Emotional intelligence

K. V. Petrides, Adrian Furnham and Norah Frederickson argue for a trait approach to the misunderstood construct.
Few constructs have grabbed the attention of researchers, theorists and practitioners with such intensity and suddenness as emotional intelligence (EI). Inevitably this has led to problems in the theoretical development of EI as well as in the way practitioners have sought to measure and apply it in various domains (Matthews et al., 2002). Nearly 15 years after the first formal definition and model of EI, scientific research in the field still lags behind popular, quasi-academic and commercial speculations. It is clearly important that psychologists catch up. Specifically with respect to limitations at the applied end, qualified practitioners should try to keep abreast of relevant research findings in order to avoid involvement in unprofitable applications. This article seeks to make a germane contribution by outlining both the fundamentals and the latest research in the field of EI. We address several issues, including those of conceptualisation, measurement and application in the educational, occupational and clinical domains.

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