In a 1961 book of literary criticism, Van Ghent noted that certain characters within Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice possessed 'emotional intelligence' (EI) in comparison with others (1961: 103). She referred to EI as emotionally informed intelligence - or shall we say, that intelligence which informs the emotions (Van Ghent, 1961: 107). (Goleman 1998)
Emotional intelligence intriguer to disappear while, at the same time, too self-contradictory to be clearly useful as a scientific concept.
In 1990, two articles were published that first employed the EI label for a clearly specified set of findings in the scientific literature. The theoretical article, 'Emotional Intelligence', made the case that a coherent intelligence existed that was concerned with the emotions (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Emotional intelligence was said to involve the ability to reason with emotions, and the capacity of emotions to enhance intelligence. Evidence for EI was collected from the areas of clinical psychology, artificial intelligence, aesthetics, and non-verbal perception. A pattern was present, it was argued, and that indicated a heretofore overlooked human ability. The other, empirical, article provided a demonstration that emotional intelligence could be measured as ability. Precursor measures in the area of non-verbal behavior had mostly failed at identifying any meaningful, consistent individual differences. The 1990 article reported new measurement procedures by which consistency was greatly improved. (Goleman 2000)
Emotional intelligence would probably thereafter have evolved slowly if it had not been for the science journalist Daniel Goleman, who was working on a book about social and emotional learning. Goleman entitled his book 'Emotional Intelligence', to reflect the work mentioned above. At the same time, he defined EI very broadly, in part, probably, so that the concept would cover the large number of studies he discussed. His lively popularization became an international best-seller and generated popular interest in the idea, and ultimately, further scientific interest in it as well. (Ellis 1997)
The popularization, and the media reports about it, was accompanied by sensationalistic claims for the predictive power of emotional intelligence that had not been present in the scientific literature. 'Compared to IQ and expertise,' wrote Goleman of EI (1998: 31), 'emotional competence mattered twice as much.' At least some of the early scientific literature, and some popular rejoinders, as well, seemed aimed at debunking those unsupported (and, to serious researchers, embarrassing) claims (Davies, Stankov & Roberts, 1998; Newsome, Day & Catano, 2000).
Additional popular books and tests were hurriedly produced so as to capitalize on the faddish interest surrounding emotional intelligence. Most of these further altered the definition of emotional intelligence until it no longer bore any specific relationship to emotion, intelligence, or their combination. (Goleman 1995) Capitalizing on the media attention was alluring, however, and so tests that were originally designed to measure empathy, well-being, alexithymia, and optimism were said to measure emotional intelligence - or even renamed as emotional intelligence measures, despite the fact that their content could hardly be distinguished from many other general tests of ...