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The dark side of Emotional Intelligence

Perspicuo

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The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/the-dark-side-of-emotional-intelligence/282720/

Some of the greatest moments in human history were fueled by emotional intelligence. When Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his dream, he chose language that would stir the hearts of his audience. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation” to liberty, King thundered, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” He promised that a land “sweltering with the heat of oppression” could be “transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice,” and envisioned a future in which “on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Delivering this electrifying message required emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Dr. King demonstrated remarkable skill in managing his own emotions and in sparking emotions that moved his audience to action. As his speechwriter Clarence Jones reflected, King delivered “a perfectly balanced outcry of reason and emotion, of anger and hope. His tone of pained indignation matched that note for note.”

Recognizing the power of emotions, another one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century spent years studying the emotional effects of his body language. Practicing his hand gestures and analyzing images of his movements allowed him to become “an absolutely spellbinding public speaker,” says the historian Roger Moorhouse—“it was something he worked very hard on.” His name was Adolf Hitler.
Shining a light on this dark side of emotional intelligence is one mission of a research team led by University College London professor Martin Kilduff. According to these experts, emotional intelligence helps people disguise one set of emotions while expressing another for personal gain. Emotionally intelligent people “intentionally shape their emotions to fabricate favorable impressions of themselves,” [...]
 

Under the Rose

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The dark side of emotional intelliegence is accidentally fostered from early youth. Whenever a busy or distracted parent gives in to the tantrums of a young child they are reinforcing emotional blackmail by responding from a place of emotion instead of reason. Real concerns need to be met with reassurances yet too many end up rewarding bad behavior as is commonly seen when adults grocery shop with young children. The children frequently badger the adult for sugary treats or colorful toys and threaten tears when met with a barrage of no's from the adult. Many persistent children finally get what they want and of course the grocery industry strategically places clip strips in each aisle, 'profit panels' at the end of each aisle, displays the sugary cereals within sight of the checkout lines and often has a gum and candy display right beside each till.

The dark side of emotional intelligence is leveraged to increase market share and profit margins.

It can also be invoked to lead a nation into armed conflict.
 

Perspicuo

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Don't forget neglect, Undertherose. License is not the only explanation for people who hurt others. Also, regarding sociopaths:

Part of what makes sociopathy so fascinating is that we understand very little about what causes it. The sociopath overall is little understood, manifested primarily in the conventional belief that the sociopath has the malicious intent to harm others. The truth, however, is more complex than a single answer allows. Are sociopaths bad people? It's easy to utter a full-throated "Yes!" for so many reasons, but the reality is that sociopaths don't necessarily have malicious feelings toward others. The problem is that they have very little true feeling at all for others, which allows them to treat others as objects. The effect of their behavior is undoubtedly malicious, though the intention is not necessarily the same thing.
"Are they born this way?" is one of the most frequently asked questions. The truth is that we don't know. Stout (2005) sums up the research well, explaining that as much as 50% percent of the cause of sociopathy can be attributed to heritability, while the remaining percentage is a confusing and not-yet-understood mixture of environmental factors. (Notably, a history of childhood abuse among sociopaths is not always present.) Similarly, Ferguson (2010) conducted a meta-analysis and found that 56% of the variance in Antisocial Personality Disorder, the formal disorder of sociopathy, can be explained through genetic influences.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...g-the-sociopath-cause-motivation-relationship

The roots of emotional intelligence are honed by the relationship between child and caretaker starting at an extremely young age. The mother interprets the child's emotional state and needs. If she is attuned to these emotions, the neurological structures in charge of affect regulation start on a path of building awareness, aprrpopriateness of emotional response and empathic interpretation of her/his own emotions and those of others.
 

Togo

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Isn't this confusing emotional intelligence, which is a measure of social and emotional deftness, with emotion vs rationality?
 

rousseau

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Being able to manipulate our own outward appearance despite inward emotions is a part of being a well-functioning adult.

Who do you want to work with:

a) person who faces adversity stoically and overcomes the problem
b) person who faces adversity and breaks down into tears

Person a has more control over themselves and that's a benefit to them.

The dividing line between good and bad emotionally intelligent people is whether they use their intelligence for good or evil. If I take myself as an example, I'm smart enough to affect people's emotions how I like, but that doesn't mean I'm evil or dark, it just means I'm smart and know things other people don't, something I can't help but know. The dividing line comes in how I use that knowledge and whether my actions are undertaken with good intent.
 

Togo

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Being able to manipulate our own outward appearance despite inward emotions is a part of being a well-functioning adult.

Who do you want to work with:

a) person who faces adversity stoically and overcomes the problem
b) person who faces adversity and breaks down into tears

Person a has more control over themselves and that's a benefit to them.

Not necessarily. You've slipped in 'and overcomes the problem' in there to make the first option seem more useful, but that's sticking in a rational problem-solving exercise into what's supposed to be a measure of social and emotional ability. Remove that and you're left with:

a) person who faces adversity stoically
b) person who faces adversity and breaks down into tears

In which case I might prefer a or b, depending on the problem. If I'm looking to get tasks performed while essentially ignoring the adversity, then I'd choose a. If the task is identify and understand the effects of the adversity, so as to mitigate it for the future, then clearly the more sensitive person is the better choice for the task, and you choose b.

Change the task to one that's actually to do with social and emotional ability, and it becomes even planer. People in your group are very upset over something, but have difficulty articulating what the problem is. Are you going to get the best explanation from someone who never gets upset, or the person who gets upset very easily?
 

doubtingt

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The real dark side of "Emotional Intelligence" is the idiocy of calling to the skills in question a form of intelligence. Intelligence is a specific sub-type of skill/ability that allows the person to more efficiently acquire valid and effective understanding and comprehension of the information they are exposed to.
Knowing how to manipulate your own or other people's emotions is a skill/ability but it isn't intelligence any more than the ability to reach high objects due to your own height means you have "Height intelligence" or "Reach intelligence".
In addition, the ability to control your own emotional responses has little in common with manipulating other people's emotions and are likely almost uncorrelated skills. The fact that researchers who study "emotional intelligence" use the term for both of these just further exposes the invalidity and unscientific basis of therm term which was coined largely for the political purpose of trying to reduce the social value placed upon actual cognitive intelligence.
 

Anon13948132

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Emotional intelligence is a second stratum group factor that correlates ~.8 with g (general intelligence). Studies based on EI tests measure mostly g and so whatever validity they have is mostly due to their g-loading.

See: MacCann, C., Joseph, D. L., Newman, D. A., & Roberts, R. D. (2014). Emotional intelligence is a second-stratum factor of intelligence: Evidence from hierarchical and bifactor models. Emotion, 14(2), 358.
 

rousseau

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Being able to manipulate our own outward appearance despite inward emotions is a part of being a well-functioning adult.

Who do you want to work with:

a) person who faces adversity stoically and overcomes the problem
b) person who faces adversity and breaks down into tears

Person a has more control over themselves and that's a benefit to them.

Not necessarily. You've slipped in 'and overcomes the problem' in there to make the first option seem more useful, but that's sticking in a rational problem-solving exercise into what's supposed to be a measure of social and emotional ability. Remove that and you're left with:

a) person who faces adversity stoically
b) person who faces adversity and breaks down into tears

In which case I might prefer a or b, depending on the problem. If I'm looking to get tasks performed while essentially ignoring the adversity, then I'd choose a. If the task is identify and understand the effects of the adversity, so as to mitigate it for the future, then clearly the more sensitive person is the better choice for the task, and you choose b.

Change the task to one that's actually to do with social and emotional ability, and it becomes even planer. People in your group are very upset over something, but have difficulty articulating what the problem is. Are you going to get the best explanation from someone who never gets upset, or the person who gets upset very easily?

You're assuming the stoic person is not sensitive. The stoic person likely gets upset, they just don't show it. The articulation is still likely to be better from them, or at least just as plausible to be better. I don't see any reason why someone with no self-control is necessarily more sensitive than a person with control, it's actually just more likely that they have less mental skill alongside the sensitivity.

Either way, I'm just demonstrating that having control over one's emotions is *usually* an advantageous skill, and not some evil characteristic. In a world where we're forced to survive, the terms are what we are and are not able to do. Being able to do anything that someone else can't is almost always a positive thing.
 

doubtingt

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Emotional intelligence is a second stratum group factor that correlates ~.8 with g (general intelligence). Studies based on EI tests measure mostly g and so whatever validity they have is mostly due to their g-loading.

See: MacCann, C., Joseph, D. L., Newman, D. A., & Roberts, R. D. (2014). Emotional intelligence is a second-stratum factor of intelligence: Evidence from hierarchical and bifactor models. Emotion, 14(2), 358.

The problem is that there are varied measures of EI and some have no correlation with measures of g. For example, one of the most widely used EQ tests is the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire and it has no correlation with the most widely used test of g, the Raven's progressive matrices.

]http://www.psychometriclab.com/admins/files/Trait%20EI%20-%20BJEP.pdf

It is possible to create a test that appears to have "emotional" content but actually is mostly a test of general intelligence because it requires processing and tracking information and stimuli while controlling and redirecting mental focus, maintaining task goals in the face of distraction, etc. Thus, its really just a measure of g and the emotional aspects are incidental and unimportant to performance on the task. IOW, the measures of EI or EQ either don't measure intelligence or don't measure anything about emotion per se, so they don't measure emotional intelligence.
 

Anon13948132

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Emotional intelligence is a second stratum group factor that correlates ~.8 with g (general intelligence). Studies based on EI tests measure mostly g and so whatever validity they have is mostly due to their g-loading.

See: MacCann, C., Joseph, D. L., Newman, D. A., & Roberts, R. D. (2014). Emotional intelligence is a second-stratum factor of intelligence: Evidence from hierarchical and bifactor models. Emotion, 14(2), 358.

The problem is that there are varied measures of EI and some have no correlation with measures of g. For example, one of the most widely used EQ tests is the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire and it has no correlation with the most widely used test of g, the Raven's progressive matrices.

]http://www.psychometriclab.com/admins/files/Trait%20EI%20-%20BJEP.pdf

It is possible to create a test that appears to have "emotional" content but actually is mostly a test of general intelligence because it requires processing and tracking information and stimuli while controlling and redirecting mental focus, maintaining task goals in the face of distraction, etc. Thus, its really just a measure of g and the emotional aspects are incidental and unimportant to performance on the task. IOW, the measures of EI or EQ either don't measure intelligence or don't measure anything about emotion per se, so they don't measure emotional intelligence.

IQ tests obviously measure g. If one wants to measure the EI construct alone without g, just give children a lot of tests including EI and IQ tests, do a Schmid-Leiman transformation and get the EI factor (if it exists). Then check to see if it has any predictive ability without g.

For the study before, I asked the authors for their data, but apparently didn't want to share it. So we can't reanalyze it here and see what their EI construct predicts without its g loading.
 
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