Cultivating Emotional Intelligence: The Impact of Engaging in Expressive Arts for Higher Education Students

  • Sanjana Salome Durairaj OKR Consultant
Keywords: Emotional intelligence, expressive arts, college students, gender gap, curriculum change


Emotional intelligence (EI) stands as a crucial factor in promoting mental well-being, and
the malleability of intelligence opens avenues for diverse educational interventions. This paper
delves into the transformative potential of expressive arts in augmenting EI among higher
education students. The study focused on the social work department of a college in Kerala,
India, where 164 students were randomly selected from the total departmental enrollment.
Among these, 122 actively engaged in expressive arts, while 42 did not participate in such
activities. To gauge EI levels, the study employed Schutt’s Self-Report Emotional Intelligence
Test, comparing scores between students engaged in expressive arts and those who were
not. The statistical analysis utilized an independent sample t-test, revealing a significant
difference in EI measures between the two groups. These findings underscore the impactful
role of expressive arts in cultivating emotional intelligence. Based on these outcomes, this
paper advocates for the integration of expressive arts into higher education curricula. Such
inclusion is proposed not only to foster elevated emotional intelligence but also to fortify
students’ mental health and enhance academic performance. The study suggests that
incorporating expressive arts can contribute substantially to the holistic development of
students in higher education settings

Author Biography

Sanjana Salome Durairaj, OKR Consultant

OKR Consultant, Good Bussiness Lab, Bangalore, Karnataka, India