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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-31

Assessment of risk-taking behavior, leadership effectiveness, intelligence, ability to handle stress in college-going students, and effect of self-control on these parameters


1 Department of Physiology, GMC Jammu, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 SMO, Department of Ophthalmology, Kolkata, India

Date of Submission19-Dec-2021
Date of Decision17-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance18-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication8-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohita Singh
Department of Physiology, GMC Jammu, Bakshi Nagar, Jammu - 180 001, Jammu and Kashmir
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_92_21

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  Abstract 


Background: Human intelligence is the intellectual prowess of humans, which is marked by high cognition, motivation, and self-awareness. Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to achieve common goals. Risk-taking is conscious or nonconscious controlled behavior with perceived uncertainty about its outcome. The present study was designed to assess the risk-taking ability of an individual that is required to be a good leader along with intelligence, ability to handle stress, and the effect of self-control on these parameters.
Materials and Methods: The study was performed in two phases. In the first phase, the subjects were asked to fill risk-taking questionnaire, and their leadership effectiveness and intelligence levels were assessed. Their basal level of stress parameters and Stroop test were assessed. A stressor was introduced and stress parameters, Stroop test were again assessed. In the second phase of the study, the subjects were asked to practice moderate-intensity physical activity for 15 days and its effect was seen on all the above parameters.
Results: Statistically significant and nonsignificant differences were obtained on comparison between baseline and poststress values; and also between baseline and postexercise values in all the three groups namely high-risk takers, moderate risk-takers and nonrisk takers at different level of significance. Comparison between first phase and second phase of the study yielded significant and non-significant results.
Conclusion: Self-control improves leadership effectiveness. Exercise helps reduce stress response that aids in better decision-making quality required for being a leader.

Keywords: Intelligence, leadership effectiveness, moderate-intensity physical exercise, risk-taking, stress response


How to cite this article:
Singh M, Sachdev S, Singh A. Assessment of risk-taking behavior, leadership effectiveness, intelligence, ability to handle stress in college-going students, and effect of self-control on these parameters. J Curr Res Sci Med 2022;8:25-31

How to cite this URL:
Singh M, Sachdev S, Singh A. Assessment of risk-taking behavior, leadership effectiveness, intelligence, ability to handle stress in college-going students, and effect of self-control on these parameters. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 19];8:25-31. Available from: https://www.jcrsmed.org/text.asp?2022/8/1/25/350144




  Introduction Top


Effective leadership, the process of social influence to gain support for accomplishment of a common and ethical task, requires individual characteristics like intelligence, adjustment, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to new experience, self-efficacy as well as cognitive abilities, values, social skills, expertise and problem solving abilities.[1] Risk is the effect of uncertainty on objectives, the chance that an outcome will have an unfavorable result. It has been proved that brief surges in anxiety are correlated with surges in general risk perception.[2]

Human intelligence is the intellectual prowess of humans which is marked by high cognition, motivation and self-awareness.[3] Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people's emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to the environment and to achieve one's goals.[4]

Risk-taking involves uncertainty about the effects of activity with respect to something that human values. Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline. Are risk-taking and leadership related? Does the level of general and emotional intelligence have a role in risk-taking and leadership? Do stressful situations involve changes in risk-taking behavior? Do self-control measures help build a better leader? To answer these intriguing questions, the present study was designed to explore the relationship between risk-taking, leadership, intelligence, and the effect of exercise on these parameters. Literature, to the best of our knowledge, has not revealed any previous comparable studies.


  Materials and Methods Top


The present study was conducted on 40 male college-going students in the age group of 17–27 years. A minimum sample size of 34 subjects was calculated assuming the effect size 0.5 and considering the usual constants Type 1 error α = 0.05 and Type 2 error β = 0.2 using G*Power (version 3.1.9.7) software. However, for better results, 40 subjects were considered.

The subjects with a significant medical history, significant drug/alcohol history, and psychiatric illness were excluded. Only male students were included in the study because females have a different level of stress and stress reactivity during different phases of the menstrual cycle with stress levels reported higher in the luteal phase than in the follicular phase. Since the study required evaluation of stress parameters and stress response that has cyclical variation in females, they were excluded. Complete anonymity was maintained as emotional states are better revealed and honest responses are given.

Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee of GMC Jammu wide registration number C – 118/IEC/GMC/Cat C/2021/463. The subjects were briefed about the study and written informed consent for participation in the study was taken. Only educated volunteers were chosen because adequate educational background is required for filling the questionnaires.

The study was performed in two phases. In the first phase of the study, subjects were allowed to take a rest for 10–15 min. Their risk-taking capability was assessed and they were divided into three groups: high-risk takers, moderate-risk takers, and nonrisk takers. Their leadership effectiveness, general intelligence (GI) level, emotional intelligence level, basal level of stress (pulse rate, isometric handgrip), and Stroop test were assessed. A stressor (computer game) was introduced for 10 minutes and stress parameters, Stroop test were again assessed. In the second phase of the study, they were asked to practice moderate-intensity physical exercise for 15 days and its effect was seen on all the above parameters. A bidirectional relationship has been observed between physical exercise and self-control; hence, physical exercise was taken as a self-control measure.

Risk-taking was assessed via risk-taking questionnaire.[5] Leadership effectiveness was measured using Dhar and Pethe leadership effectiveness scale.[6] The GI of subjects was assessed using Wechsler Adult Performance Intelligence Scale, an Indian adaptation version by Prabha Ramalingaswamy.[7] EQ of the subjects was assessed by the “Emotional Intelligence scale.”[8]

Computer games usually give immense pleasure after a win. However, in the initial stages of the game when an individual suffers repeated defeats or constraints, the game turns very stressful. The stress that computer game gives was used as a stressor in the study.[9] In the present study, subjects were asked to play a few computer games and their pulse rate was measured simultaneously. The game that gave the subjective feeling of maximum stress and leads to an increase in pulse rate (PR) was chosen as a stressor for that subject. The game which the subject could not master acted as a stressor for him.

Stroop test was used as a measure for assessing changes in the values of parameters used in the study post self control (exercise) measure. This test is considered to measure selective attention, cognitive flexibility and development, processing speed and evaluation of executive functions (set of cognitive processes that are necessary for cognitive control of behaviour, selecting and successfully monitoring behaviours that facilitate the attainment of chosen goals).[10]

Brisk walking at the rate of four miles per hour was used as moderate-intensity physical exercise.[11] At least 150 min of moderate-intensity physical activity to be performed throughout the week of at least 10 min duration (30 min a day for 5 days a week).[12]

Statistical analysis

Data were analyzed using computer software for windows SPSS version 26. The quantitative data were reported as mean ± standard deviation. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to test the significance between baseline and postintervention observations. The results were computed as significant at P < 0.05 level (*), more significant at P < 0.01 level (**), and highly significant at P < 0.001 level (***). All P values were two tailed.


  Results Top


The correlation was assessed in all the 40 subjects among different parameters, results of which were found to be highly significant [Table 1] and [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Correlation between different parameters

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Table 1: Correlation between different parameters

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Out of 40 subjects chosen, high-risk takers were 9, moderate-risk takers were 28, and nonrisk takers were 3 in number. The baseline and poststress values exhibited both significant and nonsignificant changes in different groups at different levels of P value [Table 2] and [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Comparison of parameters at baseline and post-stress level in different groups

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Table 2: Assessment of parameters in different groups at baseline and poststress level

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PR is pulse rate (bpm), IHG is isometric handgrip (mm Hg), STN is Stroop test neutral, STF is Stroop test facilitation, and STI is Stroop test interference.

Leadership effectiveness, risk-taking, IQ, EQ, PR, IHG, and Stroop tests were analyzed in the postexercise period in all three groups and on an overall basis. Both significant and nonsignificant results were obtained at various levels of P value [Table 3] and [Figure 3].
Figure 3: (a) Comparison of parameters at baseline and post-exercise period in different groups. (b) Comparison of different parameters at baseline and post-exercise period on an overall basis

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  Discussion Top


Leadership is the ability of an individual to lead, influence or guide other individuals, team or entire organisation. Leadership style can be authoritarian, democratic, free rein leadership (decision-making is passed to subordinates), task-oriented, paternalism, and servant type. It involves risk-taking, intelligence level, and ability to handle stressful situations for proper decision-making and satisfaction of subordinates. In the present study, a relation was found between risk-taking, leadership, intelligence, and the effect of self-control on parameters.

The present study reported a positive correlation between risk-taking and leadership effectiveness. Previous studies have reported similar results concluding that a good leader brings about a positive effect (innovation and creativity) on the commitment to organizational change.[13] A positive correlation was found between risk-taking and GI level in the present study. Results were similar to previous studies with the risk being taken only in advantageous situations.[14] In the present study, a positive correlation was found between risk-taking and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is positively correlated to risk-taking through decision-makers self-motivation.[15]

A positive correlation was found between leadership effectiveness and IQ, the results being similar to previous studies with intelligence correlating equally with the objective and perceptual measures of leadership. It appears that selecting a leader based on personality is more important.[16] A significant and positive correlation was found between leadership effectiveness and emotional intelligence with results being similar to previous studies. These findings endorse the validity of incorporating emotional intelligence interventions alongside the recruitment and selection process.[17] The present study reported a positive correlation between GI and emotional intelligence. Previous studies reported a positive correlation (0–1) between IQ and various subscales of EQ (adaptability, mood).[18]

The present study reported significant results between risk-taking and stress parameters. Previous studies have reported that acute stress increases risk-taking behavior.[19] This leads to a reduction in the intensity of stress probably due to habituation that results in a decrease in anxiety associated with stress.[20] Risk-taking and performance on the Stroop test (facilitation and interference) exhibited significant results in high- and moderate-risk takers in the present study. Previous studies have reported similar results with affective arousal conditions reporting better results than nonemotional states.[21]

The present study reported a significant increase in pulse rate and IHG value under stress in high- and moderate-risk takers. Previous studies have reported a positive and significant increase in heart rate and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (the parameter used in IHG exercise) under stress.[22] The body produces a surge of hormones in stressful situations and releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. These reactions prepare the body to deal with the situation, the “fight or flight” response.[23] Different subtests of the Stroop test exhibited significant and nonsignificant changes in response to stress at different levels of P value in high- and moderate-risk takers, while nonrisk takers exhibited statistically insignificant results. Previous studies reported improved performance on the Stroop test in response to moderate controllable stress with a quadratic relationship between both parameters.[24]

The present study reported a significant increase in risk-taking behavior postexercise. Previous studies reported similar results concluding that exercise increases dopamine in certain subcortical brain regions that are linked to an increase in risk-taking.[25] There was a significant increase in leadership effectiveness postexercise. Similar results were reported signifying that regular exercise needs to be carried out by executives to work effectively.[26]

There was a significant improvement in IQ scores postexercise in the present study. Previous studies reported similar results of improvement in IQ scores with exercise, concluding that exercise contributes to the development of cardiorespiratory fitness that influences the increase in intelligence.[27] EQ scores also reported a significant increase in scores postexercise. Previous studies have reported similar results with exercise promoting better use and regulation of emotions.[28] The present study reported a decrease in resting pulse rate in the postexercise period with results being similar to the previous studies.[29]

The present study reported a significant decrease in IHG value postexercise. Previous studies demonstrated that DBP values significantly decrease in response to aerobic exercise when compared with IHG exercise proving that the reduction in DBP and hence handgrip values in the present study was due to the effect of aerobic exercise.[30] The present study reported a significant increase in scores in subtests of the Stroop test postexercise. Previous studies reported similar results of physical interventions enhancing executive functions.[31]

Limitation of study

A study with a larger sample size and a strong stressor is required to assess the ability to handle stressful situations. The results of the study may be specific to the type of subject chosen and their perception of computer games as a stressor. A separate study is required to assess these parameters in female subjects during the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. However, the study gave us important insight into the fact that effective leadership requires appropriate risk-taking and a different combination of general and emotional intelligence along with the ability to handle stress.


  Conclusion Top


Risk-taking is one of the essential criteria for effective leadership along with an appropriate level of both general and emotional intelligence. Under stressful situations, risk-taking behavior is increased which results in a decrease in intensity of stress. Risk-taking develops from heightened reward-seeking behavior. Exercise leads to improvement in cognitive control with the risk being taken only in advantageous situations. Exercise also leads to improvement in leadership effectiveness and intelligence and increases the ability to handle stressful situations.

Acknowledgment

We are grateful to all the subjects for their participation in this research work. We are also grateful to Mr. Dev Raj for his contribution in statistical analysis. This work is an original article and no financial grants were obtained from any source. There is no conflict of interest.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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