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Juan Moisés de la Serna
Translated by: Susana Hyder
Copyright © 2018
When we talk about emotional intelligence, we are actually referring to the development of the person. This topic has been on the rise for a few decades and it has proven to be useful not only on a personal level but also in the workplace.
Research on the benefits of a proper development of Emotional Intelligence is on the increase, advising on the training of it as early as possible.
Therefore, school is the most suitable environment for young children and even adolescents to get to know and to develop Emotional Intelligence.
Dedicated to my parents
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who collaborated with their contributions towards the completion of this book. Particularly the Government of Canarias, and Dr. Noelia Carbonell Bernal.
This book may not be reproduced in its entirety or in part, uploaded to any information storage and retrieval system,or transmitted in any form by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, by recording or any other means without prior and written permission from the author and copyright owner. Infringement of the aforementioned rights may constitute a criminal offense under intellectual legislation. (Art. 270 ff of the Penal Code). Refer to C.E.D.R.O. (Centro Español de Derechos Reprográficos) if you need to photocopy or scan any portion of this work. You may contact C.E.D.R.O. online at www.conlicencia.com or by phone at 91 702 19 70 / 93 272 04 47.
© Juan Moisés de la Serna, 2018
Translated by: Susana Hyder
It can be said we live in an emotional world just as it can be said we live in a social world. Therefore, those who are more skilled at their emotional development tend to be the most successful. For example, a merchant of any product or service is mainly concerned with selling emotions so the other person will buy or acquire that which he is selling.
The media, television, radio or any other advertising means target the emotions and with that they aim to sell their products or services. But not everyone has the same level of emotional ability. There are some people that for some reason do not sufficiently achieve this ability. Hence, a new area of research and work in psychology was initiated a few years ago by Daniel Goleman named Emotional Intelligence together with a book written with the same title.
Intelligence has been traditionally defined as the ability to satisfactorily answer a series of standardized questionnaire designed for a specific “target class”determined by genetics.
This means the questionnaire or test has been validated by small trials before being administered to the general population and it is valid internally and externally, in other words, measures what needs to be measured in addition to being specially designed for a determined collective and age range.
Even though the use of intelligence questionnaires emerged in the XIX century there has been much criticism as they have been considered “unfair” because they are designed to evaluate entire populations using the same standards.
In the beginning of the last century there was much controversy about the research conducted by the army to analyze the relationship between intelligence and race. The results of the American population were analyzed in relation to whether the participant was white or black, and between Native Americans and immigrants. The conclusion was that whites of Anglo-Saxon origin had better results than other racial groups and of immigrants whose mother tongue was not English. This prompted a modification of education policies geared towards “compensating” for such differences.
Subsequent studies debunked these results due to flaws in the tests used which did not take into account the correct jargon of the target group of people being tested thus making it necessary to adapt the test according to who it was given to.
In spite of this, the intelligence quotient continues to be a validated measure of problem solving abilities by means of tests designed and prepared by psychologists who follow strict regulation standards established by psychometrics (science of measuring) so that the results are valid and reliable for the population to which they are given.
Thanks to this the academic success and professional future of students can be predicted way before they are even aware of their abilities and potentials. They are likewise used in the field of personnel selection for finding the ideal candidate for a position who would not necessarily have to be the one with the most qualifications or experience.
Through the years the field of psychometrics has been perfected and improved to the point where its reliability is quite high. This is the reason why some businesses decide their “future” based on the results of the evaluations performed by Human Resources.
Intelligence evaluation is a controversial topic not only because of its definition but also because of what it entails. In regards to its definition, there are some who would bundle intelligence as a single construct, in other words, either you are intelligent or you are not. If you are, you can belong to the “bunch” or be below the mean or above. If you belong to the latter you may be more intelligent than the rest, a prodigy or a genius to varying degrees.
This would be the case if we continued to follow the classic model of intelligence which is now obsolete.
However, the concept of intelligence has been questioned in the last few decades due to the understanding that it is not a standard value but rather that there are many different types of intelligences: spatial intelligence, verbal intelligence, mathematic intelligence, musical intelligence, etc.
A person who has a highly developed ability for music may be a great “Chopin” or “Mozart” of our days but he may not be able to shine when it comes to solving for example, integrals, derivatives or trigonometry.
Something else that is different is the “genius”, able to stand out in many of these aspects of intelligence; even though to date there is no scientific consensus to clearly establish this distinction.
Another aspect is the social implications of the highly gifted, feared by some and desired by others. Some countries have spent years investing much effort in populating screening, in other words, intelligence questionnaires administered to all the schools to detect those “potential geniuses”.
Likewise, the universities, especially those who are high ranking in the world are attentive to those students who excel in high school to offer them all kinds of opportunities to study in their facilities knowing that most of them will end up being professors or researchers in their staff in the future.
In spite of the aforementioned, in the majority of the cases, the main challenge for parents and teachers is that the child is able to take advantage of the education phase beyond passing their grades.
When the main activity of children and adolescents is just attending classes, the academic results seem to be the best indicator of their progress.
Any parent would worry when seeing low academic performance. They would look for solutions whether this is finding a private tutor or limiting the child’s play time.
In the same manner, when a child fails a grade, having to repeat it, the parents view this as a personal failure since they know that in the long rung this will affect the future of their child.
Instead of this situation becoming a “second opportunity” it turns into a problem furor the child as he sees himself labeled as “held back”forced to be in school with children younger than they are while he sees his former classmates progressing in their studies.
There are many factors that could make the child fix his attitude and performance to rectify that which causes him to fail academically. Can good academic performance be predicted?
This is the subject of research by the Faculty of Psychology, Padjadjaran University (Indonesia) together with the Busoga University (Uganda) whose results were published in The Open Psychology Journal.