Ideas > Architects of the Intellect > Goleman: Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional Intelligence

In the mid-1990s, Goleman (1995) developed his idea of an emotional intelligence. Within his theory, he delineates five distinct domains:

  1. self-awareness (self-confidence and self-decisiveness);
  2. self-regulation (controlling impulsivity and handling emotions);
  3. motivation (hope, initiative in goal setting, zeal);
  4. empathy (reading others feelings, caring); and
  5. social skill (influence, leadership, team building.)

Goleman argues that this emotional intelligence may be more important than IQ in terms of life success, defined as happiness and fulfillment on the job and at home.

Evidence of Goleman's work is often centered on curriculum and instruction in the affective domain. Attention to self-esteem issues, self-knowledge in terms of decision making about drug and alcohol use, and discussion and practice in using social skills in small and large groups are examples of how the theory of emotional intelligence is impacting in the classroom. While the affective domain has always been a part of the curriculum, there are signs that this domain is coming into more intense focus.

Considering he research on the brain and the link between memory and the emotional system, Goleman's theory is ripe for sustained attention in the coming years. Just think about the current critical concerns about school violence, knowledge of the detrimental effects of teenage cliques, and the public eye on the growing number of hate crimes making the headlines.