Emotional Intelligence Essay

1309 words - 5 pages

Mental Abilities Essay Term 1 - 2011

Geoff Taylor - Line 6

Dannii Seddon - Year 12

Specific definitions of emotion and intelligence are difficult as both categories can be so broad. Emotions do not only incorporate bodily feelings but are also important in social interactions, behaviour, and how human beings understand the world. Definitions of intelligence have varied considerably throughout the history of psychology, generally because most psychologists and theorists tend to disagree on one sole definition. Another theory that developed over the years was that of emotional intelligence (EI). Various models have since been proposed for the definition of EI as well as sparking much disagreement about how the term is measured and should be used, especially as some have even gone to the extent of declaring one's EI is more influential than their IQ, consequently determining one's intelligence. Controversy within the field will likely continue for some time as the overall interest in the topic continues to increase.Modern theories of intelligence have drifted away from the older theories and proposed that it involves multiple interrelated concepts that are built up into a complex system. Gardner (1983) proposed several different intelligences and his theory includes a much wider range of abilities. This breadth in the way of seeing intelligence that is the strength of theory and, with its focus on interpersonal and intrapersonal factors, starts to create links toward emotional factors. Earlier theories on how the experience of emotions is produced caused a slight connection between physiological changes and the feelings experienced. It was hypothesized that it was the emotions that were caused by the physiological changes. However, modern theories question this early approach, disallowing room for the effects of cognitions on emotions and vice versa. Studies then conducted by Williams, Watts, MacLeod and Matthews (1997) lead to the foundations for an exploration of how intelligence and emotion are linked to each other in order to determine what can be considered one's overall intelligence.An idea that attempts to pair these two areas of emotions and intelligence, and that has seen a large amount of research over the last couple of decades, is that of emotional intelligence. The theory of emotional intelligence (EI) has basically been defined as the ability to recognise, understand, and manage our emotions and those of others and was brought to attention by Salovey and Mayer (1990) after the term first appeared in Wayne Payne's doctoral thesis, A study of emotion: Developing emotional intelligence (1985). Salovey and Mayer themselves described emotional intelligence as 'involving an ability to monitor the emotions of ourselves and others efficiently in order to better guide actions and thinking'. They go on to state that this concept has a large overlap with Gardner's idea of intrapersonal intelligence. Mayer, Dipaolo and Savoley (1990) then...

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