Meaning, Defintions and Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence in Psychology

Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Intelligence is defined as mental capability that involves the ability to reason, to plan

Meaning of Intelligence

Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Intelligence is defined as mental capability that involves the ability to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend complex ideas, to learn quickly and to learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill or test-taking smartness.

Emotional Intelligence in Psychology

Definitions of Intelligence

1. According to Alfered inet, "Intelligence means to apply one's knowledge to noble situation or adjustment to noble situations."

2. According to Wood Worth, "Intelligence is the innate capacity to solve the problem in the light of past experience and knowledge."

3. According to Terman, "Intelligence is an ability to carry on abstract thinking."

4. According to Throndike, "Intelligence is power of good responses from the point of view of truth and fact."

5. According to Munn, "Intelligence is a flexibility of the mind of meet the new situations."

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is most often defined as the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments.

Emotional Intelligence, like general intelligence, is the product of one's heredity and its interaction with his environmental forces. Until recently, we have been led to believe that a person's general intelligence measured as I.Q. or intelligence quotient is the greatest predictor of success in any walk of life-academic, social, vocational or professional.

Consequently, the I.Q. Scores are often made into use for the selection, classification and promotion of the individuals in various programmes, courses and job placements. However, researches and experiments conducted in the 90's onwards have tried to challenge such over dominance of intelligence and its measure I.Q. by replacing it with the concept of emotional intelligence and its measure emotional quotient (E.Q.). These have revealed that a person's that a person's emotional intelligence measured though his E.Q. may be a greater predictor of success than his or her I.Q.

Historically speaking, the term emotional intelligence was introduced in 1990 by two American University professors Dr. John Mayer and Dr. peter Salovery in their attempt to develop a scientific measure for knowing the differences between people's ability in the areas of emotions. However, the credit for popularizing the concept of emotional intelligence goes to another America psychologist Daniel Goleman through his book Emotional Intelligence: "Why it can Matter More Than I.Q. published in 1995".

Definitions of Emotional Intelligence

According to John D. Mayer and peter Salovey, "Emotional intelligence may be defined as the capacity to reason with emotion in four areas: to perceive emotion, to integrate in thought, to understand it and to manage it."

According to this definition, every one of us may be found to have varying capacities abilities with regard to one's dealing with emotions. Depending upon the nature of this ability, he or she may be said to be more or less emotionally intelligent in comparison to others in the group.

A person would be said to be emotionally intelligent in proportion to their ability to recognize and understand a variety of emotions in others through face reading, body language and voice tone, etc. Emotionally intelligent individuals have a fair understanding of the nature, intensity and consequences. He should be aware of feelings and his emotions.

Based upon these contemporary viewpoints about the concept of emotional intelligence, we may understand one's emotional intelligence as a unitary ability helpful in knowing feeling and judging emotions in close cooperation with one's thinking process for behaving in a proper way in the ultimate realization of the happiness and welfare of the self in tune with other.

Significance and Importance of Emotional Intelligence

The knowledge about one's emotional intelligence in terms of his emotional quotient has a wider educational and social implications for the welfare of the individual and the society. This fact has now been recognized and given practical shape and implications all round the globe. The credit of giving due publicity and acquainting the world population and the importance and significance of emotional intelligence goes to the famous America psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman. He has brought to the forefront the following points regarding the importance of emotional intelligence and its measure through his writings.

1. Emotional intelligence is as powerful and at times more powerful than I.Q. while IQ. contributes only about 20% to success in life, the other forces contribute the rest. We can infer that emotional intelligence, luck and social class are among those other factors.

2. Unlike I.Q., emotional intelligence may be the best predictor of success în life. Emotionally intelligent people are more likely to succeed in everything they undertake in their lives.

3. Unlike what is claimed about I.Q. we can teach and improve in children and any individual some crucial emotional competencies paving the way for increasing their emotional intelligence and thus making their lives healthier, more enjoyable and successful in the coming days.

4. The concept of emotional intelligence is to be applauded, not because it is totally new but because it captures on one compelling term, the essence of what our children or all of us need to know for being productive and happy.

5. I.Q. and even standard Achievement Test (SAT) scores do not predict who will be successful in life. Even school success can be predicted more by emotional and social measures (e.g. being self-assured and interested, following directions, turning to teachers for help and expressing needs while getting along with other colleagues) than by academic ability.

6. In working situation also, emotional intelligence helps more than one's intellectual potential in terms of one's I.Q. or even professional skills and competencies. A professionally competent person having poor emotional intelligence may suffer on account of his inability to deal with his self or in getting along properly with others.

7. One's emotional intelligence helps him much in all the spheres of life through its various constituents or components namely knowledge of one's emotions (self awareness), managing the emotions, motivating oneself, recognizing emotions in other (empathy) and handling relationships. The achievement of the end results in terms of better handing of mutual relationships is quite essential and significant in one's life. It can only be possible through one's potential of emotional intelligence and its development.

Characteristics of Intelligence

The main features of Intelligence are the following:

  1. Intelligence is an innate natural endowment of the child.
  2. It helps the child in maximum learning in minimum period of time.
  3. The child is able to foresee the future and plan accordingly.
  4. The child is able to take advantage of his previous experiences.
  5. The child faces the future with compliance.
  6. He develops a sense of discrimination between right or wrong.
  7. The developmental period of intelligence is from birth to adolescence.
  8. There is a minor difference in the development of intelligence between boys and girls.
  9. There are individual differences with regard to the intelligence between boys and girls.
  10. Intelligence is mostly determined by heredity but a suitable environment necessary to improve it.

Improvement in Emotional Intelligence

Some people are born with EQ, while others can think of it as a skill set that needs to be acquired. With practice, it’s possible to develop or strengthen it. Here are a few ways to do just that:

1. Self-awareness:- Consider setting a regular time or day to journal. This can allow you to reflect on how you behaved in interactions and make a note of things that bothered you. You can go back and read over them from time to time and “study” yourself. You can also meditate and observe your thoughts.

2. Self-regulation:- It may help to practice deep breathing exercises regularly, especially during conflict. You can learn to reframe challenges as opportunities in disguise and “failures” as learning experiences. Try to practice radical acceptance of any emotions that come up and verbalize what you’re feeling.

3. Motivation:- Consider taking time out and celebrating each one of your wins. When you decide you want to do something new, it’s a good idea to identify your “why.” It can also help to break down your to-do list into bite-size chunks, or micro-tasks, and to work with an accountability partner or coach.

4. Empathy:- To build empathy, try paying attention to your surroundings. See if you can pick up on the “energy” of your environment. You could also try talking to new people or volunteering for a cause you care about. If you’re stuck in traffic, consider looking around at people sitting in their cars and seeing what you can pick up about them.

5. Social skills:- Aim to put yourself in new situations. When you do, try to pay attention to your body language and maintain eye contact. Practicing active listening can be beneficial, too. Consider this quote from Gandhi: “Speak only if it improves upon silence.”

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