The phrase “Emotional Intelligence” was defined with a specific meaning by psychology researchers John A. Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey from Yale University in 1990. They published a paper titled, Emotional Intelligence” Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.
Emotional Intelligence was a phrase that became popular to the public in 1995 with the publication of the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Daniel Goleman was a Harvard- trained psychologist who worked as a science writer for the New York Times.
Goleman was granted permission by the two researchers, who originally coined the term Emotional Intelligence, to use it for his own research. The book by Goleman took liberties with earlier comments made by both researchers, as well as several other theories related to Emotional Intelligence (Salovey, Mayer, & Caruso, 2000).
There are many theories in Emotional Intelligence. Most data presented is based on the belief that some people are born with a higher Emotional Intelligence than others, but that individuals can work to develop it in later years.
Most individuals are vulnerable to stress, but Emotional Intelligence affects how it is processed in the brain and then conveyed externally, which influences decisions.
- What is the definition of Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the collection of abilities used to identify, understand, control and assess the emotions of the self and others (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). It is also referred to as emotional regulation or emotional control by some researchers (Nelis, Quoidbach, Hansenne, & Mikolajczak, 2008) It is the capability to use emotion judiciously.Salovey and Mayer (1997) revised the definition of Emotional Intelligence, as the following:Emotional Intelligence involves the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Salovey, Mayer & Sluyter, 1997).
Salovey and Mayer consider Emotional Intelligence to be based on abilities; they also determined it should be perceived as cognitive and psychological ability, which does not wholly deviate from general mental ability. Both Salovey and Mayer see the work of Goleman and others as a mixed model. The concept of the mixed model is that it is not just based on emotional ability, but includes personality attributes or traits of an individual (Salovey, Mayer, & Caruso, 2000).
- If a person increases his or her Emotional Intelligence will it influence how these stressors impact the life of this individual?
If an individual cannot observe, identify and regulate their emotions, it would appear they might be less satisfied with their life. When emotional intelligence is raised, it has been shown that stress, anxiety and even depression are alleviated.
- What are some characteristics of an Emotionally Intelligent Individual?
Salovey and Mayer further postulate that an emotionally intelligent individual is more open and agreeable than others. This individual possesses the ability to think through difficult emotions, problem solve about emotions, perceive emotions better, understand the meaning of emotions and manage others emotions. Usually an emotionally intelligent individual is more developed in social, verbal and additional intelligences. The emotionally intelligent person perceives, appraises and expresses emotion accurately and is able to discriminate between false, accurate or truthful information (Salovey, Mayer & Sluyter, 1997).
- Do emotionally intelligent individuals engage in self-sabotaging (or other) behaviors?
Emotionally intelligent people are normally not known to engage in self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse or violence; they possess a high degree of social interactions and support (Salovey, Mayer, & Caruso, 2004).
- How does management of emotions, promote emotional and intellectual growth?
The mature person, who exhibits a higher level of Emotional Intelligence, becomes conscious of feelings at a level far beyond mere recognition. There is an opening to both pleasant and unpleasant feelings; through this consciousness an individual can learn something from the emotion. The next step is the ability to contemplate whether to disengage from or engage in an emotion, depending on its usefulness or utility. If an individual is upset, the choice can be to walk away from the situation and wait until a calmer mood prevails to address the issue. There are many philosophies which expound the recognition of and control of thoughts as a way to inner peace; if an individual is aware of their emotions it is possible to make a choice of whether to continue or extricate oneself from an emotion.