A Brief History of Emotional Intelligence

  • 1930s - Edward Thorndike describes the concept of "social intelligence" as the ability to get along with other people.

  • 1940s - David Wechsler suggests that affective components of intelligence may be essential to success in life.

  • 1950s - Humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow describe how people can build emotional strength.

  • 1975 - Howard Gardner publishes The Shattered Mind, which introduces the concept of multiple intelligences.

  • 1985 - Wayne Payne introduces the term emotional intelligence in his doctoral dissertation entitled "A study of emotion: developing emotional intelligence; self-integration; relating to fear, pain and desire (theory, structure of reality, problem-solving, contraction/expansion, tuning in/coming out/letting go)."

  • 1987 - In an article published in Mensa Magazine, Keith Beasley uses the term "emotional quotient." It has been suggested that this is the first published use of the term, although Reuven Bar-On claims to have used the term in an unpublished version of his graduate thesis.

  • 1990 - Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer publish their landmark article, "Emotional Intelligence," in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.

  • 1995 - The concept of emotional intelligence is popularized after publication of psychologist and New York Times science writer Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. (About.com)

Sirje Virkus, Tallinn University, 2009