Intelligence (EI, aka EQ)
As we noted in the Brief
Introduction to our "Use Your Heart" articles, we regard
our feelings to be an important aspect of what realities we see
and how we see them. And, as you might well imagine, the topic of emotions can be,
well, complicated, controversial, and sometimes pretty
emotional. But, heck, that's not stopped us in the past.
you haven't read the Brief Introduction and would like to take a
We'll start with a definition
(1)A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's
circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. (2) Any
of the particular feelings that characterize such a state of
mind, such as joy, anger, love, hate, horror, etc
In other words,
emotions are a variety of feelings states..
Emotions affect both
how we see things and how we react (behave in response) to
things. They can be pretty important in daily life.
We tend to divide them
into two categories:
Positive emotions, such
as happiness, joy, and contentment.
Negative emotions, such
as anger, fear, and sorrow.
For the most part, we
seek the former and try to avoid the latter.
Let's begin with a
into Emotional Intelligence
intelligence: Intelligence Quotient (IQ) has been reliably
measured using various assessment tools (and, indeed, the
concept of IQ is often linked to the method of measurement),
which means people score the same (give, or take a few
points) on repeated measures (that's what it means to say
the IQ test is "reliable"). So far, so good.
But does IQ actually
predict anything. This is a question of validity (not
reliability), specifically "predictive validity"
(researchers consider this to be one of the most important
kinds of validity). Well, it does fairly well with
academic performance. It also seems to somewhat
predict professional and personal success. But some
with high IQs don't actually do that well in life.
Just so you know, we
do discuss intelligence, including the various aspects of
intelligence, elsewhere on our web site. See link
Moving on to emotion: So, enter the notion of
another kind of intelligence, emotional intelligence.
Since thoughts can be influenced by feelings (and vice
versa), some began to explore the notion that how we handle
our emotions may contribute to how effective our
intellectual abilities are.
Now for a definition
of Emotional Intelligence (EI):
There have been a
variety of approaches to the notion of Emotional
Intelligence, with the result that there have been a variety
of definitions, all of which are fairly similar. A
review of the common terms used to define emotional
intelligence, we arrive at the following definition:
EI is an ability
(one that may be inborn, or one that me be acquired over
time, or some of both) to recognize and monitor emotions in
one's self and in others, and to differentiate among them.
In other words, it is a cognitive (as compared to
affective/emotional) process of self-awareness.
Such recognition provides information that can guide our
understanding of the world around us and use that
understanding to guide our actions and behaviors.
Emotional Quotient (EQ)
Like IQ, which measures
intelligence, EQ is a measure of how much Emotional
Intelligence we have and use, when seeing and reacting to
the world around us.
And the point is?
The point here is that
emotions can affect our perceptions of reality in many ways.
They can lead to a variety of biases and misperceptions, if
we don't recognize their presence and take them into
then is the degree to which we can do all this. The
higher our EQ, the better we can see reality and respond
NOTE: This does
NOT mean recognizing our emotions so we can ignore, or
suppress them.. After all, our feelings form a
foundation for our value systems. So all it means is
that the more conscious we are of them, the better we can
function in life, the better we can see and respond to the
realities that affect us.
What's your EQ? Folks have devised various means to find
This link leads to one such method.
read about empathy
read about emotions working for, or against you
see our discussion of intelligence
go to the Articles Page