IQ vs EQ "No Holds Barred"
Working in the education setting, I frequently find myself wondering if the loading placed upon the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is inflated when compared to the Emotional Quotient (EQ). We know that EQ has many real-life applications but yet when we try to observe/ascertain an individual's intelligence, we only look for cold hard numbers which are exam results.
Deep down have we been indoctrinated to think that intelligence must be measurable in the form of written examinations? We should instead be viewing EQ as the support system to enhance our extrinsic learning and eventually our IQ.
Components of IQ (Non-exhaustive)
- Verbal Comprehension This skillset encompasses an individual's verbal fluency, abstract reasoning and factual knowledge when ideating about different categories.
- Working Memory Working memory is utilised for goal motivated behaviour where information must be cognitively encoded, recalled and manipulated to bring about success when executing a task.
- Perceptual Reasoning Perceptual Reasoning is the capacity to comprehend and reason using visual mediums. Mental images allow individuals to process, organise, sequence and respond to information.
- Processing Speed This ability is a measure on the amount of time taken for an individual to process information received from a stimulus (Identify, integrate, formulate a decision) and respond to verbal, written or visual information.
IQ and our cognitive processes have a significantly positive relationship. It facilitates the ability to easily and quickly comprehend the work being taught in terms of academic achievement. Individuals who display such characteristics are generally able to score well in conventional examinations. For example, Written examinations and problem solving tasks.
However, to view intelligence as only the ability to score well in examinations would be shunning the wide spectrum of human capabilities. These would include different forms of EQ skills such as communication skills, stress tolerance and decision-making. EQ also relates to an individual's ability to perceive from someone else's point of view, understanding and actively regulating one's emotions as well as healthily expressing our own.
Sitting down in a coffee house, I often find myself observing the behaviours of individuals around me. As a parent myself, I find my attention being drawn towards toddlers, infants and adolescents and their interactions with their social and physical environment. A child who is more sociable and able to observe social etiquette and social norms is looked upon more favourably with on-lookers cooing over the "cuteness overload". Reflecting back, why was that behaviour desirable? Was it the behaviour itself that was cute or was it a form of adaptability shown by the child which in turn showed a different form of intelligence?
Components of EQ
- Self-Awareness Have the ability to understand how we feel and why we are feeling such emotions. Have the awareness of predicting how our emotions and actions influence and affect others around us.
- Self-Regulation Regulating our emotions will prevent us from making rash decisions in relation to our emotions. We will be able to process our emotions and cognitively select an appropriate response to various scenarios.
- Motivation Motivation can either come intrinsically or extrinsically when it comes to tasks. Intrinsic motivation is when we do not need any incentive to carry out a task. Extrinsic motivation is when we complete a task with the view of receiving an incentive. A key aspect of motivation would be to line up what we do with our personal goals thus making it intrinsically motivated.
- Empathy Having the ability to empathise, put ourselves in someone else's shoes, would make us more relatable. It would enable us to recognise when individuals have been treated unfairly and be a listening or comforting shoulder to lean on. We would be able to pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues which would give hints to how an individual is feeling.
- Social Skills Having great social skills enables us to be able to adapt to different scenarios and resolve conflicts appropriately. We would be able to communicate well when receiving positive or negative news. Furthermore, we would be able to appraise others and recognise their efforts.
As such an individual who is able to do the above would display traits which are desirable. Individuals with good EQ skills would be motivated from within to get work done. They would be able to have positive relationships with their peers and parents, showing good communication skills. They are able to work together and have a variety of ideas to solve problems. Being aware and able to regulate their own emotions, they would experience a positive wellbeing. This would in turn lead to an individual who is able to keep calm under duress, understand their cognitive processes and select the appropriate response when under stressful conditions.
Despite its importance, EQ alone cannot guarantee success. A combination of IQ and EQ is needed to give our children a fair crack at overcoming the adversities of life.
Take for instance the transformational leader. That type of leader would require a high IQ to ensure that they have a profound understanding of the functions they carry out. However, to "rally the troops" to take on any task, the leader would inspire, influence and intellectually stimulate the team to work towards a collective goal. Thus, IQ and EQ both significantly affect future success. We should not place the importance of one over the other. We should place the loadings on both equally. Through this form of nurturing, our children would be able to use EQ to support the development of IQ and move along the trajectory of being the best that they can be.
Bachelor of Arts Psychology and Neuroscience
Bachelor of Business Economic and Finance