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Emotional Intelligence by Daniel P. Goleman

Emotional Intelligence

by Daniel P. Goleman

Emotional Intelligence is a fascinating book. It really gets one thinking about how people interact with one another and what personal qualities are more likely to lead to success and happiness in life. Daniel Goleman shows pretty conclusively that intellect alone is not the key to success and happiness in life.

So how do we predict a person's likely success? The marshmallow experiment. The ability to resist impulse and exhibit restraint and self control is key to success. In the marshmallow test, four year olds were given two choices. One option was to receive one marshmallow right now, satisfying the need for instant gratification. The other option was to wait until the researcher performed some tasks. If the child agreed to be patient and wait, the kid would receive two marshmallows. But they would be received later, not right now.

A decade later, the children were growing up and it was found that those children who opted to wait for the two marshmallow payoff were more likely to be socially competent, and they were more able to deal with the frustrations of life. The children who could not delay gratification had far more trouble dealing with life, and they were less capable of initiating and completing self-directed projects.

Further, the marshmallow experiment was found to be a stronger indicator of SAT performance than the children's early IQ test scores. The lesson is that the ability to delay gratification is a powerful factor leading to intellectual development (Plus you get more marshmallows).

Goleman's book has many more tidbits of understanding that combine an intuitive feeling of "yes that makes sense" with psychological and other research to confirm our impressions of what is most essential to success and happiness in life.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel P. Goleman
Emotional Intelligence

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