The Science of Emotional Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns

The Science of Emotional Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns

The Science of Emotional Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns

The Science of Emotional Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns


During the past decade, emotional intelligence has been subjected to both scientific and public scrutiny. Numerous articles have been published on the topic in both academic journals and the popular press, testifying to the potential usefulness of emotional intelligence in psychology, business, education, the home, and the workplace. However, until now, there has been no systematic synthesis that grounds emotional intelligence in contemporary theory, while simultaneously sorting scientific approaches from popular fads and pseudoscience.

Bringing together leading international experts from a variety of sub-disciplines, this volume aims to integrate recent research on emotional intelligence. The contributors address a set of focused questions concerning theory, measures, and applications: How does emotional intelligence relate to personality? What is the optimal approach to testing emotional intelligence? How can emotional intelligence be trained? In the final section of the book, the volume editors distill and synthesize the main points made by these experts and set forth an agenda for building a science of emotional intelligence in the future.

Science of Emotional Intelligencewill be an invaluable resource for researchers and professionals in psychology, education, the health sciences, and business.


The main purpose of this edited volume is to provide an up-to-the-date account of the scientific status and taxonomic models of emotional intelligence, to explore the state of the art in assessment and applications of the construct, and to provide recommendations for future research. Indeed, there may be various abilities, skills, and personality dispositions that could loosely be described as “emotionally intelligent.” One aim of the present book is to discriminate different aspects or domains of emotional competence (which may or may not be aligned under a general factor). A clearer conceptualization will support advances in psychological assessment. For example, self-report methods may be appropriate for some facets of emotional competence but not others, whereas there is also clearly a need to develop a range of objective assessments.

Another important aim is to locate different components of emotional intelligence in relation to existing structural models of ability and intelligence so as to progress toward a more comprehensive differential psychology. A multidimensional approach to emotional intelligence may also clarify theoretical issues. Clearly different levels of explanation may be appropriate for different facets of competence, ranging from neural bases for recognizing and regulating emotion to high-level metacognitive routines for making sense of emotional experience. Most important, the book aims to translate this sharp theoretical focus into practical recommendations in occupational, educational, clinical and other contexts, to improve the utility of future assessment approaches, and to inform intervention efforts.

The book departs from typical edited volumes in requesting a panel of internationally acclaimed scholars to address specific questions that must be answered for the field to progress. Invited contributors were allocated to one of three sections concerning the conceptualization, assessment, and practical utility of emotional intelligence. In addition to presenting their own perspectives, each contributor addressed a set of questions linked to the focal issue covered by the section. With an introduction written by the editors that set the stage, and a conclusion that attempted to synthesize these various perspectives, the book consists of five sections in total.

In Section I, Gerald Matthews, Moshe Zeidner, and Richard D. Roberts (Chapter 1) review current research investigating emotional intelligence, identifying key difficulties in current conceptualization, assessment, and application. This chapter highlights the principal controversies in the field at present that differentiate some of the main . . .

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