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Essay About Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence occupies its right place beside intelligent quotient. There are many similarities and differences between these two notions, and we are going not only to compare or contrast them, but also to observe their characteristics in some details, dwelling on emotional intelligence’s necessity in a professional sphere and possibility to achieve success in public and private life.

In today’s world, different skills and abilities are valued highly. Almost all doors are opened to gifted and talented people. Moreover, they can easy find not only the respect of others, but also prosperity. Nowadays, even majority of employers prefer to hire the skillful staff: proactive, perspicacious, people who are able to get along with others and who want to achieve their goals. It would seem that it is necessary to be sufficiently educated and intelligent for the purpose of prosperity achievement. According to the claim of many researchers, intellectual abilities are necessary, but not sufficient for success. In many situations, emotional characteristics of a person are much more important in this regard: the ability to work in a team and establish a contact with correspondents – those mental abilities that allow to understand emotions, and their associates. Thus, we are going to discuss emotional intelligence and intelligent quotient (IQ) in this paper.

In recent years, world pedagogy, psychology and management pay more attention to the development of emotional intelligence. We all have understood that there is no a straight connection between people’s IQ and their achievements in professional and public life. But in any case, it is necessary to remember that the development of emotional intelligence always defines a successful career and happy family life. We can even remember the famous phrase that higher level of IQ (intelligence quotient) will get a person through school, but EQ (emotional quotient) gets a person through life.

First of all, it is necessary to define and describe two major concepts of this project: intelligence quotient and emotional intelligence. According to a short definition of intelligent quotient given by Mackintosh (1998) we see that “IQ is a number that signifies the relative intelligence of a person; the ratio multiplied by 100 of the mental age as reported on a standardized test to the chronological age. IQ is primarily used to measure one’s cognitive abilities, such as the ability to learn or understand new situations; how to reason through a given problem/scenario; the ability to apply knowledge to one’s current situations. It involves primarily the neo cortex or top portion of the brain.” Adding some details to this definition, it is possible to mention that there are some differences between IQ points, where the person who has over 140 points is considered to be a genius or almost a genius and the person who has less than 70 points, is identified as feeble-minded. Thinking about average or normal intelligence we will see something about 90-109 points.

Describing IQ, scientists mentioned that attempts to determine the level of scientific human intellect began in the beginning of the past century. Researchers tried to determine the people’s intelligence using different experiments and now are believed that the person’s IQ depends on hereditary factors and it can be increased by practicing with IQ tests. It turned out that in many cases, a main source of success is not intelligence, but perseverance and motivation of the man. Locurto (1991) proved that individuality, ambition, resoluteness and temperament are more important qualities for success in life, exactly in various situations when it is necessary to make a decision, and people with higher IQ would be in more advantageous conditions.

Initially, IQ tests were based solely on the basis of lexical exercises. Currently, the tests used to exercise on: an arithmetic count, using of logical rows, the ability to complement a geometric shape, the ability to identify a fragment, memorizing of facts, the manipulation with letters in words, and memorizing of technical drawings. As it was above-mentioned, intelligence of the average person is 100 conventional units (half of the solved tasks). IQ of the person who can fully answer all the tasks corresponds to 200 units. In such a way, IQ tests not only show the level of IQ, but also reveal a personal, preferred way of thinking (logical, figurative, mathematical or verbal). The disadvantages of IQ include the following ones: 1) is not revealed the full range of intellectual abilities, and 2) is mainly determined by the characteristics of intellect, rather than mind, 3) is based on IQ methods – relying on the speed of thinking, a short-term test of knowledge (and many people think slowly, but thoroughly and productively), 4) is not revealed human erudition and competence, 5) is not detected creativity and creative activity (people with a high index of IQ, as a rule, do not exhibit a productive, creative thinking). One of the founders of the IQ jokingly claimed that human intelligence is “what we measure with tests of intelligence.” So, lower grade shows that the person has hidden reserves in own mind and identifying own gaps in knowledge any person can train and raise the level of own IQ, because IQ tests are designed to assess thinking ability rather than knowledge and erudition. According to Epstein (1998), we see that “the approach to measuring intellectual intelligence has produced one of the most important instruments with demonstrated predictive power in the history of psychology. This is not to deny that it has often been misused and misinterpreted. It is to suggest that the measurement of intellectual intelligence is a valuable tool for predicting some kinds of human behavior if used and interpreted properly. Moreover, there are important lessons to be learned from the measurement of intellectual intelligence that can be applied to the measurement of other abilities, including emotional intelligence.”

Now it is time to think about emotional intelligence and let’s try to understand what is meant by this rather new term. Nelson, Low and Ellis (2007) stated that it is a new concept, and its nature shows us that there is no clear definitions of emotional intelligence, but there is something that combines the views of various researchers on this subject. Many researchers pay more specific attention to the study of emotional sphere of the person and his/her ability to understand own emotions and the emotions of other people and use their everywhere, including professional activities. According to Goleman (1995), “Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.” Comparing two concepts of IQ and EQ, Lynn (2005) mentioned that if IQ has already celebrated its centenary, the term ‘emotional intelligence’ and its acronym EQ (emotional quotient) have entered into circulation only in the 90s of the XX century.

In 1990, Salovey published an article titled “Emotional Intelligence”, which, according to the generally accepted view of the scientific community, was the first publication on this topic. He wrote that during the past few decades, ideas about intellect and emotions have changed dramatically. Intellect was no longer perceived as an ideal substance, and emotion was not considered to be the main enemy of intellect. Thus, both phenomena have acquired a real importance in everyday human life. It should be also understandable that emotional intelligence is not opposed to intellect, not the triumph of the mind over the senses, but this is a unique intersection of both processes.

As in the case with many other scientific concepts, scientists still cannot find an agreement on what exactly emotional intelligence is. Nowadays, there are many definitions of emotional intelligence. Bar-On R. (1997), the author of EQ abbreviation, for example, defines emotional intelligence as a set of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies and skills that affect a person’s ability to cope with the challenges and pressures of the environment. Riggio, Murphy and Pirozzolo (2002) defined EQ as “a measure of one’s emotional intelligence, as defined by the ability to use both emotional and cognitive thought. Emotional intelligence skills include but are not limited to empathy, intuition, creativity, flexibility, resilience, stress management, leadership, integrity, authenticity, intrapersonal skills and interpersonal skills. It involves the lower and central sections of the brain, called the limbic system. It also primarily involves the amygdala, which has the ability to scan everything that’s happening to us moment to moment to see if it is a threat.” Thus, summarizing all definitions, it is possible to say that emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize own emotions and the emotions of others, the ability to manage these own emotions and the emotions of others and to build cooperation on their base. In addition, it is formed a clear link between emotional intelligence and the dominances of right or left hemisphere of the brain. As we know, people can be divided into “right-brain” (they have better developed creative thinking, they are more creative, etc.) and “left-brain” (they are more rational, their thinking is more logical, they had possibilities to study and understand sciences better than others).

The program of emotional intelligence development based on the model of Mayer, Salovey and Caruso, who treat emotional intelligence as a cognitive ability, and, in our opinion, it is the most complete and scientifically sound methodological concept. According to Mayer, Salovey and Caruso (2002), emotional intelligence includes the ability to perceive emotion, to enhance the effectiveness of thinking with emotions, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflexively regulate emotions for emotional and intellectual development. Conditionally emotional intelligence can be viewed as a combination of four capabilities:

  1. Perception, emotion identification (own and other people), and an expression of the emotions. It represents the ability to identify emotions on the physical state, basing on feelings and thoughts; to determine the emotions of others through works of art, speech, sounds, appearance and the type of behavior; to express emotions and needs associated with these feelings; to differentiate true and false expressions of feelings.
  2. Facilitation of thinking – the ability to cause a certain emotion, and then control it, i.e. how emotions enter into the cognitive system and alter cognition. In such a way, emotions direct attention to important information for the purpose of to help in discussions and in the memory about the senses. Mood change from optimistic to pessimistic that is also occurs under the influence of emotions, and different emotional states may help to solve specific problems in different ways.
  3. Understanding and analysis of emotions – is the ability to understand complex emotions and emotional transitions, and to use emotional knowledge. Understanding of emotions is the ability to classify the emotions and to recognize the connection between words and emotions, to interpret the significance of emotions relating to their relationships, to understand complex (ambivalent) feelings, to realize the transitions from one emotion to another one.
  4. Manage of own emotions and feelings of others. This is a reflective regulation of emotions that is necessary for the emotional and intellectual development, which helps to remain open to positive and negative feelings, emotion, or removed from them, depending on the information content, or usefulness of any particular emotion. This ability allows to be aware of the emotions, to determine their clarity, typicalness, feasibility, etc., to manage own emotions and emotions of other people and to increase positive, without distorting information contained therein.

Such a hierarchical sequence based on the following considerations:

  1. The ability to recognize and express emotions (the first “branch”) is a necessary basis for the generation of emotions in order to solve the specific problems (the second “branch”).
  2. These two abilities are procedural by their nature. They are the basis for the declarative ability to understand the events preceding and following the emotions behind them (the third “branch”).
  3. All of the above-numerated abilities are needed for the internal regulation of own emotional states and for the successful impact on the environment, leading to regulation of own and others’ emotions (the fourth “branch”).

Today there are the dozens of tests that measure emotional intelligence. The most developed and sophisticated method of measurement of emotional intelligence in the ability model frames is MSCEIT (The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Tests), which includes 2 sub-tests on each of the four “branches”. As a result of passing this test, the person receives a 4-dimensional picture of his own actual and emotional intelligence.

The possibility to quantify emotional intelligence has allowed scientists to assess a way how it affects the quality of man’s achievements. Most studies show that emotional intelligence is one of the key success factors. It is generally considered that well-developed emotional intelligence can help to achieve the peaks of business, management and policy self-realization.

Thinking about the ways how people can use emotional intelligence in practice we should think about leaders. Who are the leaders in their essence? They are people with well-developed emotional intelligence. Why is it so? It is explained by the fact that a high level of EI can get rid of fears and insecurity and, hence, promotes active social interaction. Understanding of the hidden motives of other people’s actions helps leaders to make the right decisions, establish business contacts and achieve the necessary goals. Leadership qualities can be used in different ways: some people manipulate others to motivate them for the common aim. But regardless of the mechanisms of interaction with people, people with leadership instincts able to create a good team that is already half the battle. Even being not the most talented person, the leader could always be surrounded by smart people, using their capacity for the good things.

Thus, using the sphere of leadership as an example, it would be right to say that emotional intelligence is the key to successful business. As we can see, the entrepreneur cannot live without a developed EI. Achieving of the big goals requires volitional qualities, courage, and resoluteness. These characteristics may have only emotionally developed people. The average person is often unable to understand own feelings, thoughts, desires and priorities. As a result, he cannot concentrate on one idea for a long time, uncontrollable feelings gradually turn into hesitation, and many of his desires, bold initiatives are stopped at their beginning. Negative mood very often does not let people to see the main thing of their actions – the end result. Hence, the conclusion is: the higher is emotional intelligence, the smaller complexes and fears are in humans, the more confident person is moving toward own goal. The ability to “read” own emotions is directly proportional to success. In other words, the personal effectiveness of employees depends on the development of emotional intelligence. Of course, employee motivations, discipline, ability to allocate time are of great importance, but exactly emotional intelligence is “responsible” for “professional conscience.” If most of people do not differ in such a quality, it is not the reason for despair: in contrast to the genetically defined IQ, emotional intelligence can change within a person’s life. Its development is a difficult task, but the result justifies the time spent on its achievement.

To sum up, in modern society the problem of competence in understanding and expression of emotions is quite acute, since it artificially implanted cult of rational attitude to life, embodied in the form of a standard – ideal and seemingly devoid of emotions Superman. It is known that the prohibition of emotions leads to their exclusion from consciousness. In turn, the inability of psychological processing of emotions contributes to the widening of their physiological component in the form of pain and discomfort. It was proved in this project that the cult of rationality, a high educational level do not directly provide a humanistic outlook and emotional human culture. Based on the foregoing, we believe that emotional competence – the human’s openness to own emotional experience is an indicator of mental health and provides effective interpersonal interaction. Consequently, the development of humanistic values in our society is impossible without the development of emotional competence and emotional intelligence. In such a way, summarizing the variety of different definitions and explanation throughout the paper, we can note that individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence have a strong ability to understand their own emotions and emotions of other people, to manage the emotional sphere, which depends on a higher adaptability and efficiency in communication. In contrast to the abstract and concrete intelligence that reflect the regularities of the external world, emotional intelligence reflects the inner world and its relationship to individual behavior and interaction with reality.

Thus, the development of emotional competence and emotional intelligence is a prerequisite for psychological health of personality, its effectiveness in interpersonal interaction. The emblem of the twentieth century had two Latin letters – IQ, and now we live in new time and it would be right to say that the emblem of the modern XXI century is EQ.



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Epstein, S. (1998). Constructive Thinking: The Key to Emotional Intelligence. Praeger.
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Locurto, C. (1991). Sense and Nonsense about IQ: The Case for Uniqueness. Praeger.
Lynn, A, (2005). The EQ Difference: A Powerful Program for Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work. AMACOM.
Mackintosh, N. J. (1998). IQ and Human Intelligence. Oxford University Press.
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Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P. and Caruso, D.R. (2002). Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) User’s Manual. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
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