Emotional Intelligence: Key Readings on the Mayer and Salovey Model
Peter Salovey, Marc A. Brackett, John D. Mayer
National Professional Resources Inc./Dude Publishing, 2004 - Psychology - 329 pages
When Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer first formally defined the term “Emotional Intelligence” (EI) in an academic journal in 1990, they described it as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions,” and presented an empirical model demonstration of how EI could be tested as a mental ability. Since that time, the term has captured the interest of the media and the general public, as well as researchers and professionals in fields of education, psychology and business, due in large part to the publication in 1995 of Howard Gardner’s popular trade book, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter more than IQ. However Goleman and many others who have consulted and written about EI over the years have a much different, loser conception of the construct than what was originally proposed by Mayer and Salovey.
Mayer and Salovey’s ability model of EI strictly focuses on four branches of emotion-related processing:Accurately perceiving and expressing emotion; Using emotion to facilitate cognitive activities; Understanding emotions; Managing emotions for both emotional and personal growth.
This model makes it possible to analyze the degree to which EI specifically contributes to a person’s behavior over and above traditional personality attributes. On the other hand, the models espoused by Goleman and others combine an ability conception of EI with numerous self-reported personality attributes, traits and competencies. Salovey and Mayer, who edited Emotional Intelligence, Key Readings along with Marc Brackett, refer to these variations as “mixed” conceptions because they combine an ability conception of EI with numerous self-reported personality attributes, traits and competencies.
Noting that the diverse definitions of Emotional Intelligence and the wild and unsupported claims made by Gartner and others have given rise to skepticism about EI, the editors created Emotional Intelligence: Key Readings in order to clarify the field by presenting 13 articles that introduce the theory, measurement, and applications of the Mayer and Salovey four-branch ability model of EI, and distinguish it (both theoretically and empirically) from other “mixed” conceptions that permeate the field.