectively to their environment (Wechsler, 1958), or as intellectual functioning and
differentiation among abstract, mechanical, and social intelligence (Thorndike, 1920). In a similar

vein it was proposed that academic and non-academic intelligence be separated to draw on a multiple
factor theory of intelligence because it was realized that individuals have multifaceted abilities in
processing different kinds of data differently (Thurstone, 1938). In contrast, others proposed only a
single intelligence factor for subsuming multifaceted mental abilities (Spearman, 1927).

Through advancing research and continuous refinement of both intelligence theory and testing, the
two-factor theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence was widely acknowledged and scientifically
traceable (Cattell, 1943). Fluid intelligence is mainly based in physiology, heritability, and is
genetically predisposed, as opposed to crystallized intelligence, which can be developed and is based
on knowledge, experience and education. Fluid intelligence demonstrates age-related alterations and
development until early adulthood and a decline afterwards (Berg, 2000; Kaufman & Horn, 1996;
Sternberg, 2003; 2000). Crystallized intelligence demonstrates gradual development over the lifespan by virtue of incremental educational, experiential and vocational knowledge and skills
(Ackerman, 2000; Santrock, 1997; Sternberg, 2000; Wagner, 2000). Further research concentrated
on intelligence as a cognitive performance or a group of mental abilities (Mayer, et al., 2000a:
105). These abilities are needed to successfully complete (i.e. obtain a specific, desired outcome) a
task of defined difficulty, when testing conditions are favourable (Carroll, 1993: 4). However,
intelligence tests can only operationalise the limited amplitude of cognitive abilities and intellectual
functioning, i.e. most of what is being learned in education and school settings (Neisser, 1979).
Manifold daily problems and challenges need cognitive processes like problem-solving, individual
capability and performance, and social adaptability, which are difficult to cover with prevalent
standardised intelligence tests (Kaufman, 2000; Stern & Guthke, 2001; Sternberg, 2003). On a
critical note, intelligence was therefore considered as what an intelligence test measures (Boring,
1923: 35) and intelligence includes many abilities that the tests definitely do not test (Neisser,
1979: 218). Even more, it might be difficult to count exclusively on intelligence test scores and
disregard other worthwhile mental abilities or multiple intelligences (Berg, 2000; Gardner, 1983;
Sternberg, 2003).

Indeed, intelligence has yet to find a consensual definition because of different theories and
conceptualisations and what might be included to be smart, cunning, or intelligent (Gardner, 1998;
Sternberg, Conway, Ketron, & Bernstein, 1981). Moreover, Gardner (1983, 1998) purported the
theory of multiple intelligences, there under logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, linguistic, bodilykinaesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence. Sternberg and Kaufman (1998) argued for
a triadic theory of intelligence incorporating internal, external and experiential aspects of
intelligence. The different theories of intelligence refer to mental processes and abilities, and how
individuals process information, solve problems, and adapt to their environment. Intelligence
describes contextualized thinking-related abilities and cognitive performances, and not only skills or
behavioural aspects (Berg, 2000). Therefore, intelligence as proposed by Mayer, Caruso, and
Salovey (1999) should meet the three criteria of intelligence: first, intelligence represents a mental
performance and cognitive ability with clearly and objectively defined performance requirements
having veridical answers and not just the belief or wish that individuals behave and perform well
(Carroll, 1993; Mayer, et al., 1999). Second, intelligence should cover thematic-related abilities and
which intelligence is described, e.g. EI, but it should be discriminated from but convergent to an
already established intelligence (IQ) (Carroll, 1993; Mayer & Geher, 1996; Roberts, Zeidner, &
Matthews, 2001). Third, the developmental aspect should be fulfilled in that intelligence can develop
over the life-span and through experience (Ackerman & Rolfhus, 1999; Aronson, Fried, & Good,
2002; Berg, 2000; Daus & Ashkanasy, 2005; Day & Caroll, 2007; Mayer, et al., 1999; Roberts, et al.,
2001; Sternberg, 1998) or through particularly conceptualized interventions (Berg, 2000; Kyllonen,
Roberts, & Stankov, 2008).

In summary, intelligence can be described as multifaceted mental abilities operationalising a

cognitive performance and the intelligence construct in question, e.g. emotion-related abilities and
EI. The intelligence construct should be related to already existing intelligence measures, but also
distinct from them in order to avoid measurement redundancies. Finally, intelligence is malleable and
should alter through experience and age incorporating developmental and learning processes.

How Individuals Learn Learning Theory

So far this chapter has clarified terminology and the understanding of emotion and intelligence.
Processes of change are processes of learning and adaptation. The third discipline necessary to
develop the ARM model to nurture emotion-related abilities emerged from the study of how
individuals learn. Kolbs (1984) experiential learning theory depicts different styles of how
individuals learn and obtain knowledge and skills. He is the most cited author in learning style
literature (Desmedt & Valcke, 2004). His theory is based on Dewey (1938), Lewin (1951), and
Piaget (1971)3, the pioneers of learning through experience (learning-by-doing). Kolb (1984)
considers learning as a holistic process of adaptation to the entire world and needs a transaction
between the individual and the environment, and takes affective, cognitive, and behavioural learning
into account.

More specifically, he incorporates the learning through feeling, thinking, doing, and reflective
observation and describes learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the
transformation of experience (Kolb, 1984: 26). Later he separates experiential learning into two
modes grasping (feeling, thinking) and transforming (reflecting, doing) experience (Kolb & Kolb,
2005). The affective learning process of feeling is characterised by being aware of a concrete
experience and the enjoyment of relating to others, the valuing of real situations and the interpersonal
(inter) action with others. It focuses on human values, empathy, emotions, and feeling comfortable
with harmony within a group. The feeling-learning process, therefore, aims to amend the intraemotional and inter-emotional learning process and raise our awareness of feelings. It further
facilitates what individuals learn from their emotions and feelings without being analytically

The cognitive learning process of thinking and reflective observation encompasses two realms.
First, thinking describes learning through logical thinking, abstraction, rationality, analysis, and

For an extensive review of learning theories see also Hergenhahn and Olsen (2005)


systematically approaches the pros and cons of a situation to facilitate reasoning and decision
making. Second, reflective observation focuses on learning through audio-visual and visual
perspectives, and subsumes the understanding and reflection of situations and individuals behaviour
from different perspectives. The cognitive learning relies on thinking and reflection to make sense of
individuals observations and fosters the formation of their own opinion. The two cognitive learning
processes have their main emphasis on thinking, whereas reflective observation incorporates a more
situational, social, human perspective which attempts to understand the entire context. A simplistic
and abstract thinking process could take place independently of the actual interpersonal and
emotion-related situation. Consequently, reflective observation emphasises reflection and
understanding, incorporating the social context, whereas merely thinking is more concerned with
abstract systems and concepts (Kolb, 1984).

Third, the behavioural learning process of doing focuses on active experimentation to actively
change individuals behaviour and situations, and on practical applications (DeWolfe-Waddill &
Marquardt, 2003). The emphasis is clearly on doing to accomplish tasks and getting things done.
The doing learning process is therefore behaviour-oriented, active, meritocratic, and result-oriented
(Kolb, 1984; Mainemelis, Boyatzis, & Kolb, 2002; Sensenig, 2003). To recap, the experiential
learning framework demonstrates the possibility that individuals learn differently and thus perceive
and process information to create knowledge and make use of it in different ways.

Moreover, the experiential learning theory is also well-founded in neuroscience and our
understanding of how the brain functions. Zull (2004) relates experiential learning to brain
functioning and previously argued that concrete experiences (feeling) come through the sensory
cortex; reflective observation (reflection and understanding) involves the integrated cortex at the
back, creating new abstract concepts (thinking) occurs in the frontal integrative cortex, and the active
testing (doing) involves the motor brain. In other words, the learning cycle arises from the structure
of the brain (p. 18). Notwithstanding, Damasio (2006), LeDoux (1998), and others (Bar-On, Tranel,

Denburg, & Bechara, 2003; Carr, 2004; Corey, 2009; Greenberg & Snell, 1997; LeDoux & Hirst,
1987) demonstrated evidence that feelings and emotions are inextricably bound to reasoning and
cognitive processes. They further argue that positive emotions have supportive effects on what
individuals learn, whereas negative emotions, such as anxieties, may inhibit learning and therefore
restrict their cognitive capacity to learn or make prudential decisions (Antonacopoulou & Gabriel,
2001; Antonakis, et al., 2009; Hayton & Cholakova, 2012).

Nevertheless, individual differences based on genetic dispositions, existing experiences, and the
prevalent environmental situation may influence, which learning modes individuals characteristically
use (Kolb & Kolb, 2005, 2008). Kolb not only considers learning through cognition and information
processing, but also incorporates and combines the three main realms of human learning, affect
(feeling), cognition (thinking), and behaviour (doing), to create an effective model for integrated and
flexible human learning (Cassidy, 2004; Desmedt & Valcke, 2004). In summary, Kolbs learning
theory has its foundation in pragmatism and social action theories (Dewey, 1938; Lewin, 1951), but
it is also based on cognition with a strong link to thinking (Piaget, 1971). It therefore emphasises, a
process of learning through experience within a social context, incorporating three major aspects of
learning: through feeling, thinking, and doing.

Schools of Counselling (SOC)

The fourth discipline required to develop the ARM model examined different schools of counselling
and investigated how emotion-related abilities can be developed in therapeutic and clinical settings.
The major schools of counselling, explicitly the affective, cognitive, and behavioural schools, apply
different methods and techniques to nurture emotion-related abilities (Corey, 2009).

First, according to Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2004) EI is defined as emotion-related abilities
(perceiving, understanding, using and managing emotions) predicated on their understanding of
emotion and intelligence. The necessity of devising a theoretical framework which develops

emotion-related abilities was then accordingly: the consideration of emotion and intelligence, and
how to develop these emotion-related abilities based on the EI construct definition from Mayer,
Salovey and Caruso (2004, 2006). Therefore, it appears effective to include affective and cognitive
developmental processes as well as the substantial link between both emotion and cognition, to
ameliorate individuals emotion-related abilities (Mausolff, 2006; Mayer, et al., 2004).

In addition, the behavioural development process takes into account a behaviour-expressive

perspective and is based on the two aforementioned affective (emotional awareness) and cognitive
(emotional reflection) realms. Affect addresses the first ability EI dimension (perceiving emotions),
whereas cognition addresses the second and third EI construct dimension (using and understanding
emotions). The behavioural-expressive perspective demonstrates whether an individual is actually
capable of behaving in an emotionally intelligent manner and therefore whether he or she can
manage their emotions successfully. The behavioural school of counselling thus appears to be an
ideal candidate for incorporation into a theory for developing emotion-related abilities. Therefore,
learning through experience and role-plays are essential to underpin a holistic notion4 of developing
emotion-related abilities and skills with sustainable effects. The ARM model was devised to provide
opportunities for practice and role-plays within particularly conceptualised training to assimilate and
internalise the relevant emotion-related abilities and skills. It therefore addresses the criteria for
andragogy (Brookfield, 1995; Knowles, 1990).

Second, the challenging and related contents of the approaches used by affective, cognitive and
behavioural schools of counselling delineate appropriate and effective developmental components
for an emotionally intelligent training intervention, such as emotional perception, critical thinking
and reflection on emotions perceived, how emotions affect thinking and behaviour, and how thinking
may change ones emotional perception.

Inclusion what individuals feel, think, and their actual behaviour in terms of action and interaction


The ARM model proposes a triadic approach to the different schools of counselling. ARM draws on
affective (emotional Awareness), cognitive (emotional Reflection), and behavioural (emotional
Management) theories and underlying interventions (Corey, 2009; Dryden, 1994; Hannabuss, 1997;
Herbert, 1986). The affective approach expounds Client-centered (Rogers, 1986) and Gestalt (Perls,
1971) counselling; the cognitive approach expounds Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (Ellis,
1995a) and Transactional Analysis (Berne, 1975). Finally, the behavioural approach, that includes
active and vivid behaviour rehearsals, draws on behaviour therapy (Lazarus, 1971). Moreover,
almost any management training concept has its antecedents in psychology and psychotherapy and
vice versa (Kets de Vries, 2003; Phillips & Fraser, 1982), but research differentiates between
therapeutic and developmental (coaching-oriented) perspectives to support individuals. For instance,
Eugene Gendlin (1998), a student of Carl Rogers (1951), who invented the Focusing for
management development. Focusing appears to be beneficial for psychotherapy and is applied to
therapeutic treatment (Bergermann, 2000; Gendlin, 1998). Thus, the considerations for a more
practical use and the modification of therapeutic treatment into a developmental perspective evolved
into the proposed theoretical model (ARM model). ARM develops emotion-related abilities and
fosters individuals in andragogy with effective abilities and skills required in management education
and at the workplace (Antonakis, et al., 2009; Holt & Jones, 2005; Moriarty & Buckley, 2003;
Starkey & Tiratsoo, 2007).

Subsequently, the affective, cognitive and behavioural schools of counselling and their potential to
develop emotion-related abilities will be delineated, according to the EI construct definition from
Mayer et al. (2006). Therefore, the proposed ARM model focuses on developing emotion-related
abilities (ability EI) such as emotional perception by using the affective school of counselling; using
emotions to facilitate thinking and understanding emotions by using the cognitive school of
counselling, and managing emotions by using the behavioural school of counselling. The following
section discusses the conceptualisation of the ARM model.


The ARM Conceptualisation

The ARM model is a theoretical concept for developing emotion-related abilities (ability EI). It has
three underlying dimensions which focus on developing abilities in the affective, cognitive, and
behaviour-oriented realms. The affective ARM dimension develops abilities such as emotional
perception and awareness. The cognitive ARM dimension develops abilities such as cogitation,
thinking, reflecting, and analysing emotional information. The integration of emotional information
facilitates the development of abilities in thinking and understanding of emotions. The behaviouralexpressive dimension develops abilities such as emotional management and how to manage and
regulate emotions in oneself and others. The following sections outline the conceptualisation of the
three ARM dimensions in more detail.

ARM Emotional Awareness

The ARM model addresses the first dimension of the affective realm of EI development, emotional
Awareness, and supports learning through feeling trust, confidence, and feeling safe within a group.
Learning theory (Kolb, 2008), in particular learning through feeling involves the awareness of a
concrete experience or situation both an intrapersonal and interpersonal perspectives and the
information they entail. The learning process is determined through human values, expressions,
empathy, feeling secure, trust, appreciation and respect (Kolb & Kolb, 2008; Kolb, 1984).

The approaches used by the affective school of counselling, explicitly, Client-centered (Rogers,
1986) and Gestalt theory (Matthew & Sayers, 1999), support the first ARM dimension developing
emotion-related abilities in emotional awareness and perception. The Client-centered approach
fosters an empathetic and trustful relationship between facilitator and client, and counts on the selfactualising tendency of individuals towards development and growth. This may facilitate the
processes of perceiving and the disclosing of emotional distress and problems. Attentive and
empathetic listening further supports the self-awareness of individuals allowing them to realise their
capacities, strengths and weaknesses.

Similarly, Gestalt theory aims to perceive individuals as holistic entities with their idiosyncratic
awareness of emotions, perceptions, beliefs, and thoughts not isolated from their environment. An
individuals awareness and the perception of their Gestalt are in the foreground considering both
intra- and interpersonal emotional awareness and perception, to improve their sensitive
understanding of themselves and others. An individuals Gestalt or the image they perceive is not
judged or evaluated by others since it is their idiosyncratic perception. Both Client-centered and
Gestalt theory provide methods for facilitating the development of emotion-related abilities in
intrapersonal and interpersonal emotional awareness and perception. It thus addresses the first ARM
dimension, emotional Awareness.

ARM Emotional Reflection

The second and cognitive ARM dimension, emotional Reflection, refers to learning theory (Kolb &
Kolb, 2008; Kolb, 1984). In particular, learning through thinking and reflection, analysis and the
understanding of emotions is contextualised in specific situations. The approaches used by the
cognitive school of counselling, particularly Transactional Analysis (TA) (Berne, 1975) and
Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) (Ellis, 1995b) provide methods for developing
emotion-related abilities in reasoning, analysis and reflection on perceived emotions.

First, TA demonstrates different communication styles inherent in any individual to develop abilities
in reasoning, analyses and understanding the communication in oneself and others. This process may
provide individuals with different options for how to think and communicate constructively in
emotion-laden situations. The three ego communication styles depict differently structured
motivations of individuals. For instance, the child ego, responds in an emotional mode without
thinking whether it might be appropriate to express emotions. The parent ego responds to what might
be adequate according to societal norms and expectations, neglecting the emotional perspective, and
whether an individual feels it is the right thing to do. The adult ego responds in a more balanced way
in that it is considers both awareness (affect) and reflection (cognition) on emotions, and therefore

facilitates an emotionally intelligent communication and behaviour. Second, REBT questions

irrational or self-defeating tendencies or counterproductive self-images individuals might have. It
develops different options to look at certain perceptions from a more prudent perspective. Negative
or counter-productive emotional perceptions and self-assessments may destructively influence
individuals, their self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall potential. This may cause emotional
disturbances and impair their overall cognitive performance and wellbeing. The questioning process
and the mutual interaction of emotion and cognition thereof may modify emotional awareness
channelling it into a positive and self-encouraging direction. It facilitates progress in order to
construe putative threats as chances or challenges, which fosters rational thinking and analysis,
adaptive emotions, and functional behaviour patterns. The reflection process can thereby generally
improve abilities in emotional awareness to become more constructive and consequently, may amend
reflection and thinking as presented in Table 2.
>>>>>>>>>>>> TABLE 2 ABOUT HERE

The interdependent emotion-cognition-loop enables individuals to reflect on the emotions perceived

to infer whether or not it is the right time and the right situation to express them. For instance, it is
evidently not the right situation to express great happiness about a promotion, when a colleague has
just been dismissed. Consequently, TA and REBT foster cognitive processes that is thinking,
analysis and reflection on the emotions perceived, and thus address the second ARM dimension to
develop abilities in emotional Reflection.

ARM Emotional Management

The third, behaviour-related ARM dimension, emotional Management, refers to learning theory
(Kolb & Kolb, 2008; Kolb, 1984). More specifically, emotional management focuses on learning
through doing and focuses on behavioural-expressive components that enable an individuals
learning process incorporates practice and experience of emotionally intelligent behaviour (in
rehearsals and simulations). The approach used by the behavioural school of counselling, particularly

in behaviour theory (Eysenck, 1960; Lazarus, 1971; Skinner, 1953; Wolpe, 1982), depicts that
adaptive or functional behaviour can be learnt whereas maladaptive or dysfunctional behaviour can
be diminished or replaced. Efficient learning methods are operant learning (reinforcement),
imitative learning (role models), cognitive learning (contracts), and emotional learning (classical
conditioning) (see Covey, 2009). Therefore, emotionally intelligent behaviour and abilities can be
learnt from both group members and facilitators through reinforcement to corroborate or complement
appropriate behaviour or to learn from role models and their effective behavioural strategies. Further
learning through personal contracts can support individuals in setting certain targets and which
explicit behaviour (behavioural change to manage emotion) they want to achieve. Classical
conditioning can initiate a learning process through stimuli (eliciting an emotion) and response
(behavioural reaction) with reinforcement to modify behaviour, thereby transform it into emotionally
intelligent behaviour (Corey, 2009; Matthew & Sayers, 2001).

The emotional management of the underlying ARM model is physically a more active part, yet
interdependent with the first (emotional awareness) and second dimension (emotional reflection). In
emotional management learning by doing dominates behavioural-oriented learning and emotional
coping strategies particularly drawn on behaviour rehearsals (role-plays), goal setting tasks,
workshops, and emotional simulations. This modus operandi facilitates the internalising of
prerequisite abilities in emotional awareness, followed by abilities in emotional reflection. Only what
is perceived and conscious can be managed constructively.

To date, scholars have acknowledged the interdependencies of emotion, cognition, and behaviour.
Research in developing ability EI employs various role-play situations in order to develop emotionrelated abilities and coping styles and how to deal with emotional events in specific situations.
Moreover, Jordan et al. (2002), Slaski and Cartright (2003), Lopes et al. (2004), Murray et al. (2004),
Haertel et al. (2005), and Nelis et al. (2011; 2009) ascertained that EI can effectively be trained using


interpersonal role-play tasks and simulations of real life situations5. This is concordant with learning
theory and adult education or andragogy. Andragogy delineates a more practical and experiential
learning orientation and focuses on emotion-laden daily life situations, which can be appropriately
applied into behaviour rehearsals and role-plays (Knowles, 1990).

Finally, the behavioural aspect may support individuals in EI interventions to internalise and practise
abilities they have developed through the underlying ARM model, for instance, emotional awareness
through the Client-centered theory and Gestalt; emotional reflection through TA and REBT in order
to connect emotion with cognition to reason, analyse, reflect on and make sense and use of emotional
information. The behavioural dimension, emotional management, combined with emotional
awareness and reflection, may convey emotion-related abilities and skills practically applied to
adaptive and pro-social (emotionally intelligent) behaviour. Rehearsals and role plays may nurture
abilities in emotional management. It consequently might gain increases in emotion-related abilities
(EI) after the training supported by others (Murray, et al., 2004; Nelis, et al., 2009; Slaski &
Cartwright, 2003).

This chapter discussed the conceptualisation of an innovative theoretical framework to develop
emotion-related abilities (ability EI). The ARM model answers the critique raised by Zeidner et al.
(2002, 2009) and others whether EI as a cognitive ability can be developed or schooled and if so,
then a scientific elaborated theoretical framework is definitely still missing. This chapter fills in the
research gap for several reasons. First, the ARM model is doing justice which considers emotion,
intelligence, and emotional intelligence. Second, the ARM model is based on EI as cognitive ability
according to the EI construct definition from Mayer et al. (2006). The ARM theory aims to develop
an individuals maximum performance (abilities) rather than their typical performance (traits,

How to promote behavioural interventions is outlined in Cherniss & Adler (2000)


competencies). Third, the EI construct (Mayer, et al., 2006) was analysed and demerged to
investigate the underlying emotion-related abilities in more detail. During the analysis of the EI
construct three main realms became apparent: the perception of emotions (affect), reasoning and
reflection of emotions (cognition), and coping with and managing emotions (behaviour). The third
and second EI dimensions are subsumed under the cognitive ARM realm because they are the most
cognitively saturated parts within the ability EI framework (Mayer, et al., 2001: 235). This modus
operandi facilitates the developmental aspect in order to develop emotion-related abilities. However,
it does not suggest refining the ability EI construct definition. Fourth, during the conceptualisation of
the ARM theory both learning theories and schools of counselling were investigated and analysed to
ascertain the potential for developing ability EI or more specifically, for developing emotionrelated abilities of the EI construct in perceiving, reflecting and reasoning, and managing emotions.
Experiential learning theory (Kolb & Kolb, 2005) and the affective, cognitive, and behavioural
school of counselling (Corey, 2005) were applied to nurture emotion-related abilities according to
the ARM theory. Finally, ongoing research is needed to apply and operationalise the benefits of the
first theoretical framework (ARM model) to develop emotion-related abilities (ability EI) by using
rigour ability EI measures (i.e. MSCEIT).


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Figure 1

EI Development:
EI Model










Role Play, work
shops, simulation



Perc eption


REBT (Ellis)
Transactional TA

Gestalt (Perls)

ARM Model to EI training

Figure 1: ARM Model to develop Ability Emotional Intelligence









Emotional Intelligence

Emotional awareness and

Integrate emotions into

Manage and regulate

(Mayer & Salovey, 1997)


thinking, understand and


reflect on emotions
Learning Theory
Experiential Learning

Learning through feeling

Learning through thinking

Learning through doing

Affective SOC

Cognitive SOC

Behaviour SOC

> Gestalt (Perls, 1971)

> Transactional Analysis

> Role Rehearsals

> Client-Centered Therapy

(Berne, 1975)

> Simulations, Activities

(Rogers, 1986)

> Rational-Emotive

(Lazarus, 1958; Eysenck,

Behaviour Therapy

1960; Wolpe, 1966;

(Ellis, 1995)

Krumboltz, 1969)

(Kolb, 1984)

Developmental Perspective
Schools of Counselling

Table 1: ARM Dimensions to develop emotion-related abilities in relation to learning theory and SOC


Table 2

Cognitive consequences of rational and irrational thinking:

Cognitive process

Cause emotions

Manifest in

Irrational Cognition

Maladaptive Emotions

Dysfunctional Behaviour Patterns

Rational Cognition

Adaptive Emotions

Functional Behaviour Patterns

Table 2: Cognition related to Emotion & Behaviour, Source: Adapted from Corey (2009), p. 132