This paper focuses on whether certain levels of intelligence are weighted more heavily than others. According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Meng-tsu, or Mencius, as revealed in classroom readings, the superior man does not exhibit qualities of narrow minded thinking nor lack self-respect. People today tend however to view themselves as broad thinkers or as having a positive self-image, suggesting they are not superior thinkers. There are many approaches to viewing one’s environment, including the internal and external environment in which one operates, and the ways in which one interprets information that comes in through the environment. In this regard one may suggest that all human beings are in fact, according to our studies, “philosopher-scientists.”
Only recently have psychologists viewed the mind in terms of a biological concept, and begun to understand the mind and intelligence could be interpreted in terms of biology. In this regard all people have cognitive approaches allowing problem solving and decision-making for example. However, there are social aspects of intelligence also, and these lead to aspects of one’s personality. I do feel that social aspects of intelligence are often weighted more heavily than cognitive aspects of intelligence. For example, social aspects of intelligence may lead greater confidence and more engagement in public. The same may lead to quicker and more decisive thinking and leadership ability as opposed to other behaviors.
In a society where personality traits include charisma and leadership are highly prized traits, an individual with characteristics that lead to personality traits often characterized as ADHD is more likely to suffer from stigmatization. Intelligence factors including happiness and contentment are also more likely to be celebrated. According to Daniel Goleman (1995) as described in the reading, people may have five components of emotional intelligence which include being aware of the self, having the ability to control anger and anxieties, having the ability to remain optimistic and persistent when facing adversity, being empathetic with others and interacting well with others. These are all traits that will help individuals that are working in fields where individuals must interact with others. Good examples can include nursing professionals, other healthcare professionals, teachers, and even business professionals or customer service.
A good deal of the modern workforce would benefit by having these characteristics. Others categorize a high level of emotional intelligence as having the ability to perceive, manage, understand and use their emotions in a beneficial manner, and as having the ability to enact a reasonable measure of self-confidence and social competence when measured in performance tests, as reported by multiple researchers in the reading including Brackett, et al, 2006 and Goldenberg, Matheson & Mantler, 2006.
Still others suggest that having multiple intelligences is important particularly in education. Multiple intelligences are categorized as ability in several different core areas including language, spatial representation, musical ability and thinking, control of one’s body, otherwise known as kinesthetic ability, understanding of the self and others, which one may assume incorporates emotional intelligence. This type of ability is categorized and classified under Gardner (1983). Using this approached an individual can engage both mathematical ability and emotional ability, allowing the greatest success, because one can engage the analytical brain and emotional or empathetic and creative brain. One might assume that using this approach, an individual that is ranked highly on this scale might rank among the most highly successful of people in the world.
This approach allows one to incorporate the social intelligence approach, in fact highlights mostly the social intelligence approach, but also allows an individual to be highly intelligence in other areas. I do not suggest that someone with emotional intelligence would not also be highly intelligent in other areas. There is data suggesting that individual’s with high levels of emotional intelligence also demonstrate great levels of intelligence in other areas including analytical intelligence. However, there is still ample evidence to suggest that high levels of popularity, inspiring personality, compassion, humor, charm and other social intelligence skills are highly treasured and valued in the intelligence realm in modern society.
According to Goleman (2006), emotional intelligence matters for success. In fact, emotional intelligence is more important to IQ, which often takes a “second position” to emotional intelligence in determining outstanding job performance, and has in fact, become a mini industry. Hiring managers and others, care more about success, including long-term success, than intellect alone. Thus, experts at many corporations, and government agencies, along with other facilities, are interested in determining how they can overcome biases and limits that are often created by looking at factors that include general intelligence along. Organizations are finding that by viewing ones emotional intelligence, including the ability for an individual to have compassion and caring for others, they will find workers that are more likely to exhibit traits that will result in success in the long-term with an organization.
Ideas like this are not new. Social intelligence has to do with how people are capable of self-managing, as much as it has to do with how well people will interact with the people around them. Thus, more and more business people as well as ordinary people are taking an interest in social or emotional intelligence as a form of “soft” psychology according to Goleman (2006). I feel like this form of intelligence carries more weight than traditional forms of intelligence, and will continue to do so in the upcoming future.
- Goleman, D. (2006). Working with Emotional Intelligence. Random House: Bantam.