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Obviously this volume is a Who's Who of contemporary behavioral and neuroscience. In my teaching days, I believe I could have organized an entire Introduction to Psychology course just by describing the work of the individuals listed in the Table of Contents. And it is easy to focus on these names: they represent some of the smartest and most creative individuals in the world, resilient scholars not afraid of hard work or failure.
But as a social psychologist (and one with clinical training), I am also aware of the context in which these individuals carried out this wonderful work – the settings in which these ideas were developed, experiments designed, and findings communicated. Social psychologists place great importance on context – situations and environments that shape behavior. The father of modern social psychology, Kurt Lewin, famously articulated the first principle of this emerging field of study: B = f (P, E). Behavior is a function of the person, his or her environment, and the interaction between the two. This simple formula may seem like a truism to any student of psychology, but it serves to remind us that behavior is not motivated in a vacuum. We may believe we are the architects of our actions – especially our accomplishments – but, in fact, the environments in which we find ourselves, and the manner in which we as individuals respond to those environments, can create huge differences in outcomes that we often assign “merely” to individual agency or internal attributes such as “grit” or determination.
So, let me tell a little story and then circle back to this amazing volume. On a trip to Sweden a few years ago, my wife and I visited the Nobel Museum, a wonderful place located in what was once the Stockholm Stock Exchange. We appreciated a presentation designed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize. Remarkably, at what anyone would expect to be the ultimate glorification of the individual person and self-directed accomplishment, the theme of the Museum's Centennial Exhibition was Cultures of Creativity.
Discussions of animal intelligence often assume, inappropriately, that intelligence is inherently good. In this case, it has turned out to be generally true. This chapter reviews absolute versus relational learning by suggesting that animals are capable of using either the absolute or relative properties of a stimulus in making discriminations. The ability of animals to develop emergent stimulus classes involving arbitrary stimuli has important implications for human language learning. The task most often used to study memory in animals is delayed matching-to-sample, in which following acquisition of matching-to-sample, a delay is inserted between the offset of the sample and the onset of the comparison stimuli. The accurate assessment of animal intelligence will require vigilance, on the one hand, to evaluate cognitive functioning against simpler accounts and, on the other hand, to determine the conditions that maximally elicit the animal's cognitive capacity.
This chapter describes recent advances in the scientific study of emotional intelligence. Setting the idea of an emotional intelligence in a historical context, the authors' four-branch model of these competencies is then described. Research on the measurement of emotional intelligence, especially as a set of abilities rather than as self-reported personality traits, is described. The psychometric properties of a new measure of emotional intelligence, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), are presented, as are preliminary findings concerning the predictive validity of this construct in the domains of family, school, and workplace.
The starting point for the idea that there could be an emotional intelligence is that, rather than “hijacking” one's thoughts and behaviors (Goleman, 1995, p. 13), emotions often serve adaptive, purposeful, and helpful functions (Leeper, 1948). It is the emotional system, in this view, that focuses attention, organizes memory, helps us to interpret social situations, and motivates relevant behavior. Accordingly, it makes little sense to place emotions in opposition to reason and rationality (de Sousa, 1987). The concept of emotional intelligence, which elsewhere (e.g., Mayer & Salovey, 1997) we have defined as the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotional information, simply takes this functionalist perspective one step further by calling attention to the need for research on individual differences in the ability to reason about emotions and to use emotions in reasoning.
Many psychologists think the Results section is the driest part of any journal article, that the idea in this portion of the manuscript is simply to present the data and move on. For students reading journal articles as class assignments, the Results section is often the one skipped. It is considered boring at best, inscrutable at worst, and whatever one needs to know is summarized in the opening paragraphs of the Discussion anyway. It does not have to be this way, however. In this chapter, I argue that there are techniques for writing a Results section that at least make it readable, if not thrilling.
The key is to tell a good story. In recent years, the idea that mental representations are organized as stories is quite popular. Jefferson Singer and I argued that the self is a story – that who we are really is a set of stories that we tell about ourselves (Singer & Salovey, 1993). The editor of this volume, Robert Sternberg (1998), has described love as a story. Sternberg maintains that there are various kinds of romantic scripts guiding our conception of how relationships unfold. Robert Abelson (1995) described the way in which investigators make claims with statistical tests as a “principled argument,” that is, a kind of story. Perhaps the boldest idea comes from one of the fathers of artificial intelligence, Roger Schank (1990), who claimed that all of cognition is, essentially, a story.
Studies of emotional intelligence initially appeared in academic articles beginning in the early 1990s. By middecade, the concept had attracted considerable popular attention, and powerful claims were made concerning its importance for predicting success. Emotional intelligence is the set of abilities that accounts for how people's emotional reports vary in their accuracy and how the more accurate understanding of emotion leads to better problem solving in an individual's emotional life. More formally, we define emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in the self and others (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). As of now, the academic concept has been developed over several theoretical articles (e.g., Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Salovey & Mayer, 1990) and is based on a growing body of relevant research (e.g., Averill & Nunley, 1992; Buck, 1984; Lane, Sechrest, Reidel et al., 1996; Mayer, DiPaolo, & Salovey, 1990; Mayer & Geher, 1996; Mayer & Stevens, 1994; Rosenthal, Hall, DiMatteo, Rogers, & Archer, 1979; Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995; see also, Salovey & Sluyter, 1997).
Shortly after the academic work began, a popular book on the subject appeared (Goleman, 1995a). The book covered much of the literature reviewed in the aforementioned articles as well as considerable additional research on emotions and the brain, emotions and social behavior, and school-based programs designed to help children develop emotional and social skills.
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