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What Is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?

Why Study Emotional Intelligence Together With Personality Psychology?

There are several reasons to understand emotional intelligence and personality together. Emotional intelligence is a part of human personality, and personality provides the context in which emotional intelligence operates.

Emotional intelligence can be considered a mental ability that involves the ability to reason validly with emotional information, and the action of emotions to enhance thought.

Personality can be defined as a person’s pattern of internal experience and social interaction that arises from the action of that individual’s major psychological subsystems. Major psychological subsystems involve emotion, cognition, and the self, among others . ...for more, click here.

There are several reasons to understand this relationship:

1.Understanding “where”and “what” EI is (e.g., a mental ability inside, or, a part of, personality) can help identify the type of data necessary to collect to study the idea. …for more, click here.

2. Placing emotional intelligence in its psychological context allows one to compare and contrast it with different parts of personality:

    1. those that are similar

    2. those that are related, and,

    3. those that are different.

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3. If a person’s ultimate aim is to understand a target variable -- such as aggression or problem behavior -- understanding the personality system as a whole can help link EI with other relevant parts of personality for empirical study.

4. Understanding EI as a part of the broader personality system also can alert researchers as to what parts of personality may influence EI, increase its effects, or lower them.

5. Considerable research exists as to how personality’s parts are expressed. Understanding that EI is part of personality indicates a great deal about how it will be expressed.

6. The field of personality psychology is undergoing a renaissance today. To see more, click here, or, go to the web site for the Systems Framework for Personality Psychology.