Emotional Intelligence

Topics: Emotional intelligence, Emotion, Intelligence Pages: 15 (4274 words) Published: April 27, 2013


It is quite obvious to state that without positive and negative preferences reflected in our day to day experiences, our life would be dull and gray. In such circumstances, we would not be motivated to do work and never care for others as well. And because of these reasons Emotional Intelligence holds significance as it deals with the cognitive aspects of life. Today, the general trend of management like leadership, role efficacy, self efficacy, team work, motivation, job performance and decision making is supported by emotional intelligence to raise the level of social and emotional competence in oneself and others. Emotional Intelligence is a different way of being smart. Put in simple terms, it is how you handle yourself, get along with others, work as a team player, and as a leader. These ideas are not new in the workplace. Classic management theory has always focused on how we manage ourselves and relate to people. What’s innovative is that for past two decades research from various disciplines such as psychology, organizational development, and neuroscience has revealed just how much emotional intelligence matters for success.

Evolution of the emotional intelligence construct

The evolution of emotional intelligence can be traced back to the 17th century when Spinoza (1677) highlighted the contribution of emotion and intellect to measurement of cognition. Wilhelm Wundt (1871) further developed knowledge in the field of emotional theory when he attempted to classify a range of emotional feelings into a three dimensional system, which became known as “Wundt’s three dimensions of feeling”. Wundt claims that his six basic feelings form three pairs of opposites, which make up his three "dimensions of feeling", pleasure-displeasure, excitement-inhibition and tension-relaxation. Subsequently, Charles Darwin (1872) published the first known work in the wider area of emotional-social intelligence on the importance of emotional expression for survival and adaptation Further William James (1890) investigated the links between physiology and psychology and argued that emotions were “instinctive”. The theory became known as the “James-Lang theory of emotion” as it was shared with a Danish psychologist, Karl Lang, who came up with a similar theory at exactly the same time. Later in the twenty century another behaviorist, Professor E.L. Thorndike (1920), introduced the concept of social intelligence that can be subdivided into emotional and motivational intelligence. Immediately after that in the year 1958, another well known authority, David Wechsler defined intelligence as the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment. In the intervening years his work was largely focused on IQ until further research on “non-cognitive” aspects of intelligence was carried out by Burt(1949) who suggested that a ‘general emotionality’ exists just as there is a ‘general factor’ that can be applied to cognitive aspects of intelligence. And it was Guilford in 1959 who acknowledged the existence of “social” intelligence in his work “Three faces of intellect”. However, in the year 1977 Dennis forwarded a general definition for emotion as ‘physiological and psychological responses that influence perception, learning and performance’. Gardner (1983) acted as a catalyst when he published his pioneering work on “multiple intelligences” in which he identified seven intelligences including, what he described as the personal intelligences – interpersonal and intrapersonal. Later, Gardner in 1993 commented that both forms of personal intelligence fit his criteria for being described as “intelligences” as they both feature ‘problem-solving endeavours with significance for the individual and the species’. Came 1990. It was for the first time the term emotional intelligence came into...
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