Life’s moments are fueled by feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, among others. Our ability to deliver or communicate is contingent on our emotional intelligence, or the ability to recognize, understand, and imagine these emotions expressed by others and ourselves. Reading facial expressions is essential in fostering relationships, being successful at work, and meeting our career goals. They help us feel compassion and empathy, according to The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
Although emotional intelligence is often refuted as both learned and improved, or an inborn trait, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, pioneering researchers on emotional intelligence, believe this ability can help guide our thinking and actions. The four areas of capacities, or skills that describe the various areas of emotional intelligence — the four branch model — as a collective, include: perceiving emotions, reasoning with emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions. Together, they impact various aspects of our daily life, such as the way we behave and interact with others, but is it more important than intellectual ability?
Daniel Goleman, author of the book Emotional Intelligence, suggested emotional intelligence may be more important than IQ, since standard measures of intelligence do not capture the entire scope of human intelligence. However, the combination of an average IQ and emotional intelligence are both essential for success in life, encompassing human knowledge, and emotion. To determine how we fare when it comes to emotional intelligence, The Greater Good Science Center has designed a short quiz that asks to identify the emotion conveyed in 20 photos, pinpointing the exact muscles involved in the emotion, and explaining the subtle differences between these expressions.