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- Introduction to Emotional Intelligence (EI): What is emotional intelligence and the background of the EI. In this section the paper seeks to unveil the subject and find out what were the leading studies into EI
- The case for EI: Where is EI placed in the bigger picture of Intelligence and Cognitive studies?
- The biological relational of EI: Is EI biologically based or is it the measure of different capabilities of people being weighed in this case. What are the biological relations of EI and how are these important to our understanding.
- The concept of EI
- Recommendation: What is the best way forward considering the various aspects of the topic and how can it be applied.
- Works cited: The paper and books that have been used to build on the topic of EI, including researches and scientific reviews that have contributed to this paper.
Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
The term Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers, according to Mayer and Salovey, “to the process involved in the recognition, use, understanding, and management of one’s own and others’ emotional states to solve emotion-laden problems and to regulate behaviour” (Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Salovey, Brackett & Mayer, 2004). There is a belief that many human secrets into happiness and fulfillments are quite hidden despite the fact that many philosophers and scientists have tried to explain of the problems. According to Mathews, Zeidner and Roberts, people who are self ware and sensitive to others manage their affairs with a lot more wisdom and grace even during very difficult times. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a very relatively new and still growing area of behavioural investigation. They state that EI refers to the competence to identify and express emotions, understand emotional, assimilate emotions in thought, and regulate both positive and negative emotions in one person as well as others (2004).
Goleman makes a compelling case for EI as being important for the success in the living and very likely more important that intellectual intelligence. Probably this argument can be justified just by the fact that many people in our social standings currently carry a lot of emotions in whatever they do, think face as well as the challenges of the daily life. Issues being raised concern the importance of EI and how it affects our lives and people around us or the entire society. Epstein states that at least there are those who have average IOs who are very successful and of others with very high IQs who never made it in the real world. This according to Epstein raises the question of what the first group has that the other is lacking. Many state that emotional intelligence is the answer to this question (1998).
The case for EI
There are many definitions for emotions that according to Salovey, Brackett and Mayer, include; “emotions as organized responses, crossing the boundaries of many psychological subsystems, including the psychological, cognitive, motivational, and experiential systems. It is actually suggested that emotions are generally short lived and more intense to bring forth certain actions.
According to Salovey, Brackett and Mayer, intelligence in different times has been defined by many as ability to judge right and wrong, true from false with the most often cited definition being that of Wechsle, “intelligence is the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment” (Wechsler, 1958; Salovey, Brackett & mayer, 2004).
It is not strange that intelligence of the emotions and intellect are very different and could lead to a number of actions. A helpful way to distinguish between mood and emotion is that the mood of a person is a leading and more lasting and usually increases and decreases rapidly or gradually.
The biological relational of EI
The study of the brain inform us that a child’ brain goes through major growth that does not end until the early adulthood life. According to Lantieri and Goleman, neuroplasticity means that the sculpting of the human brain’s circuitry during the early development stages of life depends on the great degree on what a child daily experience are. Linda and Goleman state that a child whose parents helps them calm down when they are upset tend to develop a greater strength in the brain’s circuits for managing distress while “those whose parents neglect them will more likely act on aggressive impulses or have trouble calming down when upset.” (Lantieri & Goleman, 2008)
According to Salovey and Mayer, emotional intelligence can be used to predict quiet a number of things in many people’s lives. These predict can be very meaningful and interesting to determine a person’s life outcomes. It is however very important to note that to understand and evaluate the influence of EI, it supports us to know that something concerning the workings of a person’s personality and the way these workings influence the person’s life in general. A scenario that better would provide a case of EI prediction is: a) That EI when measured as ability is Distinct from other commonly measured variables related to personality and intelligence. Confirmed cases indicate that; firstly, that EI has rather low test-to-test correlations with scales of other types of intelligence and secondly, EI has rather a low test-to-test correlations with scales of social and emotional traits.
The second most considered element of predict with EI is that people with higher emotional intelligence are likely to have better social support, and fewer problematic interactions with others. This would explain why:
- People with higher EI are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol
- They are more satisfied with their social networks and appear to receive more social support
- These people seem to more successfully avoid interpersonal arguments and fights.
The above predicts are very common it must be realized that they deal with a number of issues that trouble many young and emotional people in the society. Those with higher EI are better advantaged able to avoid drugs, arguments as well as interpersonal violence and hence these predictive relationships are at levels suited for personality variables.
The concept of EI
The various concepts that EI has adopted include:
- Perception appraisal and expression of emotion
- Emotional facilitation of thinking
- Understanding and analyzing emotions; employing emotional knowledge
- Reflective regulation of emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth.
The first of these concepts has been to deal with the ability to identify emotions in one’s physical states, feelings and thoughts. According to Salovey and David Sluyter, The first concept has to identify emotions in other people, designs, and artworks and may be through language, sound, appearance and behaviour. There is in this concept the ability to express accurately and to express needs related to those feelings.
Secondly, the concept of emotional facilitation of thinking ensures the following:
That emotion prioritizes thinking directing attention to important information or details. They state that emotions are sufficiently vivid and available in order to generate aids for judgment and recall about certain feelings.
The case against EI
Many people scientists and psychologist have come up with theories and reasoning behind the concepts of EI. It is unfortunate that most have not agreed on certain methods of measuring EI and the understanding of the general idea. There are those suggesting that EI is too vague and also broad thus it does not narrow down to very specific ideas or items of the human behaviour and the causes. Secondly, there is lack of a good methodology consistent enough to be used in the measurement of EI and lastly, it is considered very closely related to personality and intelligence and thus when one control these factors, there no unique result that is gotten. I determined to understand intelligence as a potential and for instance a kid could possess intelligence without certain abilities such as reading or writing. In this case it means that the kid may not be having demonstrable abilities yet, but may have very high potentials and also the fact that the kid has not had a chance to develop his potential to read or write and therefore the intelligence into competence which according to many can be measured by only existing tests.
This means that for those who do not have the chance to take a given test there are not emotionally intelligent such as kids who cannot be able to speak because they are still very young. It is there wrong for us to accept that EI can and has been successfully measured in various individuals. Hein in 2006 gives the various reasons why EI cannot be measured. He states:
- The tests measure too many things that are influenced by the person’s environment. For instance a problem solving test in EI will generally give varied results based on ones training and experience.
- According to Hein, the test might not be able to identify an “emotional genius” e.g. when emotion is to be identified using faces then it would be quite possible for many people to get a perfect score in that section
- EI tests do not measure potential as much as they measure a person’s current abilities and it must be agreed that intelligence as earlier discussed has more to do with a person’s potential that with abilities.
These provisions make a case against the EI theory to lack a fundamental standing on being measurable. Many scientists suggest that EI is vague since many scholars differ in their definitions of the same and how the various concepts of EI are related to intelligence. The difference come as a result of failure to consider issues such as different personality types and the effects of mood and the environment that have a direct effect of the emotions of people. For instance an outgoing and warm nature may not be an EI competence and could rather be seen as a personality trait even though it may be a reflection of a specific set of EI competencies chiefly those that enable one to positively relate with others. Mayer, Caruso and Salovey state that EI must meet certain psychometric criteria such as conceptual hence the intelligence must reflect mental aptitude rather than behaviours, secondly, it must be correlational that is share similarities yet remain distinct from other established intelligences and lastly it must be developmental thus aptitudes that identify it must increase with age and experience. Later in research Howard Gardner(1999) proposes the broadening of the notion that has been built on EI so that it incorporates many significant faculties that have traditionally been beyond it scope. The fact is the Salovey, Mayer and Caruso psychometric tradition is too narrow since it focuses on intellectual aptitude that can be measured by standardized tests but performance on such test does not necessarily translate to success.
The EI tests that have been developed for se must be well thought out again in order to consider many factors that impede the success of the tests. For instance the fact the test does not consider the different people personalities and this makes those who are different in personalities deliver very different and at times contradictory results. In other words, the best response for one might not be for another due to the difference in personalities.
According to Gardner (1999), the definition of EI as “biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture” (p.33-34)
Emotional intelligence is a very important aspect in the case of developing capacity and encouraging or training people to have better abilities. The various test if improved would then ensure that young people who are gifted with high EI could then be sure that they would receive special training to develop their abilities to the best of levels that can be achieved.
In the light of this paper, it has been clearly researched and observed that the current notions built around EI and concepts about it are far less that what it actually. EI has been studied by few scholars and thus leaving room for a number of subjectivity as well as broadness of study. Very pertinent issues have not been considered hence making the tests and the concepts vague even though it has a number of advantages such as:
- Capability to be used to assess the performance of people such as staff or employees in a working environment
- Ability to be used for the purpose of motivating and inculcating a culture of positivity within work settings.
According to Gardner the following criteria can be used to consider EI as distinct variety of intelligence: The potential for isolation by brain damage hence making intelligence separable from other abilities in the functioning of the brain. Secondly, the evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility thus the structures of the brain that govern the emotion integrate with neocortical structures, in producing the instinctual emotional responses that have been essential in survival. In the view of performance, ability, and success EI and IQ must to very high levels play important roles and these are normally considered in various stages of human development. Emotional Intelligence is thus a very important subject and has to be considered broadly and with a lot more details considering the various aspects of human development, the environment, the personality traits in order to come up with satisfactory results on performance.