The IQ Vs EQ debate is decades old. The common belief is that a high IQ has a direct relationship with the circumstances you go through in life. That is, you get paid well, are more healthy, and lead a highly successful life.
The general rule says that your IQ predicts your success. Accordingly, if you can use logic and reason to answer questions, see things coming, and have a sharp memory, you’re a winner in life.
So are we saying that high IQ is destiny? If you go by what psychologists say about intelligence, this is not true. High IQ is no guarantee of prosperity, prestige, or happiness in your life.
Daniel Goleman, the internationally known psychologist, in his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ openly challenges this common belief. He says that your IQ contributes just 20% to the factors that determine your life success. The remaining 80% contribution is made by some other forces.
That is, there are other sets of characteristics that you must have to be successful. These could be:
Unfortunately, despite psychologists saying it otherwise, IQ, grades, and SAT scores still remain popular indicators of an individual’s success. The ace universities and companies across the world still test candidates only for their IQ. And outrightly ignore the non-IQ factors like persistence, self-control, luck, etc.
IQ Vs EQ Debate
IQ Vs EQ: The Difference Between IQ and EQ
What is EQ?
Emotional Quotient (EQ), also known as Emotional Intelligence (EI), refers to the ability of people to recognize, understand, and perceive emotions in day-to-day life. Thus, it includes recognizing, understanding, and managing ones’ own emotions as well as identifying, interpreting, and responding to the emotions of others.
Daniel Goleman, a science journalist, psychologist, and author of the best-selling book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ groups the EI skills into four categories:
Emotional Intelligence Skills
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize one’s feelings as they come. Being able to check one’s own feelings from time-to-time is one of the important emotional intelligence skills in understanding oneself. Not being able to recognize one’s true feelings makes one a slave to his feelings. For these feelings easily take control over and compel one to behave irrationally.
Self-management involves managing one’s own emotions. However, you first need to be aware of your feelings to be able to truly manage them. Self-management includes the capacity to be able to calm oneself down, get rid of frustration, anxiety, anger, sadness, etc in times of distress. You can check our video on how to control anger in the links below.
So, those who lack the ability to manage their emotions have to continuously deal with feelings of distress. On the other hand, those who are able to manage their emotions well recover quickly from life’s misfortunes. Furthermore, such people are able to exercise self-control. That is control their impulses and delay gratification.
They achieve the state of flow and are better able to focus on anything they do and achieve outstanding performance Such people are highly productive and efficient in whatever they do.
Social awareness is the ability that extends from self-awareness. It includes empathy, the capacity to understand the emotions of other individuals. To be able to empathize is an important emotional intelligence social skills and breeds altruism. People who are able to empathize with others understand what others need. Also, such individuals do really well in professions like teachings, sales, etc.
Relationship management is one of the other important EI skills. Individuals with such skills are good at managing relationships with others. This emotional intelligence skill extends from empathy. Furthermore, the ability to manage relationships is a skill common across people who are popular, good leaders, and have good interpersonal skills.
What is IQ?
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a measure of intelligence that takes into consideration a child’s mental age as well as chronological age. Chronological age refers to the actual age of the child taking the intelligence test. Whereas, the intelligence at a mental age means a typical level of intelligence found for people at a given chronological age.
Typically, people having a mental age equal to the chronological age have an IQ of 100. However, if chronological age is more than the mental age, people have a below-average IQ (below 100). Furthermore, if the mental age exceeds the chronological age in people, they are bound to have an above-average IQ (i.e. above 100).
Thus, IQ tests were developed in order to select students for admission in schools and universities. Stanford Binet is one of such IQ tests that was developed to identify children who had serious intellectual difficulties in school. This test measured students’ intelligence on parameters necessary for their success in school. These included:
- verbal reasoning
- quantitative reasoning
- abstract or visual reasoning
- short term memory
Understanding IQ Vs EQ Debate
There are times when even the brightest among us tend to behave irrationally. We hear instances of people pulling triggers, losing self-control, abusing physically and verbally, despite having high IQs.
Such moments of the irrationality of the smartest compel us to question our limited notion of intelligence. They bring forth the inability of high IQ, grades, and academic intelligence to tell anything about the emotional life of such individuals. That is, whether such individuals have the requisite emotional intelligence skills and preparation to deal with the challenges of life.
Psychologists are of the view that academic intelligence and high IQ at best tell you about one’s achievement as measured by grades. People with high IQ might be wealthy, happy, well-paid, etc as compared to people with low IQ. But this may not always be the case.
Thus, apart from IQ, there are other skill sets that you need to possess to have a successful life. These are emotional intelligence skills that, at times, matter even more than IQ.
Furthermore, emotional intelligence skills can be taught to children to prepare them to take up real-life challenges.
So those who challenge that IQ can’t be changed, as per Daniel Goleman, important emotional intelligence skills can be learned and improved upon by children. These skills will help them make all the difference in their life. However, this can happen only if parents, schools, and educational institutions put an effort to teach it to children.
Let’s have a look at some of the studies undertaken by well-known psychologists to understand why Emotional Quotient matters?
A study by Lewis Terman
Lewis Terman, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, was a specialist in testing intelligence. He decided to conduct a study wherein he tested the IQ of around 2,50,000 students studying in California’s elementary schools. As a part of the study, he asked teachers to list the brightest students in their classes and give them an intelligence test. Further, students who scored in the top 10% were given a second IQ test. And those who scored above 130 were given a third IQ test.
Thus, Lewis selected the best as well as the brightest students after the results were declared. 1470 children had IQs more than 140 and ranged as high as 200. Thus, he named such a group of young geniuses as termites. These students became the subject of his study as Lewis tracked, tested, measured, and analyzed their achievements over life.
Lewis believed that the termites were destined to be the future elite of the United States. But, Lewis committed an error of considering that termites would be highly successful given they had an extraordinarily high IQ. This error became pretty evident when the subjects grew older. None of his subjects were nationally known figures. They earned good incomes but those were not extraordinary huge sums of money. Most of them pursued ordinary careers. Furthermore, a good number of termites ended up in careers that even Terman considered to be failures.
As noted in the above case, academic intelligence tells you nothing about how people would deal with the practicalities of life. The level of IQ a person has does not authenticate that he has the capability to face the turmoil that practicalities of life bring.
Furthermore, having a high IQ does not guarantee that a person would prosper, have high prestige in society, or lead a happy life. But our culture and education system focuses on the academic capabilities of a person, ignoring the other factors responsible for success. These include social, cultural, luck, and traits like emotional intelligence.
Out of all, emotional intelligence plays a key part in defining a person’s destiny. Like another set of skills, emotional competencies can be learned. Thus, a person who is highly skilled in handling emotional life would prosper. However, a person having an equal intellect but a lesser capability to handle emotional life would flounder.
Therefore, emotional intelligence includes a set of competencies that determine how skillfully we can use other talents like raw intellect.
There are various spheres in life where IQ is highly rewarded. These include placements in companies like Google or Microsoft that measure the cognitive abilities of the prospective employees on the very belief that those with high IQ have the greatest potential.
However, there is a lot of evidence that signifies that people with high emotional aptitude are successful in every domain of life. Such people have the capability to become aware and manage their own emotions. Further, they also understand the feelings of other people and know how to deal with them effectively.
As a result, people with high EQ are successful in maintaining personal and professional relationships. Such people are more likely to be happy and effective in their lives. They know how to control their emotional mind and hence are highly productive. Whereas people with low emotional quotient keep fighting with their emotions and hence are not able to focus on their work.
Study By Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner, a psychologist at Harvard School of Education, developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) and initiated Project Spectrum, a curriculum that promotes a variety of intelligence.
As per the MI theory, Gardner emphasized that an individual possesses eight or more types of intelligence. Each of this intelligence can be used by a person individually or corporately in order to create products and solve problems appropriate to the society. These include linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence.
However, traditional schools only focus on two of these that is linguistic and logical-mathematical.
Thus, he asserted that the greatest contribution to a child’s development can be to help him choose a field that matches his talents rather than forcing him to follow the stereotypical path.
Further, Gardner’s theory signified that the tests taken in school tested only a limited set of a person’s capabilities. Such tests fail to showcase the other range of emotional intelligence skills and capabilities that play a great role beyond IQ.
So, when Spectrum students were evaluated on the Stanford Binet intelligence skills, their scores on two tests did not have any significant relationship. Students with the highest IQs had a different set of strengths when tested by the Spectrum Test. Thus, Gardner concluded that the Stanford Binet intelligence scale showcasing IQ levels of students did not provide any information in respect of probability of performance of students in areas covered by project Spectrum.
IQ Vs EQ: Is EQ Better Than IQ?
High IQ is certainly an advantage. Initially, IQ was considered as the sole predictor of success. High IQ individuals were deemed to accomplish and succeed in life. Not only that, it was believed that IQ cannot be changed, neither by education nor by experience. However, eventually, researchers realized that this rule is rather a narrow view of intelligence.
Studies revealed that having IQ is no guarantee of success. This is because IQ fails to consider another set of competencies that individuals can build on so as to accomplish in life. But despite the studies, top-level educational institutions and corporations still test the candidates for logical-mathematical and linguistic skills.
IQ still remains a popular predictor of how well a person would do in life. A high IQ individual usually does academically well, earns good money, and is happier.
However, researchers and psychologists reveal that IQ is not the sole factor that determines success. There are a number of other characteristics that contribute to your personal success. This set of characteristics form part of EQ (Emotional Quotient) or Emotional Intelligence.
For instance, people who are emotionally intelligent become good leaders, sales representatives, teachers, social workers. etc. Skills like perseverance, self-control, and understanding the needs of others are crucial for such roles.
Thus, where IQ is all about reading and math skills, Emotional Quotient is about life skills. Not only that, EQ skills can be learned and improved if taught. This is done by imparting emotional literacy.
Why is Emotional Literacy Important?
The term ‘Emotional Literacy’ was given by Claude Steiner in 1979. As per Claude Steiner, ‘Emotional Literacy’refers to handling emotions in a way that improves your personal power and improves the quality of life for you. And most important the quality of life of the people around you. Emotional literacy helps your emotions to work for you and not against you.”
In current times, we hear instances of smart people behaving irrationally and losing self-control when in the grip of emotions. More than poor math and reading grades, teachers today are concerned about the rising emotional illiteracy in school children. They are of the view that governments are putting much effort to raise the academic standards of educational institutions. However, not much is being done towards imparting emotional literacy to school children.
So, what price are the modern-day adolescents and teens paying for the lack of emotional literacy?
- They are witnessing higher rates of anxiety and depression. All thanks to the increasing trend of nuclear families, individualism, and falling faith in religion. The result is a loss of support from extended families and communities which earlier helped people in coming out of failures and setbacks.
- They are more prone to have eating disorders like obsessing about their weight and what they eat or bingeing followed by methods to avoid weight gain. This is found common in young girls who could not distinguish between different feelings they go through and control them. This lack of awareness of their emotions made them react negatively to minor setbacks of life. Thus, a lack of emotional awareness together with a negative reaction to minor difficulties leads them to be dissatisfied with their bodies.
- There is an increased rate of school drop -out in children who feel lonely and helpless. Children who are rejected by their fellow mates feel socially incompetent. These social rejects are poor in reading social and emotional signals. So, even if they understand the emotional signals, they may not respond in a way that may make others feel good or want to be with them.
- Those emotionally distressed have increased chances of getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. Consuming alcohol and drugs is taken as self-medication to soothe anxiety, depression, and feeling of melancholy.
Which is Better IQ Or EQ?
IQ only measures our intelligence potential. Having a high IQ is not enough for success in life. You need to have a strong resolute in order to achieve success. Besides this, you need to be sociable and empathetic to build a network of helpful people. All this is possible with having a high Emotional Quotient. People with high EQ have self-control, are better able to manage their relationships, and recover from failures quite well. Thus, EQ is more important than IQ.
What is the Difference Between EQ and IQ?
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a measure of intelligence that takes into consideration a child’s mental age as well as chronological age. It measures IQ Skills like verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstractor visual reasoning, and short-term memory. Whereas, EQ, also known as Emotional Intelligence (EI), refers to the ability of people to recognize, understand, and perceive emotions in day-to-day life. Thus, it includes recognizing, understanding, and managing ones’ own emotions as well as identifying, interpreting, and responding to the emotions of others. Thus Emotional Intelligence Skills include Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management.
Is EQ More Important Than IQ in the Workplace?
Employers are beginning to shift their focus from IQ to EQ skills as a result of numerous studies that reveal the importance and benefits of emotional intelligence, especially in the workplace. This does not mean that IQ skills do not matter at all for great performance in the workplace. However, as per Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman 2.0, EQ gives you certain skill sets that help you to stand out in the fields where such capabilities make the most difference. For instance, leadership is one such area where EQ overpowers IQ. This is because people with high EQ are calm, empathetic, able to solve problems and make thoughtful decisions.
Are IQ and EQ Mutually Exclusive?
Though IQ still remains a key determinant in the path of success. However, various statutory bodies, as well as nations, have begun to promote Emotional Intelligence as an important part of their educations programs. They are of the view that preparing students with technical or academic skills alone is not enough for them to achieve success and well-being. They also need to work on attaining social and emotional skills like perseverance, empathy, mindfulness, courage, or leadership. Thus, IQ and EQ are mutually exclusive. The key to success is having a combination of both IQ and EQ.
Does High IQ Mean Low EQ?
It is typically suggested that people with high IQ usually have a low EQ. As per Relly Nadler, Steve Jobs’ IQ outshined his EQ. He had various traits that were ‘Derailers’ from having a good EQ. Like he lacked impulse control, was inflexible, a perfectionist, and was too hard on people. But he had certain EQ Skills that led him to be one of the most influential figures in modern times. These skills included vision, confidence, and change catalyst. Another study revealed that some basic level of general intelligence (IQ) is necessary for being emotionally intelligent. This is because a certain set of cognitive abilities are required to understand others and drive the social world. So, we cannot conclude that people with High IQ have a low EQ as well.