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Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence in Different Areas Analytical Essay

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Updated: Dec 21st, 2019

Introduction: Interest in EI

Emotional intelligence (EI) has been discussed for two decades so far. Stough et al. (2009) note that the interest in EI has increased recently and the concept of EI has been applied to a variety of fields including workplace, psychiatry, neuroscience, education, health, cross-culture and sport. For instance, Cassady and Boseck (2008) consider a variety of ways to apply the concept in psychology.

Brackett et al. (2011) also stress that researchers exploit the concept of EI in various areas and this usability has created a need in defining the concept. Notably, there are different approaches to defining EI as each definition addresses peculiarities of a particular field. Researchers also focus on different characteristics of EI. Remarkably, the most heated debate is concerned with use of EI in different areas.

Defining the Concept

In the first place, it is necessary to note that the definitions provided by the researchers share the idea that EI is associated with people’s cognition and intelligence. Thus, Caruso (2008, p. 2) claims that, in terms of the ability model, EI is “a standard intelligence”, while according to Mayer-Salovey approach it is a form of the intelligence as “reasoning and thinking operate on emotional information”.

Gardenswartz et al. (2010) provide a more complete definition which addresses the issues concerning diversity. The researchers claim that EI is “the ability to feel, understand, articulate, manage, and apply the power of emotions to interactions across lines of difference” (Gardenswartz et al., 2010, p. 76).

Clearly, the definitions focus on the same characteristic of EI, i.e. the ability to perceive certain kind of information. The major distinctive feature of EI is that it is concerned with emotions, unlike the intelligence which is associated with processing facts and stimuli.

Major Components of EI

Researchers claim that EI is complex and consists of a number of components. Wharam (2009) stresses that acceptance and awareness are some of the major parts of EI. The researcher emphasises that it is crucial to be able to recognise and accept one’s emotions to be able to control them. Hughes et al. (2011) also point out that acceptance is essential, but the researchers bring to the fore fifteen ‘competencies’ of EI.

Thus, the researchers claim that EI is impossible without self-regard, emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, independence, self-actualisation, empathy, social responsibility, interpersonal relationships, stress tolerance, impulse control, reality testing, flexibility, problem solving, optimism and happiness (Hughes et al., 2011).

Cleraly, Hughes et al. (2011) and Wharam (2009) share the opinion that awareness and acceptance are central to EI. However, the former provide a more complete set of EI components.

EI in Different Fields

As has been mentioned above, EI is rather well-defined and researched. It has also been considered in terms of its usability in various settings. For instance, Barbey et al. (2012) focus on the use of EI in neuroscience. The researchers argue that EI can be measured and studied as any other type of intelligence, e.g. with the help of tests similar to IQ tests. Cassady and Boseck (2008) note that the concept of EI has a variety of implications in psychology.

Numerous researchers focus on development of certain strategies to develop EI in patients. Importantly, the use of EI in education has become a topic of a lasting debate. Thus, Waterhouse (2006) stresses that the theory of EI is still only yet to be researched properly and it can be harmful to implement it in education. The researcher claims that educators are not ready to teach children emotional intelligence as even the theory has far too many gaps.

At the same time, Colverd and Hodgkin (2011) are optimistic about EI and provide a number of strategies to develop emotional intelligence in primary school students. The researchers stress that children should be taught to cope with various situations and well-developed EI will help them do it. The researchers also claim that children should start being aware of their emotions at an early age.

Hughes et al. (2011) also believe that people can and should be taught to develop their EI. The researchers also provide particular strategies to help people develop EI. Notably, the researchers help people apply their skills in a variety of settings (every-day life, workplace, etc.). Brackett et al. (2011) consider the application of EI in workplace and social life. Admittedly, development of EI is now regarded as one of the ways to become a successful member of the society.

Conclusion

On balance, it is possible to state that emotional intelligence is one of the most disputed issues in the academic world. Researchers are trying to define, describe and apply EI in various settings. Notably, there are opponents to the extensive use of the theory of EI as some researchers argue that there are too many gaps yet to be filled.

Nonetheless, it is clear that there is already certain understanding of what emotional intelligence is and how to use it in different settings. Admittedly, further research is needed to be sure that the strategies which are being worked out are effective.

Reference List

Barbey, A.k., Colom, R., and Grafman, J. (2012). Distributed neural system for emotional intelligence revealed by lesion mapping. Retrieved from

Brackett, M.A., Rivers, S.E., and Salovey, P. (2011). Emotional intelligence: Implications for personal, social, academic, and workplace success. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(1), 88-103.

Caruso, D.R. (2008). Emotions and the ability model of emotional intelligence. In Emmerling, R.J., Shanwal, V.K., and Mandal, M.K. (Eds.). Emotional intelligence: Theoretical and cultural perspectives (pp. 1-16). New York, NY: Nova Publishers.

Cassady, J.C., and Boseck, J.J. (2008). Educational psychology and emotional intelligence: Toward a functional model for emotional information processing in schools. In Cassady, J.C., and Eissa, M.A. (Eds.). Emotional intelligence: Perspectives from educational and positive psychology (pp. 3-25). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Colverd, S., & Hodgkin, B. (2011). Developing emotional intelligence in the primary school. Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Gardenswartz, L., Cherbosque, J., and Rowe, A. (2010). Emotional intelligence and diversity: A model for differences in the workplace. Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture, 1(1), 74-84.

Hughes, M., Pattreson, L.B., and Terrell, J.B. (2011). Emotional intelligence in action: Training and coaching activities for leaders and managers. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Stough, C., Parker, J.D.A., and Saklofske, D.H. (2009). Assessing emotional intelligence: Theory, research, and applications. Hawthorn, Victoria: Springer.

Waterhouse, L. (2006). Multiple intelligences, the Mozart effect, and emotional intelligence: A critical review. Educational Psychologist, 41(4), 207-225.

Wharam, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence: Journey to the centre of yourself. Ropley, UK: John Hunt Publishing.

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