October 2020 Touchstones Theme: “Emotional Intelligence”

In 1983, Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, introduced the theory of multiple intelligences in his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He suggested that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, was far too limited. Gardner defined multipleintelligence as a set of abilities, talents, and mental skills. Gardner proposed eight intelligences:  musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic, to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

Critics of his theory suggested that rather than the word “intelligence,” Gardner should have used the word “ability.” In response, Gardner wrote, “I balk at the unwarranted assumption that certain human abilities can be arbitrarily singled out as intelligence while others cannot.” The theory of multiple intelligences has played an important role in education.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ, was inspired in 1990 when Goleman, who was working as a science reporter at The New York Times, read an academic journal article by psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey that offered a formulation of a concept they called “emotional intelligence,” which is sometimes referred to as EQ. Goleman’s book was widely influential. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half, a best-seller in many countries, and translated into 40 languages.     

Goleman noted that his model of emotional intelligence built on Gardner’s model of multiple intelligences. He wrote, “In my theory, self-awareness and self-regulation are the intrapersonal abilities, and empathy and social skill the interpersonal.” These emotional competencies are not innate talents. They are learned capabilities that can be nurtured in children and adults, although, Goleman believes that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.

Join us during the month of October as we explore the importance of emotional intelligence in our lives.

Exploring Emotional Intelligence

Touchstones Journal

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Ways to Engage Emotional Intelligence This Month