Introduction (Psychology and Mental Health)
The concept of emotional intelligence is relatively new to the field of psychology. The ideas and concepts that are now referred to as emotional intelligence first came to be in the 1980’s, when Howard E. Gardner first proposed his theory of multiple intelligences. The term “emotional intelligence” was introduced by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in a 1990 research paper. In 1995, the publication of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ popularized the concept. Three common models of emotional intelligence have been developed: the ability-based model (Mayer and Salovey’s four-branch model based on emotional skills and abilities), the mixed model (Goleman’s model based on skills and competencies), and the trait model (based on personality traits). Because of the differences that exist among the three models and because the field is growing at such a rapid pace, a standardized definition of emotional intelligence has yet to emerge. Although not agreed on by researchers in the field, two common definitions of emotional intelligence are the ability to monitor the feelings and emotions of the self and of others and to use this information to guide one’s behaviors, and the ability to identify and control emotions in oneself and in others.
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Measurement and Assessment (Psychology and Mental Health)
Several tools have been developed to assess emotional intelligence. The two most prominent tools are theMayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI). The MSCEIT is a self-report test, consisting of 141 items based on the four-branch abilities model of emotional intelligence. It measures abilities on each of the four branches, then computes a separate score for each branch and an overall emotional intelligence score. The test includes eight tasks that measure the four branches of emotional intelligence as defined by Mayer, Salovey, and David R. Caruso. These four branches of abilities, listed from most basic to most complex, are as follows: perceive emotions, use emotions to facilitate thought, understand emotions, and manage emotions. The ECI is based on Goleman’s mixed model of emotional intelligence. It is a 360-degree survey that assesses emotional intelligence (EI) by asking the person and multiple raters to answer questions about the person’s behavior. The test measures eighteen competencies that fall under the four dimensions of emotional intelligence as identified by the mixed model approach. The four dimensions are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. The competencies measured in the ECI are said to be learned capabilities, and because of this, individuals can work on and further develop each of the four...
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Training and Application (Psychology and Mental Health)
Since its inception, the concept of emotional intelligence has been used in a wide variety of contexts to help people live more successfully. Although some of the first contexts in which emotional intelligence was used focused on worker productivity and satisfaction, the concept has since been applied successfully in a broad range of areas.
One of the areas in which emotional intelligence has proven to be very helpful is in relationship training. Emotional intelligence, by its nature, has a strong focus on empathy and on understanding the ways in which emotions influence people. When people are able to combine a sense of how their own emotions can guide or derail them with a developed awareness of how others feel, they are equipped to navigate the complexities of relationships across many situations. Emotional intelligence has also been applied in structuring educational settings for students, teachers, and parents. Curricula have been designed that incorporate appropriate emotional modeling, helping children regulate their emotions and connecting emotional experience to learning. Training children in the classroom in social and emotional skills has been shown to increase academic performance by 11 percentile points and to reduce conduct problems and aggression by 9 percent.
Emotional intelligence has also been widely used in skills training for supervisors and managers. In one randomized, controlled study...
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Sources for Further Study (Psychology and Mental Health)
Cherniss, Cary, and Mitchel Adler. Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Alexandria, Va.: American Society and Training and Development, 2000. The authors provide a twenty-two-step process for developing and implementing emotional intelligence training within organizations. The book contains case studies and examples of both contemporary and past emotional intelligence training programs conducted within organizations.
Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ. New York: Bantam Books, 1995. The author explains why a high intelligence quotient (IQ) is no guarantee of success in the business world. The book details the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence and shows how they can determine people’s lives in various ways. Goleman reports on studies of human biology and neuroscience that back up his claims that increasing one’s emotional intelligence can improve one’s life.
Mayer, John D., Peter Salovey, and Marc A. Brackett. Emotional Intelligence: Key Reading on the Mayer and Salovey Model. Port Chester, N.Y.: Dude, 2004. This book contains a collection of chapters and articles that introduce the emotional intelligence ability model as created by Mayer and Salovey. The book focuses on the theory, measurement, and application of the ability model.
Murphy, Kevin R., ed. A Critique of Emotional Intelligence: What Are the...
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Emotional Intelligence (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
The ability to perceive and constructively act on both one's own emotions and the feelings of others.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is sometimes referred to as emotional quotient or emotional literacy. Individuals with emotional intelligence are able to relate to others with compassion and empathy, have well-developed social skills, and use this emotional awareness to direct their actions and behavior. The term was coined in 1990 by psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey. In 1995, psychologist/journalist Daniel Goleman published the highly successful Emotional Intelligence, which built on Mayer and Salovey's work and popularized the EI concept.
The four areas of emotional intelligence, as identified by Mayer and Salovey, are as follows:
- Identifying emotions. The ability to recognize one's own feelings and the feelings of those around them.
- Using emotions. The ability to access an emotion and reason with it (use it to assist thought and decisions).
- Understanding emotions. Emotional knowledge; the ability to identify and comprehend what Mayer and Salovey term "emotional chains"he transition of one emotion to another.
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