Evaluate the Research on Emotional Intelligence


Social and Developmental Aspects of Emotion, Cognition, and Motivation

Evaluate the Research on Emotional Intelligence 

Your task this week is to provide a critical evaluation of the concept of emotional intelligence.

After completing your readings for the week, prepare a paper that addresses the following questions:

  • Can emotional intelligence be taught or is this an innate ability?
  • Conclude with your assessment if evidence exists for separate, but related, constructs such as social intelligence and ecological intelligence? Explain your answer.

Support your analysis with at least two references from scholarly sources.

Length: 2 pages

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

Learning Outcomes

1.0   Assess the concepts and theoretical framework of emotion, motivation, and cognition.

2.0   Interpret the critical research findings related to emotion, motivation and cognition.

3.0   Assess cultural and social influences on emotions, motivation, and cognition.

6.0   Synthesize concepts of emotions, motivation and cognition using a variety of communication tools.


This week, you will read about several theories of emotional intelligence (EI) and some of the research on this topic. Although definitions and theories of EI vary, Mayer and Salovey (1997) described EI as consisting of four “branches” consisting of perceiving emotions, facilitating thoughts about emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions. Similar abilities were described by Danial Goleman in 1995. Other theories of EI are described in Cherniss (2010). Tests developed by Mayer and colleagues along with other researchers can be used to assess levels of EI in people.

Some research suggests that individuals with higher levels of EI have better social relationships and better psychological health whereas those people with lower levels of EI are associated with greater stress and other negative outcomes such as drug and alcohol abuse.

Austin, Farrelly, Black, and Moore (2007) suggest that there is also a “dark” side to high levels of EI. Their research suggests that being skilled in the perception and understanding of the emotions of others can serve as a mechanism to manipulate people and situations.

Goleman, Barlow, and Bennett (2010) discuss how the early ideas about EI have been expanded into a new area called “Ecological Intelligence.” Ecological intelligence involves an awareness and understanding of how human actions impact the environment.

You should also consider as you are reading these articles whether EI is an innate ability or something that can be improved with training.

This week, you will provide a critical evaluation of the construct of EI by answering the questions in the description of the assignment.

Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.