(GS PAPER-4) Concepts of Emotional Intelligence

Concepts of Emotional Intelligence


  • In 1983, Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences introduced the idea that traditional types of intelligence, such as IQ, fail to fully explain cognitive ability. He introduced the idea of multiple intelligences which included both interpersonal intelligence (the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people) and intrapersonal intelligence (the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears and motivations).
  • The first use of the term “emotional intelligence” is usually attributed to Wayne Payne’s doctoral thesis, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence from 1985. However, the term became widely known with the publication of Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ  (1995). It is to this book’s best-selling status that the term can attribute its popularity.


  • Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.
  • People with high EQ demonstrate a high level of self awareness, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
  • Daniel Goleman, believes that IQ is a threshold quality: It matters for entry- to high-level management jobs, but once you get there, it no longer helps leaders, because most leaders already have a high IQ. According to Goleman, what differentiates effective leaders from ineffective ones becomes their ability to control their own emotions and understand other people’s emotions, their internal motivation, and their social skills. (Intelligence Quotient /  IQ is ability to learn, understand and apply information to skills, logical reasoning, word comprehension, math skills, abstract and spatial thinking, filter irrelevant information.) Tfggg
  • Currently, there are three main models of EI:
  1. Ability model
  2. Mixed model
  3. Trait model

1. Ability Model:

  • The ability-based model views emotions as useful sources of information that help one to make sense of and navigate the social environment. The model proposes that individuals vary in their ability to process information of an emotional nature and in their ability to relate emotional processing to a wider cognition. This ability is seen to manifest itself in certain adaptive behaviors.
  • The model claims that EI includes four types of abilities:
  1. Perceiving emotions – the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts—including the ability to identify one’s own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible.
  2. Using or facilitating emotions – the ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing moods in order to best fit the task at hand.
  3. Understanding emotions – the ability to comprehend emotion’s language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example, understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how emotions evolve over time.
  4. Managing emotions – the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.

2. Mixed model:

  • The model introduced by Daniel Goleman focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance.
  • Goleman’s model outlines five main EI constructs:
  1. Self-awareness – the ability to know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
  2. Self-regulation / Self-management – involves controlling or redirecting one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
  3. Social skill – managing relationships to move people in the desired direction
  4. Empathy – considering other people’s feelings especially when making decision
  5. Motivation – being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.
  • First four of these five main EI constructs can be explained by following figure:

EI as a learned capabilities:

  • Goleman includes a set of emotional competencies within each construct of EI. Emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned capabilities that must be worked on and can be developed to achieve outstanding performance. Goleman posits that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.
  • Emotional competence refers to one’s ability to express or release one’s inner feelings (emotions).
  • Emotional capital is the set of personal and social emotional competencies which constitute a resource inherent to the person, useful for the personal, professional and organizational development and takes part in social cohesion, to personal, social and economic success. Furthermore, because of its impact on performance (as at work), on well-being (life satisfaction, health etc) and on social cohesion and citizenship, emotional capital should be taken into account seriously by public and educational policy-makers and practicians and companies

3. Trait model:

  • Petrides proposed a conceptual distinction between the ability based model and a trait based model of EI.

  • EI refers to an individual’s self-perceptions of their emotional abilities. This definition of EI encompasses behavioral dispositions and self-perceived abilities and is measured by self report, as opposed to the ability based model which refers to actual abilities, which have proven highly resistant to scientific measurement.
  • An alternative label for the same construct is trait emotional self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the extent or strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.
  • The trait EI model is general and subsumes the Goleman’s Mixed Model discussed above.

Emotional Intelligence and Personality:

  • Personality is defined as a specific criteria of an individual such as acting, feeling and thinking which these kind of attitude have been explored through various of theoretical ideas including humanities, cognitive as well as trait theory. Trait in EI is a kind of behaviour of an individual who feel and act in specific way which differentiate them from other individual. They are trusted to be consistent and stable in their lifetime.

Difference between person with low Emotional Intelligence and High Intelligence:


Criticism of Emotional Intelligence:

1. Cannot be recognized as form of intelligence

  • Goleman’s early work has been criticized for assuming from the beginning that EI is a type of intelligence.
  • The essence of this criticism is that scientific inquiry depends on valid and consistent construct utilization, and that before the introduction of the term EI, psychologists had established theoretical distinctions between factors such as abilities and achievements, skills and habits, attitudes and values, and personality traits and emotional states.Thus, some scholars believe that the term EI merges and conflates such accepted concepts and definitions.
  • Goleman tries to make us believe he is presenting something new, when in fact much of what he is reporting has been studied for years under personality research.

2. Confusing Skills With Moral Qualities

  • The common but mistaken perception of EI is that it is a desirable moral quality rather than a skill. A well-developed EI is not only an instrumental tool for accomplishing goals, but has a dark side as a weapon for manipulating others by robbing them of their capacity to reason.

3. EI has little predictive value

  • Goleman made unsupported claims about the power and predictive ability of emotional intelligence.
  • The studies conducted on EI have shown that it adds little or nothing to the explanation or prediction of some common outcomes (like work success).
  • Similarly, many researchers have raised concerns about the extent to which self-report EI measures correlate with established personality dimensions.

4. Other Criticisms:

  • Goleman represents his work as “scientific” when it does not hold up to scientific scrutiny. Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence has no as definite objective test.( IQ, or intelligence quotient, is score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess an individual’s intelligence.)
  • He implies that anyone can learn emotional intelligence and fails to acknowledge either the relatively fixed nature of the personality traits he includes in his definition of EI or the differences in innate potential among individuals.
  • His personal beliefs about what is “appropriate” contradict the academic theory concerning the value of our emotions. He still seems to regard emotions as largely something to be controlled and restrained, rather than something to be valued.

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