Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is one of John D. Mayer ( University of New Hampshire ) and Peter Salovey ( Yale University) in 1990 introduced terminus. It describes the ability to own and others' feelings ( correctly ) perceive, understand and influence. The concept of emotional intelligence is based on the theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner, whose core idea was described already by Edward Lee Thorndike and David Wechsler as " social intelligence ". This clarified Thorndike in 1920 with an example, after which the ( technically ) best mechanic will fail as a foreman, if he lacks social intelligence. The topic of " Emotional Intelligence " is thus a contribution to the discussion of the question of the success in life and career. At its popularization in particular the U.S. journalist Daniel Goleman in his book EQ. Emotional Intelligence (1995 ) contributed.


Some authors present the emotional intelligence as opposed to classic concept of intelligence dar. In fact, it comes to the extension of the classical notion of intelligence, the only math and verbal ( ie purely academic ) have considered skills as a prerequisite for success in life.

Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence based on Salovey and Gardner through the following capabilities:

For the operationalization and measurement of emotional intelligence in a test Salovey and Mayer have divided this concept into four areas:

  • Perception of emotions
  • Terms of emotions
  • Understanding of emotions
  • Influence of emotions

The first area perception of emotions includes the ability to perceive emotions in facial expressions, gestures, posture and voice of others. The second area of ​​use of emotions to support includes knowledge of the relationships between ( own and others' ) emotions and thoughts, which for example is used for problem solving. The understanding of emotions reflects the ability to analyze emotions, to assess the variability of emotions and the consequences to understand the same. The influence of emotions on the basis of the objectives, self-image and social awareness of the individual and includes, for example, the ability to avoid or correct emotional Reviews ( Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, 2004) feelings.


Mayer, Salovey, and David R. Caruso have a test to measure the " emotional intelligence " developed which follows the concept of conventional performance tests. The MSCEIT ( Mayer- Salovey - Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test; Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, 2002, quoted by Mayer et al, 2004. ) Measures each of the four areas of the model with two sub-tests, which are described below:

Perception of emotions:

  • Identify emotions in faces
  • Identify emotions in landscapes and designs

Terms of emotions in support of thinking:

  • Compare emotional feelings with other tactile or sensory stimuli
  • Identify emotions that support certain puzzles best

Understanding of emotions:

  • Knowing the circumstances under which change emotional states and how an emotional state to another passes
  • Several identify emotions in more complex affective states

Dealing with emotions:

  • Propose measures to change one's own emotional state in hypothetical scenarios
  • Propose measures to influence the emotional state of other people to achieve the objectives

The test quality criteria of the MSCEIT proved in studies with 5000 records as well. The internal consistency (reliability ) is r = .98 very high for the overall test. The validity was collected by means of correlations with other intelligence and personality test and showed that the MSCEIT has very little overlap with other sub- intelligences. The correlations with the Big Five ( personality traits ) were sufficiently low to view the discriminant validity for granted can.


The review focuses primarily on the term " Emotional Intelligence " and when asked how he fits the traditional constructs of intelligence and this adds useful. Content the concept, however, describes highly relevant faculties of man. These are " emotion regulation " or "self- regulation " subject of scientific debate under the key words. Whether the term " Emotional Intelligence " will prevail in science, is likely to be dependent in the first place, how it is possible to validate this concept through appropriate tests.

A foray in this direction in the German speaking undertook Heiner Rindermann with the questionnaire to measure the emotional competence. This test for the operationalization and empirical testing of this concept is based on a normative sample of over 600 people and has - according to the author - satisfactory values ​​for validity and reliability. He also thinks that the term intelligence should be reserved for cognitive abilities and are not overstretched, especially since the correlation between emotional competence and ( cognitive ) intelligence is not high (p. 9). In the test, four dimensions of emotional competence are raised, namely the skills (1 ) for recognizing our own feelings, (2 ) for recognizing the feelings of others, (3) to regulate their own emotions, and (4 ) the expression of feelings as emotional expressivity.

What the content relevance and importance of the issue ( whether Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Competence ) is concerned, empirical studies show that people who have the ability to control their own and others' feelings, in their professional and private life are more successful; they suffer less from mental disorders have better personal relationships are happier and less prone to adverse habits such as smoking, unhealthy diet etc. Further research on the topics that complement or further introduce the concept of Emotional Intelligence, can be found in Articles emotion regulation, implementation expertise and Volition.