Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Emotional Intelligence: A New Concept of 21st Century

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Emotional Intelligence: A New Concept of 21st Century

Article excerpt

Emotional intelligence has, in recent years, been popularized and the research into its many components has multiplied. It is the latest development in understanding the relation between reason and emotion. Emotional intelligence is the single most important factor in predicting success and other important factors are: technical skills, specific knowledge, mental abilities, physical fitness, physical appearance, and interest in a particular type of work, aspirations and career goals and life circumstances that either support or hinder performance.

Historically speaking, the term 'emotional intelligence' was introduced in 1990 by two American University professors Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Peter Salovey in their attempt to develop a scientific measure for knowing the difference in people's ability in the areas of emotion. However, the credit for popularizing the concept of emotional intelligence goes to another American psychologist Daniel Goleman (1995). The concept of emotional intelligence has gained popularity and accepted over in the recent years. The ability to appropriately identify, recognize and manage your emotions for one's own well being as well as the well-being of people around you is what is described as emotional intelligence.

According to the exponents of emotional intelligence, a person' emotional make-up largely determines his or her professional success. They believe that EQ is the most important determinant of the extent of professional and personal success in life. It is interesting to note that so many people with high IQ fail whereas those with less intellectual endowment are extremely successful. It is increasingly recognized that IQ may account for only about 20% of a person's success in life. The remaining 80% depends largely on a person's emotional intelligence.

EQ can be instrumental in achieving success in many areas of professional life and can help in increasing productivity, speeding up adaptation to change, developing leadership skills and stimulating creativity. People with high E.Q. are happier, healthier and more successful in social relationship in their profession. They are aware of their own feelings, show empathy and compassion for others and have high self-esteem..

Nature of emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence has its roots in the concept of social intelligence first identified by E.L. Thorndike in 1920. Social intelligence is the ability to understand and relate to people.. Thorndike defined social intelligence as "the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girlsto act wisely in human relations." Emotional intelligence more or less relates to social intelligence. It includes interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence in the theory of Gardner's (1983) theory of multiple intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people; what motivates them, how they work, how to work cooperatively with them. Successful sales people, politicians, teachers, clinicians and religious leaders are all likely to be individuals with high degree of interpersonal intelligence.

Interpersonal intelligence is a correlative ability turned inward. It is a capacity to form an accurate, veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life. Emotional intelligence is thus viewed as "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions to discriminate among them and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions" (Mayer & Salovey, 1993).

The concept of emotional intelligence (Mayer, Caruso & Salovey, 1999) shows that to understand and appreciate intelligence in totality, one needs to attend to the domains of personality, emotions and motivations. The merging of emotions and intelligence as a cognitive tool under the caption of E.I. was proposed by Yale Psychologists, Salovey and Mayer (1990). According to them, emotional intelligence involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains. …

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