Describe the differences between traditional cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence. 

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dftbap eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cognitive intelligence goes on within one's own brain.For example , when writing essays or solving math problems, one is using intelligence based solely on the intelligence one has to solve questions within one's own mind, and without outside help.

Emotional intelligence is actually taking this cognitive intelligence and using it in myriad situations which involve others to understand your own and others' emotion and to use that understanding to act based on correct thinking about these emotions.  An individual who is able to accurately monitor their own emotions and someone else's emotions can guide their thinking and actions in a correctly discriminating way (Mayer & Salovey). Their own personal experience without discriminating awareness of others' emotions is not the only thing guiding their thinking methods and actions.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth - Mayer & Salovey, 1997. (John D. Mayer and  Peter Salovey,

Further Reading:
wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cognitive intelligence refers to one specific function of the brain--its ability to reason, to build logical arguments from sensory evidence, to solve puzzles and problems, to "make sense" of the universe, what has been called "toga thinking" referring to our Greek and Roman foundations in logic, rhetoric, etc.  Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, refers to another brain function--our ability to feel emotions, and to control our emotion-based reactions.  For example, a child cannot control disappointment, but an adult can.  An adult can grieve and still function in the world, but a child does not have the emotional intelligence to set aside the short-term for the long-term.  Some adults are emotionally "smarter" than others, and can keep destructive emotions (fear, envy, anger, etc.) under control-- others have "anger  management  issues, or "wear their heart on their sleeve" or "strike out"  at innocent parties, or are " impatient" --then there are emotionally more intelligent, calm, rational, in control individuals.

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