High Emotional Intelligence Linked with Better Decision-making Abilities

I think society has placed too much emphasis on IQ.  Educators use it as an indicator of future success and we as a general populous often associate a high IQ with high intelligence and future success.  But having a high IQ doesn’t always mean that you make the best decisions concerning your life.  But you know what is linked to good decision-making?  Having a high EI—or emotional intelligence.

Recent research shows that high emotional intelligence is linked to better decision-making abilities.  The said experiment was conducted by Jeremy Yip and Stephane Cote of Yale University and published in Psychological Science.  

The researchers ran two experiments to see how people deal with manufactured emotional states that were completely irrelevant to the decision they had to make at hand.

For example, the researchers asked the experimental participants to prepare an impromptu speech.  But at the same time, the participants were also asked if they would like to sign up to the flu clinic.  The control group was not made anxious but also asked if they would like to sign up for the flu clinic.
[wp_ad_camp_4] The control group had about a 50 percent sign-up rate for the flu clinic.  For the participants in the group that had to prepare the speech, up to 66 percent of the people with high emotional intelligence signed up for the flu clinic whereas only 7 percent of those with low emotional intelligence did.

The high emotional intelligence participants seem to be able to discern that the anxiety they feel about the speech is completely separate and irrelevant to their decision to sign up to the flu clinic.

The study concluded that people with high emotional intelligence make better decisions because they do not let their emotions get in the way of making smart decisions.  One of the reasons for their decision-making prowess is that people with high emotional intelligence tend to have a highly developed “observing ego.”  An observing ego is the part of your brain that lets you observe what you are feeling objectively, without having to react to it.  Think of it as an out-of-body experience with your emotions.

Concerning the study, the authors said this:

“People who are emotionally intelligent don’t remove all emotions from their decision-making…they remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision.”

Essentially those with high emotional intelligence are able to discern what emotions are relevant to their decisions and what emotions are note.  That is why people with high emotional intelligence are able to make better decisions.  The ability to make better decisions daily is a key component to have success in their personal and professional lives.  The cited research makes a good case for developing emotional intelligence in kids (instead of book smarts) if you want them to be successful later in life.

About the author

Examined Existence Team