Can Constructive Thinking Predict Decision Making?


Ana Santos-Ruiz, Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja s/n. 18071, Granada, Spain. E-mail:


We assume that executive function constitutes an integrated set of cognitive processes that mediate working memory, planning, inhibition, flexibility, and decision making. Despite the acknowledged theoretical connection between executive function processes and emotional intelligence, such relationships have rarely been investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential relationship between constructive thinking, conceived as a component of emotional intelligence, and executive function, as indexed by various existing neuropsychological and experimental instruments. We used the Constructive Thinking Inventory as a measure of emotional intelligence. We found that some constructive thinking subscales were able to predict distinct executive function variables. Emotional Coping, Categorical Thinking, and Esoteric Thinking subscales explained performance on various measures of executive function. Thus, we conclude that intervention programs designed to train a specific component of emotional intelligence, namely constructive thinking, could also facilitate performance in executive function processes, and vice versa. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.