What is more important in defining the skills for success in life – the knowledge of books or those of life? This question is the basis of an important debate that contrasts the relative importance of Cognitive Intelligence (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) . Supporters of so-called “paper knowledge” will probably assume that the IQ plays the critical role in determining how well we can do in life. Those who advocate the importance of “knowledge of life” will probably claim that EQ is all the more important. Well, where is the truth?
Debates on IQ vs EQ
In his 1996 book “Emotional Intelligence,” author and psychologist Daniel Goleman suggests that the EQ (or Emotional Intelligence) may actually be more significant than IQ. Why? Some psychologists believe that standard IQ measurements (ie, IQ estimates) are too narrow and do not fully cover human intelligence.
Psychologist Howard Gardner, for example, suggests that intelligence is not just a general ability. He thinks there are many types of intelligence.
Rather than focusing on a collective intelligence, commonly called “general intelligence,” some experts believe that the ability to understand and express emotions can play an equal and even more significant role in the way people succeed in life.
What is the difference between IQ and EQ?
How are IQ and EQ measured and tested? Let’s start by defining the two terms to understand what they mean and how they differ from one another. IQ or IQ is a number derived from a standardized IQ. In the original intelligence tests, estimates are made by dividing the individual’s psychological age into a chronological one, then multiplying the result by 100.
For example, a child aged 15 years and chronologically aged 10 years will have an IQ of 150. Today, estimates of most IQs are made by comparing the results of the respondent’s test with that of other people in the same age group.
IQ refers to capabilities such as:
- Visual and spatial processing
- Knowledge of the world
- Fluid Thinking
- Working memory and short-term memory
- Quantitative thinking
EQ, on the other hand, is a measure of the level of emotional intelligence of man. It refers to its ability to perceive, control, evaluate and express emotions. Researchers like John Mayer and Peter Soloway, as well as writers like Daniel Goleman, have helped illuminate emotional intelligence, making it a hot topic in areas ranging from business management to education.
EQ refers to capabilities such as:
- Recognition of emotions
- Ability to evaluate the feelings of others
- Control over your own emotions
- Perceiving the way others feel
- Using emotions to facilitate social communication
- Connect with others
Since the 1990s, emotional intelligence has come from a vague concept in academic journals to a commonly recognized term. Today you can buy toys that are said to help boost the emotional intelligence of the child or to enroll their children in SEL programs designed to teach emotional skills.
In some US schools, social and emotional training is even a requirement for the curriculum.
So what’s more important?
At some point in history, the IQ is seen as a key success factor. It is believed that people with a high IQ are meant to live a life of success and achievement, and researchers are discussing whether the intellect is a product of genes or the environment (the old debate about nature and cultivation). Some critics, however, are beginning to realize that only high intelligence is not a guarantee of success in life, and perhaps it is too narrow a concept to embrace the broad spectrum of human abilities and knowledge fully.
The high IQ is still recognized as an important element of success, especially when it comes to academic achievement. People with high IQ usually do well at school, often earn more money, and are generally healthier. But experts today admit that this is not the only reason for success. It is part of a complex set of influences that include, among other things, emotional intelligence.
The concept of emotional intelligence has a strong impact on many areas, including the world of business. Many companies today require emotional intelligence training and use EQ tests as part of the recruitment process. Research has shown that people with strong leadership potential are also more emotionally intelligent, suggesting that a high EQ is an essential quality that business leaders and managers need to own.
For example, an insurance company discovers that EQ can play a vital role in the success of sales. Commercial agents who rank lower in terms of skills specific to emotional intelligence, such as empathy, initiative, and self-confidence, sell policies with an average premium of $ 54,000. By comparison, those ranked higher in the EQ measurement are selling $ 114,000 in stock.
Emotional abilities can also influence the choices consumers make when faced with purchasing decisions. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that people prefer to have a job they trust and like, rather than vice versa, even if it means paying more for a lower-quality product.
Can we learn Emotional Intelligence?
Maybe you wonder if emotional intelligence is so critical to be taught or strengthened?
According to a meta-analysis that examines the results of social and emotional training programs, the answer to this question is unambiguous. The study found that approximately 50% of children enrolled in SEL’s programs had better results and almost 40% had improved average values. These programs are also associated with lower exclusion rates, higher attendance rates, and less disciplinary problems.
Some strategies for teaching emotional intelligence include character training, modeling positive behavior, encouraging people to think about how others feel, and finding ways to become more involved with others.
Success in life is the result of many factors. Both IQ and EQ undoubtedly play a role in influencing overall success, as well as in things like health, well-being, and happiness. Rather than focusing on what factors may have a more dominant influence, we can get the most benefit from training to improve skills in many areas.
In addition to strengthening specific cognitive abilities, such as memory and mental focus, we can also acquire new social and emotional skills that will serve us well in many different areas of life.