Definition: The awareness of and ability to manage one's own emotions to facilitate thinking and attain goals, as well as the ability to understand emotions.

Quite Simply...

  • Refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.
  • The ability to not only interpret and control your own emotions but also interpret other peoples emotions.
  • Ability to know other peoples emotions without them telling you.

Examples of Emotional Intelligence...

  • When someone cuts you off on the road, and you don't start swearing obscenely because you have emotional intelligence and are able to control your emotions of anger at the moment.
  • When you realize you brought the wrong binder to school, you try to be positive and think of other options you have for your classes today, as opposed to flipping out, and remaining frustrated for the entire school day because you have emotional intelligence.
  • Your AP Lit teacher tells you to rewrite your whole research paper, so you just say "okay" instead of screaming at her, which demonstrates you controlling your emotions, which shows how you have emotional intelligence.
  • Amy is always the best at knowing how a person is feeling so people always go to her when they need help deciphering their friends emotions for them. This is because Amy has a high Emotional Intelligence.
  • Bobby does not have very high emotional intelligence. He can never tell when his girlfriend is mad at him so he continues to make fun of her.


In one study conducted by John Mayer and colleagues, 321 individual participants were asked to read passages that were written by individuals not participating in the study. The participants were asked to guess how the writer of the passage was feeling while they were writing. The participants of the study who were better at telling the writer's feelings scored higher on the empathy measure and lower on the defensiveness measure as well as having a generally higher SAT score. Mayer was able to conclude that those individuals with high emotional intelligence are also skater in the traditional sense.

Additional Resources...