In fact, he combined into a single concept of «emotional intelligence» personality characteristics that were previously considered independently.
Among such characteristics, one way or another, the following are considered: emotional awareness (self-awareness), management of their emotions (emotional self-regulation), self-motivation, empathy, recognition of other people’s emotions.
His research at the junction of the two sciences of psychology and neurobiology demonstrated that the emotional part of our brain learns differently than the intellectual. Moreover, unlike IQ, which hardly changes after ten years of a child’s life, emotional intelligence depends significantly on practical training in all its components.
However, some emotional characteristics are manifested in early childhood. It’s about managing your emotions. In the last century, psychologist Walter Michel conducted the so-called «marshmallow test» for the ability to curb desires. In a group of four-year-old children from teachers and staff at Stanford University, the teacher handed out one marshmallow candy and an alternative was suggested. If the child is patient and does not eat candy for 15–20 minutes while the teacher goes about business, then on its return the teacher will give the child another candy and, thus, it will be possible to eat two candies. Some children could not resist the temptation and immediately ate their treats, and the other part was able to restrain their impulsive actions and received additional treats!
After 12 years, the behavior of all children who participated in the experiment was evaluated by experts. It turned out that those teenagers who resisted the temptation at the age of four were significantly different from the rest of the group. They were persistent in solving problems, behaved more adequately with other people, were independent and confident, deserved the trust of others.
After graduating from high school, children were assessed on standard tests to determine academic ability. Daniel Goleman cites the following data: a third of children who impatiently grabbed candy at the age of four received an average of 524 points for the humanities component of the test and 528 points for the mathematical component; the second third – the children who waited the longest – had average scores of 610 and 652 points, respectively, i.e. in total they scored 210 points more.