Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).
Although the term first appeared in a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch, it gained popularity in the 1995 book by that title, written by the author, psychologist, and science journalist Daniel Goleman. Since this time, Goleman’s 1995 analysis of EI has been criticized within the scientific community, despite prolific reports of its usefulness in the popular press.
There are currently several models of EI. Goleman’s original model may now be considered a mixed model that combines what have subsequently been modeled separately as ability EI and trait EI. Goleman defined EI as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance. The trait model was developed by Konstantin Vasily Petrides in 2001. It “encompasses behavioral dispositions and self perceived abilities and is measured through self report”. The ability model, developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 2004, focuses on the individual’s ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate the social environment.[
Studies have shown that people with high EI have greater mental health, job performance, and leadership skills although no causal relationships have been shown and such findings are likely to be attributable to general intelligence and specific personality traits rather than emotional intelligence as a construct. For example, Goleman indicated that EI accounted for 67% of the abilities deemed necessary for superior performance in leaders, and mattered twice as much as technical expertise or IQ. Other research finds that the effect of EI on leadership and managerial performance is non-significant when ability and personality are controlled for, and that general intelligence correlates very closely with leadership. Markers of EI and methods of developing it have become more widely coveted in the past decade. In addition, studies have begun to provide evidence to help characterize the neural mechanisms of emotional intelligence.
Criticisms have centered on whether EI is a real intelligence and whether it has incremental validity over IQ and the Big Five personality traits. Review finds that, in most studies, poor research methodology has exaggerated the significance of EI