History And Proponents Of Emotional Intelligence


by Shamsul
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History And Proponents Of Emotional Intelligence

The history of emotion-related intelligence is explained in different ways by different authors. Some authors started it off in 1990 when the first seminal publication, “Emotional Intelligence,” was introduced by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, who defined EQ as a scientifically testable form of intelligence.

Other authors also emphasize that the term received true popularity after it was available in the bestselling book by Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence,” in 1995. Depending on your perspective of emotions and related intelligence, it has been present in one form or the other for a long time.

Since history is being discussed here, it is only fair to go as back as possible. According to Plato, emotions were the basis of all learning, even 2,000 years ago. From Plato’s explanation onwards, different scientists, in one way or the other, have been working to find and prove the significance of emotions and feelings in human thinking. Only in the last three decades is an ever-increasing research body set to prove otherwise.

Edward Thorndike defined the social intelligence concept in 1930 as an intelligence form that helps understand and get along with others’ different behaviors, motives, and internal states. David Wechsler, in 1940, developed a noncognitive intelligence concept stating it as being an essential part of life’s success for an individual. The 1950s saw Abraham Maslow, who suggested ways on how people can build or enhance emotional strength.

Though many tried, the truth is that for a large part of the previous couple of millennia, emotions were thought of as being the biggest hurdle between making good decisions. The first sparks of enhancing the importance of emotions came when Abraham Maslow wrote about how people can improve and develop emotional capability in them. At this point, humanism initially began to be studied seriously and deeply, followed by several scientists researching in intelligence and emotions.


Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

EQ is defined as the ability to monitor the emotions of self and others, along with discriminating and labeling emotions appropriately, to use them as guidance toward processing emotional thoughts and behavior. There are three main models of EQ today, namely

1- The Ability Model

2- The Mixed Model (also sometimes merged with the trait model)

3- The Trait Model


The Ability Model | Emotional Intelligence

The ability model’s proponents are Salovey and Mayer, who defined emotional intelligence by confining it to defined standard criteria. This model considers emotions as information sources that help individuals in sensing and navigating the social environment around them. The model proposes that EQ offers four kinds of abilities to a person. These abilities include

  • Perceiving emotions of others and self through voice, pictures, faces, etc.
  • Using emotions and harnessing them to assist different cognitive activities such as problem-solving and thinking.
  • Understanding emotions in a manner that facilitates comprehending of emotional language and relationships. For example, being compassionate or showing kindness when someone encompasses variations in emotions.
  • Managing emotions to prevent them from overcoming self and others as well.


Mixed Model | Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman was the proponent of this emotional intelligence model. He defined five constructs of the EQ mixed model that induce strong leadership, job performance, causal relationships, and mental health in a person. These constructs include

  • Self-awareness, where the individual knows his strengths and weaknesses and how he can achieve his goals through stimulating different emotions
  • Self-regulation, where an individual has more control over emotions that are disruptive and acquires the ability to change self according to present circumstances
  • Empathy, where the feelings of others are considered whenever a decision is taken
  • Social skills, where relationships are managed to proceed in desired directions, and
  • Motivation is where the person is driven to achieve something.


Trait Model | Emotional Intelligence

The proponent of the Trait model is Konstantinos Vasilis Petridis (K. V. Petridis). Emotional intelligence in this model is investigated within a framework of an individual personality and is measured using the self-report basis.


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