Emotional Intelligence Theory: Intelligence

Intelligence Definition: This is a persons ability to take on board and develop knowledge to be applied to certain tasks and skills. Many people confuse knowledge with intelligence, seeing knowledgeable people as the most intelligent ones, however we must remember that intelligence is the ability to acquire information and skills, not just remember information when it suits them.

Emotional Intelligence Definition: The ability to identify, integrate, understand and reflectively manage our own and other people’s feelings.

There are two views on emotional intelligence, one being from the point of view of ‘Positivists’ and the other from the point of view of ‘Constructivist / Interpretivits’. Below are what both parties think;


Emotional intelligence is a thing existing independently from the minds of those who talk about it.

Constructivist / Interpretivist

Emotional intelligence is an idea, created by those who talk about it. Different people’s definitions of it reflect their personal preferences, rather than objective truth.

Goleman made this ‘emotional intelligence’ idea popular in the 90’s because he said that it is more important in business than technical skills or rational intelligence, something which, understandably, caused a lot of people to totally agree with him, or totally disagree. The main people who need emotional intelligence or people working higher up in the hierarchy, as they need to be able to understand people below them and know how to motivate them.

(Goleman, 1995)

Key Learning Points?

  1. Define Intelligence?
  2. Define Knowledge?
  3. What is Emotional Intelligence?