Emotional Intelligence: Issues in Theoretical Construct Term Paper

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Emotional Intelligence: Issues in Theoretical Construct and Measurement

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This dissertation proposal examines the relationship that exist between the role of 'emotional intelligence' and 'effective leadership and job success.' In the terms of conceptual definition, Peter Salovey of Yale University and John Mayer at the University of New Hampshire view Emotional Intelligence as a set of skills hypothesized to contribute to the accurate interpretation and expression of emotion in oneself and others; also the effective regulation of emotion, and the use of feelings to motivate, plan and achieve success. The better known Daniel Goleman has popularized emotional intelligence to a more vast audience outside the world of academia. The definition applied to 'emotional intelligence' by Goleman is 'the ability to rein in emotional impulse, to read another's innermost feelings; and to handle relationships smoothly.' At some point during the earlier part of the 1990's Goleman; while working as a science writer for the New York Times, writing mainly on the subjects related to the brain and behavioral research, became aware of the writings of Salovey and Mayer.


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The theory of emotional intelligence states that emotional intelligence "is a combination of the intelligence we have that helps us both know and manage ourselves well, and the intelligence that we have that helps us understand, motivate and relate effectively to other people." (Centre for Applied Emotional Intelligence, 2006) Many individuals had a part in the development of this theory. The Hay Group - Emotional Intelligence Services states that 'Emotional Intelligence' basics include:

1) Knowing your feelings and using them to make life decisions you can live with;

2) Being able to manage your emotional life without being hijacked by it -- not being paralyzed by depression or worry, or swept away by anger;

3) Persisting in the face of setbacks and channeling your impulses in order to pursue your goals;

TOPIC: Term Paper on Emotional Intelligence: Issues in Theoretical Construct and Assignment

4) Empathy -- reading other people's emotions without their having to tell you what they are feeling; and 5) Handling feelings in relationships with skill and harmony -- being able to articulate the unspoken pulse of a group, for example. (2006)

1994 report in relation to the current state of emotional literacy in the United States Daniel Goleman stated that: "in navigating our lives, it is our fears and envies, our rages and depressions, our worries and anxieties that steer us day-to-day. Even the most academically brilliant among us are vulnerable to being undone by unruly emotions. The price we pay for emotional literacy is in failed marriages and troubled families, in stunted social and work lives, in deteriorating physical health and mental anguish and, as a society, in tragedies such as killings..." Goleman holds that the best and most practicable cure for dealing with emotional shortcomings is "preventative medicine." (2001)


Emotional intelligence can be defined as the individual's ability to manage their own emotions, as well as being aware of the emotions of others in their interaction with others. When an individual has attained a level of emotional intelligence they understand that emotions cannot rule their actions nor their communications with the world around them. Emotional intelligence is defined as having "five characteristics and abilities" which are those of:

1) Self-awareness, or knowing ones' emotions and recognizing ones' feelings as they occur and being as to discriminate them one from another;

2) Mood-management, or handling feelings in a manner that is relevant to the situation at hand with appropriate reaction;

3) Self-motivation, or the 'gathering up' of ones' feelings and directing oneself towards a goal, despite self-doubt inertia and impulsiveness;

4) Empathy, or the recognition of feelings in others and being able to discern their verbal as well as nonverbal clues;

5) Managing relationships, or handling of interpersonal interaction, conflict resolution and negotiations. (Emotional Intelligence, 2001)

Stated additionally and important in comprehending the actual scope of what is involved in 'emotional intelligence' is that: "Research in brain-based learning suggests that emotional health is fundamental to effective learning. according to a report form the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs, the most critical element for a student's success in school is an understanding of how to learn. (Emotional Intelligence, p. 193) the traits that are those which are inclusive in the spectrum of factors and traits that comprise the 'Emotional Intelligence' or the 'EI' of the individual are stated to be those as follows:






Capacity to communicate

Ability to cooperate (Emotional Intelligence, p. 194)


Charles Edward Spearman is remembered as a psychologist and a developer of the statistical method known as factor analysis. Within the theoretical framework of the research of Spearman in the many studies which he conducted is the 'two-factor' theory of intelligence. Spearman held that general intelligence ('g') "was a single factor correlated with specific abilities" ('s') to varying degrees." The basis of intelligence testing was that which Spearman had formulated based on his research study. (Encyclopedia of Psychology, nd)


In 1920 Edward Thorndike proposed what was termed 'social intelligence' in this realm: 'alexithymia' is the word used to describe 'the essence of emotional-social intelligence with a focus on the ability (or rather inability to recognize, understand and describe emotions. [MacLean, 1949; Ruesch, 1948; as cited by Bar-on: '. Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations - Issues in Emotional Intelligence. www. eiconsortium.org.] From alexithymia it is stated that both the elements of 'psychological mindedness' and 'emotional awareness' stood in parallel but also that from this they both evolved or that the failure to describe emotions is that which brought forth these elements. Bar-on relates that: "Research exploring the neural circuitry that governs emotional awareness (Lane, 2000), as well as additional emotional and social aspects of this concept (Bar-on et al. 2003; Bechara & Bar-on, in press; Bechara et al., 2000; Damasio, 1994; Lane & McRae, 2004; LeDoux, 1996), has begun to provide tangible evidence of the anatomical foundations of this wider construct which some have questioned as an intangible myth (Davies et al., 1998; Matthews et al., 2003; Zeidner et al., 2001)." (Ibid)


David Wechsler stated that "Intelligence is the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment." (1944, p.3) Wechsler developed several intelligence tests which are used on a wide basis including the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (1949) and the Adult Intelligence Scale (1955). Wechsler also established the use of the deviation quotient (DQ) which is used in replacing the use of mental ages in the computation of IQ scores.


Howard Gardner in his notion of "Multiple Intelligences" holds that there are many dimensions that comprise what is known as human intelligence. In fact, Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard University states that there are "at least eight different kinds of human intelligence" (Multiple Intelligences, nd) According to Gardener the individual varies to the extent that they possess these eight. Gardner addressed the first of the seven intelligences in the work entitled: "Frames of Mind: The Theories Behind Multiple Intelligences" (1993)

Recently introduced were the two intelligences of the (1) naturalist; and (2) spiritual.. Creative intelligence is not isolated in the work of Gardiner although the work of Buzan and Keene are stated to include this among the ten intelligences in the work entitled: "Buzan's Book of Genius." (Ibid Although Gardiner doesn't specifically list creativity as being linked to intelligence."..the creative vein does weave through all of Gardner's intelligences. Gardner's 'Eight' Multiple Intelligences.

The 'eight' multiple intelligences specified by Gardner in the categories of 'Intelligence' and 'Division' as follows:



Linguistic intelligence to learn, use and be sensitive to language

Logical-mathematical intelligence Analysis, mathematics, science/investigative abilities.

Musical Intelligence Perform, compose, and appreciate music and specifically as related to pitch, tone and rhythm

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence Coordination and use of whole and part of the body.

Spatial Intelligence Recognize, use and solve spatial problems both large and confined.

Interpersonal intelligence Ability to read other's intentions, motivations, desires and feelings.

Intrapersonal intelligence Self knowledge and ability to understand and use one's inner knowledge.

Naturalist Intelligence Ability to draw upon the immediate environment to make judgments.

To illustrate his work, Gardner selected seven individuals who are known to be pronounced in a significant creative intelligence area. Those in the list are as follows:

Domain Name of the Person Role

Born - Died Linguistic TS Eliot poet


Logical-Mathematical Albert Einstein scientist


Musical Igor Stravinsky composer conductor


Visual-Spatial Pablo Picasso artist


Bodily-Kinesthetic Martha Graham dancer


Intrapersonal Sigmund Freud Neurologist



Interpersonal Mahatma Gandhi freedom fighter


Naturalist Charles Darwin naturalist



The four branch model of emotional intelligence as postulated in the work of Mayer & Salovey (1997) is a model that provides a description for 'four areas of capacities or skills that collectively describe many of areas of emotional intelligence. Within the theoretical framework of this model emotional intelligence possesses certain abilities… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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