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Emotional Intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.

The Four Branches of Emotional Intelligence
(Mayer & Salovey, 1997)*

  1. Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.

  2. Reasoning With Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.

  3. Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean.

  4. Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.

> Learn More About Emotional Intelligence

*Reference: J.D., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is Emotional Intelligence? In P. Salovey & D. J. Sluyter (Eds.) Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence. New York: Basic Books. See above link to access full document.

 

regulating emotions

"Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth."

- Mayer & Salovey, 1997

 

 


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