Difference between Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Difference between Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

Intelligence consists not only in knowledge, but also in the skill of applying knowledge in practice. Aristotle


  • 1 Origin of the intelligence term
  • 2 What is intelligence?
  • 3 Emotional Intelligence
  • 4 Intelligence as a point of scientific discrepancy

Origin of the intelligence term

The term intelligence It comes from the Latin intelligentia, which in turn derives from smart. This is a word composed of two other terms: intus (between and legere (choose). Therefore, the etymological origin of the concept of intelligence refers to who knows how to choose, since intelligence enables the selection of the most convenient alternatives for solving a problem. Thus, according to what is described in the etymology, an individual is intelligent when he is able to choose the best option among the possibilities that are available to solve a problem.

Officially the Spanish Language Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy defines intelligence, among other meanings, as the “ability to understand or understand"And as the"ability to solve problems”.

What is intelligence?

Intelligence is the ability to assimilate, save, elaborate information and use it to solve problems

Although being honest, these qualities are also typical of many animals and even computers. But the human being goes a step further, developing a greater capacity to initiate, direct and control our mental operations and all activities related to information management. We learn, relate, deduct, perform calculations, elaborate probabilities and many other things almost without realizing it. We also have the ability to integrate these mental activities and make them voluntary, ultimately controlling them, as with our attention or learning, which ceases to be automatic as in animals to focus on certain desired objectives.

So that The intelligence of a person is formed by a set of variables such as the ability to observe, attention, memory, learning, social skills, etc.., which allow you to face the world daily. The performance we get from our daily activities depends largely on the attention we give them, as well as the ability to concentrate at all times. But it must be taken into account that, in order to have an adequate performance, many other functions are involved, such as a stable emotional state, a good psycho-physical health or a normal activation level.

From small we have heard that the IQ or Intellectual Quotient (in English IQ: Intelligence Quotient) was decisive to know if a person would be successful in life, with which a test could mark the future of their academic and professional success. However, several years ago, from the business field, they realized that other capacities are necessary for success in life. And those were not measured by any intelligence test.

A person can get a very high IQ but have a very poor personal life, and on the contrary, be someone with a low IQ but have a strength and courage to face the ups and downs of life that many would like.

Emotional Intelligence

It has been found that a high IQ can predict who will succeed at the academic level, but says nothing about the path that the person will take when they finish their education. On the other hand, recent studies show that Emotional Intelligence is primarily responsible for the success or failure of people in all areas: professional, personal and social. In addition it has been seen that professional success, regardless of whether it is an engineer, a teacher, a lawyer or a salesperson, is 80% defined by Emotional Intelligence and 20% by its CI.

As Daniel Goleman says: It is paradoxical that IC is such a bad predictor of success among the group of people intelligent enough to perform well in the most demanding cognitive fields.

Today, the theory that has been imposed most recently is that of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. This tells us that we do not have a single mental capacity, but several, specifically seven:

Linguistic Intelligence

It is intelligence related to our verbal ability, with language and with words in general. This intelligence enables us to write poems, stories, etc.

Logical-mathematical intelligence

It has to do with the development of abstract thinking, with precision and organization through patterns or sequences. Understand the skills we need to handle mathematical operations and reason correctly.

Musical intelligence

It is directly related to musical skills, such as rhythm and melody. It helps us to create new sounds to express emotions and feelings through music.

Visual Intelligence - Space

It is the ability to integrate elements, perceive and order them in space and be able to establish metaphorical relationships between them. This intelligence enables us to create designs, charts, diagrams and build things. It is linked to the imagination.

Kinesthetic or Corporal-Kinetic Intelligence

It covers everything related to both body movement and that of objects and reflections. It is used to carry out activities such as sports, which require coordination and controlled rhythm.

Interpersonal intelligence

It implies the ability to establish relationships with other people. It includes the skills to show facial expressions, control the voice and express gestures on certain occasions. It also encompasses the abilities to perceive people's affectivity or empathy.

Intrapersonal intelligence

It refers to the knowledge of oneself and all related processes, such as self-confidence and self-motivation. It is like our conscience. It helps us to understand what we do and value our own actions.

Naturalist Intelligence

It refers to people who show a tendency and ease to study and remember the things they observe about the environment and nature.

This theory introduced two types of intelligences closely related to social competence, and up to a certain emotional point: Interpersonal Intelligence and Intrapersonal Intelligence, which Gardner defined as follows:

"Interpersonal Intelligence is built on a nuclear ability to feel distinctions among others: in particular, contrasts in their moods, temperaments, motivations and intentions. In more advanced ways, this intelligence allows a skilled adult to read the intentions and wishes of others, even if they have hidden ... "

“Intrapersonal Intelligence is the knowledge of the internal aspects of a person: access to one's emotional life, to the range of feelings, the ability to discriminate between emotions and finally give them a name and resort to them as a means of interpreting and guiding one's own behavior ... "

In 1990, two American psychologists, Dr. Peter Salovey and Dr. John Mayer, coined a term whose future fame was hard to imagine. That term is "Emotional Intelligence."

Intelligence as a point of scientific discrepancy

Still today intelligence is a topic that is in the spotlight of many discussions by different disciplines, such as psychology, medicine, philosophy, etc. What we do know is that it is not something innate and immovable, and although it is true each one of us is born with certain skills and predispositions (as with our physical qualities; height, skin color, eyes, etc.) , education and the environment in which we are born, live and grow is crucial to shape our character.

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