Chapter 15 – The difference between Awareness Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is an individual’s ability to monitor her or his feelings and those of others and therefore is an essential interpersonal competency. Beliefs and feelings are closely intertwined. Feelings are an important indicator of how a situation measures up against our socially and culturally shaped beliefs. Hence, feelings might have not much to do with our genuine human nature.
Feelings and more intense short-term emotions alike can seem overwhelming and be an all-consuming psychological state. There is always though, in minimum, some room for reasoning left.
To grasp the true nature of life, rational thinking helps to explore and direct one’s emotions. Emotions and attitudes are never the beginning; they are the result of thought, albeit not always rationally controlled thought. If you stick to your believe-based emotions, new ways of thinking might be hindered.
If you can deliberately change the way you think, if you can widen and sharpen your awareness at the same time, then you can create different emotions and if chosen wisely, feel better.
High levels of so-called emotional intelligence generally correlate with high levels of performance and success. However, there is the risk of over-relying on emotions with adverse effects on one’s mental states. Emotional understanding and the ability to manage emotions is not in itself a “good” or “bad” quality. One can perceive another person empathically and still not be aware of what that means for oneself and the broader context; therefore, neither empathy nor emotional intelligence do necessarily involve the development of compassion and the desire to help. On the other side, hypersensitivity to other’s emotions can be burdensome, contagious, and incapacitating supportive responses. If one is overwhelmed by others pain to the extent of getting sick oneself, nobody is helped. Rather than to merely intensify empathy,
It is more awareness-intelligent not to exaggerate but to broaden the responsiveness to other’s need for care.
Your beliefs and the way you feel about them come from your social upbringing, your education, your enculturation. If you were born somewhere else or at a different time, your language, religion, your beliefs about appropriate symbols, customs, and rules would be expected similar to anybody else in the same cultural milieu of that ages, but also entirely different from somebody in another temporal culture. No culture is a more or less legitimate way of living, but none of them represents an absolute truth either. There is, however, a fundamental lawfulness to human life. We need to choose how we put ourselves, others, and all humanity into relation to each other from the perspective of our life as well as from the standpoint of other generations and all human evolution. Without such a complete socio-temporal relationship, people across different realities of societies, cultures, and eras are continuing to insist on which would be the most likely illusion of their places and times.
Fortunately, we can choose to understand where we set the boundaries for exclusion, and how much back into the past and forth into the future we care.
It is this reference-system of humantime that would better guide our thought processes than a relatively random set of contemporary socio-cultural believes and sensitivities.
You are neither your emotions nor your feelings or thoughts as long as they are the mere aftereffect of somewhat limited awareness.
You are your watching mind of human relations in time. You are the entire and perennial conscious source intelligence you are coming from.
Use this gift to intelligently self-generate your thoughts in concord with all life. Awareness-intelligent thought is based on compassionate care that feels more deeply satisfying, moving, and human, while not being confusing or overwhelming after all.
Wireless technologies have not only changed the way we work and live but also how we socially interact (Walker, 2017). Is it possible to substitute real social relationships with technological ones? Harlow’s research found that monkeys need their parents for survival not only from a nurturer perspective. However, the experiments also showed that a surrogate ‘machine-mother’ could, albeit not ideally, provide sufficient love for survival (Vicedo, 2009). Research examining the link between the Internet and offline social contacts remains conflicting, indicates a tendency towards Internet use having a reinforcing effect on antecedent propensities for interaction or isolation (Walker, 2017).
The ability to memorize the structure of interlinked digital information depends on the reader’s visuospatialability (Rouet, Voros, & Pleh, 2012). Indeed, spatial thinking is a key factor for individuals’ scientific performance, and it seems to be possible to develop this capacity through training (Uttal, Miller, & Newcombe, 2013). So-called embodied cognition suggests the benefit of adding motoric (not only visual) feedback to verbal explanations in learning (Yun, Allen, Chaumpanich, & Xiao, 2014). This is in line with the transient learning theory that states that visual information gets “overwritten” by subsequent animated presentations; a fact that should be considered when designing educational technology (Wong, Leahy, Marcus, & Sweller, 2012).
Cybernetics stands for a scientific field about systems whose behavior is influenced by internal and external feedback. It is such continuous feedback that builds the basis for intelligence (Bendele, 2016). Do respectively can human-technology interactions provide such necessary feedback? The cognitive connectionist architecture approach refers to parallel mental processing that is, for example, embracing the concept of artificial neural networks (ANN). ANN poses that information does not lie in neural nodes, but rather in the connections between them (Bendele, 2016). We don’t need to use our long-term memory anymore thanks (or due) to ubiquitous digital information. It would be interesting to study further how theoretically fewer neural nodes would translate into a likewise reduced number of informative neural connections (such research may exist, but was not identified in the context of this limited focus article).
Online learning approaches seem to adapt according to the awareness for improved feedback, why concepts like Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs), Expert Systems, and Case-based Reasoning Systems are used to design feedback-reliant intelligence generation (Bendele, 2016). In that regard, the involvement of emotion in the learning and motivation processes is vital for promoting effective traditional and online technology mediated learning (Chai, Hafeez, Mohamad, & Aamir, 2017). Already Aristotle claimed the importance of emotional communication and combined progress in computer sciences, and psychology is developing emotion sensitive systems from perceptional, interpretational, and expressional perspective (Robinson, 2009). Arguing that we’ll probably never fully understand the human mind, machines will never have a real human emotional capacity. Therefore, blended approaches to social interactions in general and education and learning in specific may balance advantages and risks best and allow for maximum learning success (Conradty& Bogner, 2016).
Photo credit: geralt (pixabay.com)
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It is useful to differentiate between sympathy and empathy as the basis to also understand better how culture itself (amongst other factors) shapes cultural empathy. This is important also to define and assess more subtle aspects of empathy as it becomes increasingly imperative in education and disciplines such as global talent management.
Empathy (like sympathy and compassion) is related to human emotions as a reaction to other individuals’ plights . Empathy is considered crucial in motivating pro-social attitudes and actions as well as moral development and involves research from various interdependent fields such as biology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy (Mason & Bartal, 2010). Science is differentiating affective empathy, i.e., the experience of others’ emotional state, and cognitive empathy, i.e., the apprehension of others’ emotions .
Empathy as a concept conflates with similar ideas like ‘sympathy’ . A casual comparison describes sympathy as “to feel with,” while empathy involves “to feel for” others. More specifically, there is no need for a person experiencing sympathy to simulate the other’s state of mind as would be required for practicing empathy . Batson (1991) defined empathy as a category of responses to another “that are more other-focused than self-focused, including feelings of sympathy, compassion, tenderness, and the like” ( p. 86).
Because the emotion of empathy determines, besides reasoning, how ethical decisions are made, it is vital to acknowledge its key role in human development and professions, such as, for example, journalism, which strongly influences how people related to empathy . Despite increased globalization and the ubiquitous of information about others’ plight, a tendency of ‘sympathy-without-empathy’ represents the reality of globalized individualism . Also, how the ability of empathy is individually employed should be assessed as well, as empathy can be for the good or the bad, e.g., not only for help, but for manipulation, bullying, and the exertion of cruelty where it harms others most .
Culture shapes how empathy is experienced and communicated as it is true for any emotions, which always are impacted by a culture’s particular social intricacies. Hence, the expression of sympathy and empathy require a language that is sensitive to support the maintenance of both the sender’s own and the receiver’s identity respectfully . For example, it is essential to understand how cultural background moderates empathy. For example, people in East Asian collectivist societies that emphasize interpersonal harmony, tend to show increased empathic accuracy (while the level of empathic concern tends to be lower though) compared to more individualist cultures such as the UK . The communication of distress, as well as sympathy responses, are both stronger when involving narratives of somatic experiences (e.g., fatigue) as compared to cognitive symptoms (e.g., negative thoughts), but only among Korean and not US study participants . In another study, American individuals were found to focus less on negative aspects respectively avoid more negative affect compared to Germans when forming sympathy for other’s negative experience and suffering . Russian people have, as a consequence of how the culture frames empathy, a more apparent preference for experiencing empathy more exclusively for people whom they know personally .
Education on cross-cultural empathy for global talent management is essential. However, even within any one nation socio-cultural differences might suggest a need for cosmopolitan education to develop empathy between all co-citizens . The same might, of course, be true for between the employees in a single country too.
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This article describes the relationships of cultural intelligence (CQ) with other types of intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior. Mindfulness provides for a conceptualization of intercultural competence. CQ is a useful competency for acculturation challenges as required for expatriate talents in multinational enterprises. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being. For Global Talent Management CQ is essential as a predictor of performance and creativity and therefore increasingly used as assessment tool also for transformational leadership styles.
Emotional and social intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior
Human capital is the major sub-factor of intellectual capital that contains a measurement of “sharing and reporting knowledge” , indicating that social competencies are acquired capabilities on the basis of emotional intelligence . Cultural intelligence (CQ) might be essential to enable sharing across cultures as it means the ability to adapt to a new culture through open-mindedness and judgment-free respect for others . CQ moderates emotional intelligence and leadership behavior . Indeed, to understand emotional intelligence, cross-cultural differences need to be understood too . As emphasized in the theory of emotional and social intelligence competencies (ESC), the motivation to make use of the competencies is vital to consider too .
Mindfulness, acculturation, and psychological well-being
Mindfulness might provide for a comprehensive conceptualization of intercultural competence as a cultural sensitivity that is put in action as a result of reflection . Cross-cultural intelligence can be taught through different respectively the combination of methods such as lectures, literature, exchange sessions, and most effectively field trips . CQ is also a significant contributor to career capital , potentially not only across geographies, but also in navigating company cultures . Direct inter-cultural contact impacts both cultures involved, a process that is called acculturation . The challenges that come with such foreign cultural influences might be a reason why it is often difficult to find talents who are willing to live abroad. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being .
Performance improvement and transformational leadership
Assessing CQ is highly useful for global talent management as there is a proven positive correlation with job performance . Thanks to higher-quality cross-cultural social exchanges, knowledge hiding, on the one hand, can be decreased and creativity, on the other hand, improved . It is, therefore, not surprising that culturally intelligent global leaders are high in demand . An impressing percentage of 92% (out of 100) of companies who invested into improving CQ increased revenues within one and a half years . Multinational organizations’ talent management functions fare well with using CQ as a selection tool . Social intelligence and CQ also predict effective transformational leadership styles  as it allows the appropriate adaption of behavior to cultural differences .
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The paradox of the disadvantaged justifying authoritarian systems
It can seem paradoxical that people often justify the existing social system even when this comes at personal and collective costs . System Justification Theory (SJT) provides a framework to understand what the motives and contexts behind this phenomenon are . SJT posits that an underlying ideology is motivating the justification of social order in a way that contributes to the often-unconscious belief of inferiority most strongly among individuals of underprivileged groups . It is not just passivity that gives way to the dominance of political elites . Psychological and ideological processes related to resistance to change imply that albeit possible, change is often difficult . Change is especially difficult if there is an ideological system in place that pronounces an authoritarian culture of inequality that, according to SJT, tends to reinforce itself as a ‘culture of justification’ . The association of a nation with God further strengthens people’s confidence to justify the system .
Exposure to threat causes conservative shift
The political notion of discussion is persuasion  and SJT can be used to influence voters’ viewpoints. Studies found that people who were exposed to thoughts related to death became more supportive of conservative perspectives . Exposure to threat, e.g. in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, indicated a possible shift towards increased approval rates for President George W. Bush . Protests, from a socio-psychological perspective, are triggered by perceived injustice and related anger, social identification, and the faith in collective action. However, existential and relational needs for security can undermine these change antecedents . Following this logic, employees, for example, show an enhanced tendency to deny flaws at their workplace especially in times of scarce labor markets .
System justification impedes critical consciousness
Although it is a myth that Western Societies are characterized by equality of opportunity, studies found that a majority’s belief in equality helps to justify a meritocratic ideology, i.e., that it is, given we all start with the same possibilities, fair that individual differences are rewarded. The motive to legitimize economic inequality is further blocking critical thinking capacities with severe consequences for the economic and psychological well-being of marginalized persons . System threat defense mechanisms related to SJT, such as victim blaming, stereotyping, and inequality legitimization, can help reduce emotional anguish. However, the victims of a justified crisis often have to pay a high price for it ; a price that may be higher in the long-term than the price of protest to achieve positive change.
The role of psychologists in policymaking
It is essential to understand individuals’ view of the salience and scope of systems as they might be system justifiers of varying degrees related to different systems . Also, one must be aware of how ideologies are advocated and reinforced, e.g., through political and societal structures. Psychologists should work in interdisciplinary teams together with policymakers to remove change-averse infrastructure and untrap citizens from the psychological barrier of system justification .
Should system justification be used by organizational leaders to evoke desirable behavior?
First, according to different missions of organizations (e.g., to generate profit, or to grow a movement, etc.), desirable behavior might differ too. Second, I think, even if the behavior of the employees is desirable, a responsible leader should be concerned about how this behavior is created. As system justification is a mostly unconscious and automatic psychological response to threat , it might not be the best basis to maintain desirable behavior sustainably. It may also be difficult to evaluate whether the lack of awareness is protective of the employees’ well-being or whether there are possible indirect taxes to consider. Rationalizing away inequalities to defense the status quo may seem to support fearful individuals . However, being in control in one area may hinder progress in other areas. For example, studies found that women retaining power in their traditional household role prevented them from claiming more equality at the workplace . Possibly not the best outcome for the women and the organization as workforce diversity may be useful for the innovation capacity of organizations in many cases . As system justification works based on personal fear and lack of self-esteem, it is, for example, causing narcissistic personalities to justify hierarchy in the case they believe to benefit from it personally, i.e., having the chance to rise to the top . I could often observe adverse outcomes related to selfish reasons and hidden agendas. Therefore, in summary, I would foster desirable behavior through increasing awareness and reward informed and transparent efforts towards desired outcomes.
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Choosing not to change risks failing if change is understood as improvement . In organizations, mainly the investors, but also drivers like competition, globalization, technology, and employees require change . Change always signifies loss that prompts threatening emotions, which cause resistance. Therefore, resistance to change needs to be understood from an individual’s emotional perspective . For example, people mostly don’t alter their change decisions related to moral dilemmas solely based on reason . Often, leaders and managers have a better understanding of the organizational situation than of individuals . Change antecedents, reactions to and consequences from changes like, for example, organizational commitment and job satisfaction, have to be carefully considered. Commitment can positively correlate with a favorable perception of proposed change, while commitment to the status quo can be negatively related .
Personality differences in predispositions to resist change
Helping conquering limitations in improving is a core function of leadership, and it is relieving for people to feel understood in their resistance to change . Indeed, supervisory support is a key factor in positively influencing people’s commitment to change . However, there might also be personality differences in predispositions, i.e., having negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors towards organizational change . It is more difficult to positively influence job satisfaction for people characterized by lower levels of openness to change . Increased mindfulness (i.e., engagement in new and healthy thoughts and habits) and tolerance of ambiguity (i.e., tolerance of lack of clarity and uncertainty) predict a more positive attitude toward change .
Trust and authenticity in transformational leadership
Change follows a process , most simply described as ‘unfreeze,’ ‘mobilize,’ and ‘re-freeze’ . To help people through these phases, understanding their emotional and intellectual needs seems to be essential. Transformational leadership ought to consist of these qualities, but some researchers suggest a broader integration of leadership dimensions, including spiritual elements to bridge the gap between profit strategies and quality of life . Studies found that transformational leadership, regardless of the leaders’ behavior, was positively associated with promoting acceptance of change. Even change-specific leadership behavior could not compensate for transformational leadership, especially when there was a lot at stake personally for the change receivers. A history of long-term trustful relationships with their followers may be the reason for this as consistent research of authenticity in leadership evidenced too. In cases where the job impact of the change was low, rather than transformational leadership, proper change management practices were sufficient for effective change. This finding speaks for a close integration of the change leadership and change management disciplines 
We change for what we have chosen for ourselves
Resistance can be a capacity for change itself , sometimes coming from positive intentions too , and providing feedback from people who may know best about the day-to-day operational details . To support effective change, leadership should involve change-related training , possibly also in early developmentally sensitive school years . It is crucial to help individuals experiencing close and successful participation in the change process  because people are more likely to adapt what they have chosen for themselves .
Photo credit: Geralt (pixabay.com)
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 Bailey, J. R., & Raelin, J. D. (2015). Organizations Don’t Resist Change, People Do: Modeling Individual Reactions to Organizational Change Through Loss and Terror Management. Organization Management Journal (Routledge), 12(3), 125-138. doi:10.1080/15416518.2015.1039637
 Stanley, M. L., Dougherty, A. M., Yang, B. W., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (2017). Reasons Probably Won’t Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, doi:10.1037/xge0000368
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 Hinduan, Z., Wilson-Evered, E., Moss, S., & Scanell, E. (2009). Leadership, work outcomes and openness to change following an Indonesian bank merger. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 47(1), 59-78.
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 Whelan-Berry, K., & Somerville, K. (2010). Linking Change Drivers and the Organizational Change Process: A Review and Synthesis. Journal of Change Management, (2). 175.
 Haig, E. L., & Woodcock, K. A. (2017). Rigidity in routines and the development of resistance to change in individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome. Journal Of Intellectual Disability Research, 61(5), 488-500.
 Choi, M. (2011). Employees’ attitudes toward organizational change: A literature review. Human Resource Management, 50(4), 479-500. doi:10.1002/hrm.20434
 Kettleborough, J. (2014). Time to change the way we change. Training Journal, 60-63.
Summary. Inabilities to accept (and therefore recognize) our dark feelings are leading us to externalize our shadow (as Jungians would say) to others, for example to a therefor loved partner. Especially vulnerable narcissists defend themselves against shameful helplessness in cases of separation with a partner (and therefore with a part of themselves) by negating their helplessness. To avoid frustration, rage, and violent defenses in case of uncontrollable separation it is, therefore, to some extent, essential to learning to live with (learned) helplessness.
Egocentrism occurs as part of preschoolers’ development in the so-called pre-operational stage and means the inability of a child to differentiate between its own and other people’s thoughts . In other words, children would not realize the suffering of others as such at all . This poses a quite depressive outlook and may not correspond to own experience and observations. Aren’t there more empathy-promising possibilities than such a radical and moral-disabling egocentrism? Is there potential for interventions? And what does animal research tell us?
High levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI) are generally associated with high performance and success. However, there might also be a kind of emotional overthinking with adverse effects on work performance. And, EI is not in itself a “good” or a “bad” personality characteristic.
Summary. Online learning and team work are ever increasing. This poses new challenges on how to predict successful learning, teaching, and performance in general while being wary about problematic Internet/online usage too. Emotions may be seen as less relevant in an online environment, but studies show that Emotional Intelligence (EI) of online instructors and leaders of virtual teams does predict online success. As online participant want to bring in their personality, especially in the case of attachment to a program or project, empathic behavior plays a major role in the online world. “Mind reading” is happening in face-to-face interactions; interestingly, this is possible with others’ texts too, even in the absence of any other visual cues. EI can be developed online, especially when combined with mindfulness instructions, and the Internet Emotional Intelligence Scale (IEIS) provides a potent tool for evaluation.
Summary. Collaborative learning and teamwork play a significant role in learning and work performance. Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) has positive effects on learning and performance dynamics in learning and collaborating teams, which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior. Therefore, the potential of CEI should be harnessed by further integrating it into work-relevant learning curriculums.
Team Learning for Team Performance
Despite or because of the controversy related to how Emotional Intelligence (EI) is positively influencing performance, potential beneficiaries such as Learning & Development and HR functions need to be considerate about what measures they take . Organizational requirements shifted increasingly towards increased requirements for team work . Similarly, in educational settings, collaborative learning is considered playing a decisive role in learning performance . EI is a concept that is associating affect, cognition, and socialization . It is possible to develop, e.g., through cooperative learning as several studies found  . Team based learning becomes most effective if sufficient female participation in teams is created, which brings in the female tendency for increased emotional awareness and male’s heightened appetite to proactively guide the team . Researchers suggests that emotional intelligence can culturally differ, following the logic that the social environment, as it is the topic of social cognitive theories, determines how for what emotions awareness and regulations are created .
Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) as a Team Ability
Studies confirm the correlation between the gender ratio and collective intelligence . They define Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) as a group’s ability to create a collectively normed management and expression of emotions and emphasize its importance for teamwork quality . It becomes evident that there is an interrelationship between the positive effect that EI can have on aspects of dynamics in learning teams , which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior . Individual EI without integration into the group context is not a guarantee for teamwork as emotionally intelligent individuals may situationally choose competition over cooperation, depending on their strategic benefit assessment .
Reported decreases in empathy over time in medical school were successfully addressed by implementing further team based learning . And another example represents the reported need for and success of EI as an integral part of work-relevant learning curriculums . It will be interesting how evidenced-based research and organizational needs will stimulate each other.
 Leimbach, M. P., & Maringka, J. (2010). Invited Reaction: Developing Emotional Intelligence (EI) Abilities through Team-Based Learning. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 21(2), 139-145.
 Clarke, N. (2010). Emotional Intelligence and Learning in Teams. Journal Of Workplace Learning, 22(3), 125-145.
 Moore, A., & Mamiseishvili, K. (2012). Examining the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Group Cohesion. Journal Of Education For Business, 87(5), 296-302.
 Borges, N. J., Kirkham, K., Deardorff, A. S., & Moore, J. A. (2012). Development of emotional intelligence in a team-based learning internal medicine clerkship. Medical Teacher, 34(10), 802-806. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.687121
 Goreyshi, M. K., kargar, F. R., Noohi, S., & Ajilchi, B. (2013). Effect of Combined Mastery-Cooperative Learning on Emotional Intelligence, Self-esteem and Academic Achievement in Grade Skipping. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 84(The 3rd World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance, WCPCG-2012), 470-474. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.586
 Marta, E., Diego, M., & Miguel A, M. (2016). El Aprendizaje Cooperativo y las Habilidades Socio-Emocionales: Una Experiencia Docente en la Asignatura Técnicas de Ventas / Cooperative Learning and Socio-Emotional Skills: A Teaching Experience in Sales Techniques Course. Formación Universitaria, (6), 43.
 Dunaway, M. M. (2013). IS Learning: The Impact of Gender and Team Emotional Intelligence. Journal Of Information Systems Education, 24(3), 189-202.
 Sung, H. Y. (2015). Emotional Intelligence and Sociocognitive Skills in Collaborative Teaching and Learning. New Directions For Teaching And Learning, (143), 61-77.
 Curşeu, P. L., Pluut, H., Boroş, S., & Meslec, N. (2015). The magic of collective emotional intelligence in learning groups: No guys needed for the spell!. British Journal Of Psychology (London, England: 1953), 106(2), 217-234. doi:10.1111/bjop.12075
 Tofighi, M., Tirgari, B., Fooladvandi, M., Rasouli, F., & Jalali, M. (2015). Relationship between emotional intelligence and organizational citizenship behavior in critical and emergency nurses in south east of Iran. Ethiopian Journal Of Health Sciences, 25(1), 79-88.
 Fernández-Berrocal, P. )., Extremera, N. )., Ruiz-Aranda, D. )., & Lopes, P. ). (2014). When to cooperate and when to compete: Emotional intelligence in interpersonal decision-making. Journal Of Research In Personality, 49(1), 21-24. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2013.12.005
 Singh, P., & Dali, C. M. (2013). Need for Emotional Intelligence to Develop Principals’ Social Skills. Africa Education Review, 10(3), 502-519.
Summary. As an “individual’s ability to monitor his or her own feelings and those of others” EI in general, in contrast to the more stable personality traits such as measured by the Big Five instrument, is considered to be learnable . This implies that interventions for improving interpersonal competencies and workplace behavior is possible. There is mixed evidence for EI as a distinct concept with more or less strong correlations between EI and personality. One key to resolve the threat to the so far expected stability/durability of personality traits and direction for future research could be a further sophistication of personality frameworks that better account for individuals’ differences in (general and emotional) intelligence levels , besides other factors such as culture, gender, and age.
What are the “hidden” aspects, the unconscious parts of personalities’ mental functioning that is determining human behavior? While Freud is using the term ‘drive,’ ‘instinct’ and ‘intuition’ (more casually also ‘gut feeling’) are rather popular expressions too, while ‘instinct’ may be seen as a more inherent, and ‘intuition’ as a more experience based type of unconscious mental activity (Sun & Wilson, 2014). Intuition may be substantial for the humanist approach as well, as there is an expectation that the self-actualization tendency is at work in unconscious situations such as creative work, euphoria, and intuition (Gordon, 2012).
Ancient definition states that intuition is a mechanism, which allows becoming conscious about something that is already known (Carina & Johannes, 2016). Recent definitions describe intuitions as a rapid, effortless, automatic, and unconscious process (Murphy, 2014). As Martindale and Collins (2013) put it, intuition is the revelation of memorized information and therefore represents a skill rather than a myth. Freud’s psychoanalytic technique of free association to make unconscious experiences conscious (Ziegler, 2002) may, therefore, be helping intuition.
There is increasing scientific evidence for that the human mind operates in two modes, a conscious (rational) and an unconscious (intuitive) one (Krieshok, Motl, & Rutt, 2011). However, latest state of neuroscientific research rather supports a tripartite structure of the mind composed of instincts, emotions (intuitions), and thoughts, while “emotions are not always automatic and not in general opposition to reason” (Levine, 2017, p. 1). Intuition was neuro-psychologically found to have a low- and high-level capacity, the latter being able to reconcile conflicting aspects of one’s self-concept in the form of consolidating feelings (Carina & Johannes, 2016). Consequently, intuitions could help preventing neurosis as a result of conflicts between the real and ideal self, as a self-actualizing person may experience (Finke, 2002). The importance of intuition respectively feelings for judgmental ability has been shown by Palmeira (2014). Furthermore, intuition seems to be particularly important for challenging, life purpose related (Carina & Johannes, 2016), and new and unusual situations (Gächter, 2012). However, according to Krieshok et al. (2011) people tend to take major decisions consciously and therefore more according to their social identity than based on personally intuitive and genuine criteria.
Intuition also plays a major role in moral judgment as personal differences may result from how someone depends on it (Lombrozo, 2009). Strikingly, people’s intuitive response generally results in more cooperative behavior and (over-) thinking may increase more egoistic behavior (Gächter, 2012). In conclusion, it seems that intuition is important for human judgment and behavior and sound decisions might come from a balance of reasoning and intuition (Krieshok et al., 2011). Skilled intuition may even be an indicator of mental health. Carina and Johannes (2016) found that depressed individuals are less capable of taking choices and healthy test person have been evaluated as being able to use their intuition for problem-solving. Intuition capacity can be measured with the Types of Intuition Scale (TIntS) measures (Pretz et al., 2004).
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Carina, R., & Johannes, M. (2016). Loosing gut feeling? Intuition in Depression. Frontiers In Psychology, Vol 7 (2016), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01291/full
Finke, J. (2002). Aspects of the actualizing tendency from a humanistic psychology perspective. Person-Centered And Experiential Psychotherapies, 1(1-2), 28-40. doi:10.1080/14779757.2002.9688276
Gächter, S. (2012). Human behaviour: A cooperative instinct. Nature, 489(7416), 374-375. doi:10.1038/489374a
Gordon, S. (2012). Existential Time and the Meaning of Human Development. Humanistic Psychologist, 40(1), 79. doi:10.1080/08873267.2012.643691
Krieshok, T., Motl, T., & Rutt, B. (2011). The Evolution of Vocational Psychology: Questions for a Postmodern Applied Discipline. Journal Of Career Assessment, 19(3), 228-239.
Levine, D. S. (2017). Modeling the instinctive-emotional-thoughtful mind. Cognitive Systems Research, doi:10.1016/j.cogsys.2017.05.002
Lombrozo, T. (2009). The Role of Moral Commitments in Moral Judgment. Cognitive Science, 33(2), 273-286. doi:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01013.x
Martindale, A., & Collins, D. (2013). The Development of Professional Judgment and Decision Making Expertise in Applied Sport Psychology. Sport Psychologist, 27(4), 390-398.
Murphy, P. (2014). Teaching Applied Ethics to the Righteous Mind. Journal Of Moral Education, 43(4), 413-428.
Palmeira, M. (2014). Intuitions in Conflict: Preference Reversals Due to Switch Between Sensitization and Diminishing Sensitivity. Journal Of Behavioral Decision Making, 27(2), 124-133.
Pretz, J., Brookings, J., Carlson, L., Humbert, T., Roy, M., Jones, M., & Memmert, D. (2014). Development and Validation of a New Measure of Intuition: The Types of Intuition Scale. Journal Of Behavioral Decision Making, 27(5), 454-467.
Sun, R., & Wilson, N. (2014). Roles of Implicit Processes: Instinct, Intuition, and Personality. Mind And Society: A Journal Of Cognitive Studies In Economics And Social Sciences, 13(1), 109-134.
Ziegler, D. J. (2002). Freud, Rogers, and Ellis: A comparative theoretical analysis. Journal Of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 20(2), 75-92. doi:10.1023/A:1019808217623