Emotional statements

June 11, 1999

The article on Daniel Goleman's popularisation of emotional intelligence ("A time and emotion study", THES, June 4) cannot pass without comment. Goleman's recent book did much to popularise the concept of emotional intelligence, but he should not be given credit for discovering it.

It was first defined formally, in 1990, by the US psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer. They discovered four groups of competencies that EQ encompasses: the ability to perceive, appraise and express emotions accurately; to access and evoke emotions when they aid cognition; to comprehend emotional messages and use of emotional information; and to regulate one's emotions to promote growth and well-being.

Popular interpretations of emotional intelligence include other factors, but these are not based on empirical research. And no competent researcher has ever suggested that the discovery of emotional intelligence implies that we should "forget IQ". Research into emotional intelligence can at best complement knowledge about intelligence and IQ.

Andrew M. Colman

Reader in psychology University of Leicester

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Reader's comments (1)

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