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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: WHY IT CAN MATTER MORE THAN IQ (1995)
False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure. Butfalse views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm.(Charles Darwin,
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex
Since its publication in 1995, Daniel Goleman’s
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter Morethan IQ
has been the flagship of a fleet of books that Goleman has authored or co-authored, and thefoundation text of a world-wide movement that claims that what has been universally regarded asintelligence is merely one type of intelligence – cognitive intelligence – and is not as important as anothertype of intelligence – emotional intelligence. As the dust jacket of
proclaims, it is,“The groundbreaking book that redefines what it means to be smart.”In this document, I will analyze every book and article that Goleman adduced to denigrate theimportance of cognitive intelligence, and even more, the tests that measure it. I will demonstrate that notone of them says what Goleman claims it says, and many say the opposite.
No one denies that emotional strengths and social abilities often contribute to social andoccupational success. But Goleman knew two crucial facts about them that he did not tell his readers. In theintroduction to
, Goleman wrote (pages xi-xii),This mapping [of emotional intelligence] offers a challenge to those who subscribe to anarrow view of intelligence, arguing that IQ is a genetic given that cannot be changed bylife experience … That argument ignores the more challenging question: What
[Goleman’s italics] we change that will help our children fare better in life? What factorsare at play, for example, when people of high IQ founder and those of modest IQ dosurprisingly well? I would argue that the difference quite often lies in the abilities called
[Goleman’s italics], which include self-control, zeal andpersistence, and the ability to motivate oneself. And these skills, as we shall see, can betaught to children, giving them a better chance to use whatever intellectual potential thegenetic lottery may have given them.In the beginning of this passage, Goleman described genetic determinism of intelligence as a mereview; but at its end he acknowledged that it is an irrefutable fact, and he used that fact to argue thateducation should concentrate on developing emotional intelligence. What Goleman knew but did not tellhis readers is that the personality traits that constitute emotional intelligence are also genetically
I welcome any correspondence on this or related subjects. I can be contacted at email@example.com.
The beginning of the last chapter (21) of Part II; page 385 in the reprint by the Princeton UniversityPress, 1981
I will ignore the errors of fact that pervade Goleman’ book but are unrelated to his main purpose. Iwill here give just one example. On page eleven, he says, “Species that have no neocortex, such asreptiles, lack maternal affection: when their young hatch, the newborns must hide to avoid beingcannibalized.” This is clearly nonsense. There is no way that most newborns could hide from theirmothers. It is true that most reptiles do not devote as much care to their young as most birds ormammals. For example, mother crocodilians dig a shallow hole near the water; bury their eggs in it;and cover them with mud, sand, and/or weeds. They then stay nearby to protect the eggs frompredators. When the eggs are about to hatch, the mother uncovers them and then leads the newborns tothe water. After that, in some species, mothers continue to protect their young; in others, they do not.However, many species of insects, which have a much lower level of brain development than reptiles,