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2.4 Other Intelligences

2.4.3 Emotional Intelligence

In 1966, the term emotional intelligence was first used in psychology when it had been stated in relation to psychotherapy treatment (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008). Mayer and Salovey (1990) defined emotional intelligence (EI) as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions to discriminate among them and to utilise this data to guide one’s thinking and actions” (p.

189). Those who possess a high level of EI, are capable of seeing how emotions can blend


well with physical and mental capability to gain positive impacts on their own-self, relationships with others, and their ability to pursue and attain goals and objectives in life.

Mayer and Salovey (Mayer et al., 2004. p. 187) defined EI as:

The capacity to reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

In this definition, it can be seen that IQ and EI are interrelated. Individual needs both; having an IQ itself is insufficient to enhance thinking and assisting thought for emotional and intellectual growth. In one of their studies, Mayer et al. (2004) found that individuals who scored higher in the ability to perceive accurately, understand, and appraise others’ emotions were better able to respond flexibly to changes in their social environments and build supportive social networks.

Established along the revaluations of existing psychological literature, Mayer and Salovey (1997) divided the abilities and skills of EI into four divisions:

1. The ability to perceive emotion 2. Use emotion to facilitate thought 3. Ability to understand emotions 4. Ability to manage emotion.

These divisions of the model are arranged from the more basic psychological processes to higher psychological integrated processes. For instance, the lowest level branch; the ability to perceive emotion is related to simple abilities of identifying and articulating emotions. In contrast, the highest level branch; to manage emotion is more concerned about the conscious, reflective parameter of emotion.


The term EI is widely-known to the world by the work of Daniel Goleman (1995b) a well-known psychologist in his work titled “Emotional Intelligence - Why it can matter more than IQ.” There are few important points brought to the forefront with regard to the importance of emotional intelligence. According to Goleman (1995b):

a. Emotional intelligence (EI) is vital to the life of an individual which is more powerful than IQ. IQ only contributes 20% to success in life, while other factors including emotional intelligence contribute the rest.

b. Emotional intelligence could be the best predictor of success in life. Those with high EI are more likely to succeed in everything they undertake in their lives.

c. EI is not inherited and static; we can teach and improve the EI

d. IQ and SAT (Standard Achievement Test) results cannot predict who will be successful in life. Even success in academics can be predicted more by emotional and social measures (being self-confident and attentive, following commands, and turning to teachers for assistance and articulating needs, friendly and others) compared to academic achievement.

e. EI contributes significantly to a person in many aspects of life through its various elements, namely knowledge of one’s emotion (self-awareness), knowledge of others’ emotion and handling the relationship with them, managing the emotions, motivating oneself and so on.


Goleman’s (1995b) EI competencies are mainly divided into 4 categories:

1. Self-awareness

Knowing what we experience in the moment and using that to direct one’s own decision making; having a realistic judgment of one’s own abilities and a well-established sense of assurance.

2. Self-Management

Handling one’s emotions accordingly so that they facilitate rather than interfere; delaying fulfilment to pursue goals; improving well from emotional grief; arraying one’s deepest preferences to take initiative, progress and be persistence.

3. Social Awareness

Recognising others’ feelings, being able to accept their perception and nurture bonding with a broad diversity of people.

4. Social skills/ relationship management

Managing emotions in building relationships with others and precisely thoughtful about social circumstances; communicating smoothly; using these skills to convince, lead and negotiate.

These four domains (with 18 competencies) provide a practical guide for individuals to reach success especially in the context of an organisation. The following Table 2.1 illustrates the major theories or measures of emotional intelligence:


Table 2.1: Comparison of major theories or measures of emotional intelligence (Boyatzis, 2009)

Theoretical Basis Authors Measurement Distinctions

Ability Mayer, Salovey & Caruso MSCEIT (Mayer, Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) – direct performance assessment of emotional processing, some scenario testing;

confusion on scoring between consensus and expert scoring models (Mayer et al, 1999; Salovey & Mayer, 1997)

Schutte et al Self-report measure based on Mayer, Salovey and Caruso model (Schutte et al, 1998)

Behavioural Boyatzis and Goleman ECSI-360 (Emotional, Social, Cognitive Inventories), functional approach inductively derived from effective performance, called competencies (more outcome oriented and realistic in real settings) (Boyatzis

& Goleman, 1996; Wolff,2005,2008)

Bar-On EQ-i:360 (Emotional Quotient

Inventory), although originally a self-report, the 360 was introduced in 1997 (Bar-On, 1997)

Dulewicz et al EIQ (Emotional Intelligence

Questionnaire), a 360 of competencies (Dulewicz et al, 2003)

Bradberry EQA (Emotional Quotient Appraisal), a 360 skill assessment modelled after Goleman and Boyatzis model (Bradberry & Su, 2006)

Internal (self) perception

Bar-On EQ-I, originally is a self-report, internally process driven model (more psychological than others) but now more behavioural in its 360 form (Bar-On, 1997)

Schutte et al Self-assessment based on Mayer-Salovey-Caruso model (Schutte et al, 1998)

Wong et al WLEIS (Wong & Law Emotional Intelligence Scale), a self-assessment based on MSCEIT model (Wong et al, 2004)

Petrides & Furnham TEIQue (Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire), a self-assessment of EI trait based on a content analysis of major models (Petrides and Furnham, 2000, 2001, 2003)


There are some weaknesses in the current models of EI especially the ability form of EI. For example, in the Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test – MSCEIT (Mayer, 2002), as the utmost extensively used tests of EI ability, the model does not in any condition measure the intelligence — at all moments, continuously, notwithstanding by its authors — it does not measure any coherent dimension of psychological involvement. This is why it is scientifically unproductive to persevere in the efforts to improve its psychometric properties; for, even if these were to reach adequate standards one day, the resulting scores would still not be interpretable due to the nature of the fundamental scoring system (Petrides, 2011). Murphy (2006) reviewed the problems of Emotional Intelligence and identified four broad conclusions about the current status of emotional intelligence:

1. Emotional intelligence is often poorly defined and poorly measured.

2. The relationship between emotional intelligence and other concepts, including general intelligence, social skills, and personality, is not adequately understood.

3. The most widely publicised claims about the relationship between emotional intelligence and success in school, in the workplace, and in life are not supported and, in some important cases, are almost certainly untrue.

4. There are some reasons for optimism about the future of emotional intelligence, but there is still a long way to go before this concept will come close to living up to the hype.