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Feeling Smart: The Science of Emotional Intelligence

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Figure 3. Recent research contradicts the Stoic view...Click to Enlarge Image

Is there a scientific basis for the popular concept of "emotional intelligence"? Yes; research shows that there is psychological and practical value to understanding emotions—your own and others'—managing them effectively and using them in thinking and reasoning. Experiments show that identifying and managing emotions helps with cognition, task performance and social relationships. Emotional skills can be used for good (in work and family contexts) or for ill (by con artists, for example). Reliable psychological tests for emotional intelligence have been developed, allowing emotional skills to be correlated with life outcomes and distinguished from the dimensions of personality.

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