A critical summary of the concept of emotional intelligence

Essay by student_girlUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, January 2005

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David Wechsler defined intelligence as " the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposely, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment", however the issue of intelligence has always managed to raise many debates and arguments within psychology. The very nature of intelligence makes it extremely difficult to define in any exact way.

"For many years the study of intelligence focused mainly on the adaptive use of cognition, the publication of the book by Goleman 1995, 'Emotional Intelligence', made popular the notion of viewing the experience and expressions of emotions as a domain of intelligence" (Shutte et al 1998). Emotional intelligence attempts to cover the aspects of personality that are not included in IQ and other traditional intelligence tests, most of these are deemed to be non-intellectual. There are many aspects on emotional intelligence that are deemed to be important including the ability to manage feelings and control emotions, and how to effectively deal with stress ,these are often seen as being key to positive development and everyday life.

The reasons behind the development and growing support for the theory of emotional intelligence may lie in the growing criticism behind the more traditional IQ test, " past critics of IQ have concentrated on the abuses of intelligence testing, but the real problems go much deeper. The received wisdom on human intelligence rests on unsound assumptions, faulty reasoning and inadequate evidence" (Howe 1997). There are huge questions raised by the IQ debate, critics pointing out that it only gives an indicator of performance on certain intellectual abilities and it does not take into account other skills that are now deemed to be important to possess (e.g adequate social skills), many feel too much importance is placed on IQ levels and it does not...