The power of perceiving: exploring the relationships between empathic accuracy, performance, and relationship satisfaction at work

Project Details


Increasingly, organizations are focusing on assessing and developing
leaders’ “soft skills”, with the view that these skills are critical to
effective leadership. Consequently, the construct of emotional
intelligence (EI) has enjoyed significant prominence. However, EI has
been criticized for demonstrating poor construct and predictive
validity. To address these issues, the present project proposes
borrowing methodological best practices from the domain of family
psychology, where a similar ability has been researched extensively.
Referred to as empathic accuracy, this construct captures one’s
ability to accurately perceive the emotions of another. In focusing
specifically on emotion perception and adopting novel measurement
procedures that capture the dynamic, social nature of emotions, this
research project will address many of the methodological challenges
faced by EI research. Through lab based and experience sampling
studies, the present project will assess the relationship between
empathic accuracy and work outcomes (specifically relationship
satisfaction, performance, and transformational leader behaviours),
how this ability differs across high and low threat contexts, and how
organisations can train this ability in leaders. In addition to the
contributions to the leadership literature, this project will also offer
organisations with insights on how empathic accuracy can be
assessed in recruitment decisions and trained in leadership
development programs.
Effective start/end date1/11/2231/10/26


  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Empathic Accuracy
  • Leadership

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Work and organisational psychology


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