What Is Social Intelligence?

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Daniel Goleman, author of the book Social Intelligence, explains why human beings are hard-wired to connect, and how those connections can actually change our biology.

Listen to Daniel Golemen on Is Social Intelligence More Useful Than IQ?

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“Social intelligence shows itself abundantly in the nursery, on the playground, in barracks and factories and salesrooms, but it eludes the formal standardized conditions of the testing laboratory.” So observed Edward Thorndike, the Columbia University psychologist who first proposed the concept, in a 1920 article in Harper’s Monthly Magazine. Thorndike noted that such interpersonal effectiveness was of vital importance for success in many fields, particularly leadership. “The best mechanic in a factory,” he wrote, “may fail as a foreman for lack of social intelligence.”

Now, almost a century later, “social intelligence” has become ripe for rethinking as neuroscience begins to map the brain areas that regulate interpersonal dynamics...

Continue reading Daniel Goleman's article: What Is Social Intelligence?

Further Reading

Social intelligence is the capacity to know oneself and to know others is an inalienable a part of the human condition as is the capacity to know objects or sounds, and it deserves to be investigated no less than these other "less charged" forms. Social scientist Ross Honeywill believes social intelligence is an aggregated measure of self- and social-awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change. Psychologist, Nicholas Humphrey believes that it is social intelligence, rather than quantitative intelligence, that defines who we are as humans.

The original definition by Edward Thorndike in 1920 is "the ability to understand and manage men and women and boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations". It is equivalent to interpersonal intelligence, one of the types of intelligence identified in Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, and closely related to theory of mind. Some authors have restricted the definition to deal only with knowledge of social situations, perhaps more properly called social cognition or social marketing intelligence, as it pertains to trending socio-psychological advertising and marketing strategies and tactics. According to Sean Foleno, social intelligence is a person’s competence to optimally understand one's environment and react appropriately for socially successful conduct. It is important to note the multiple definitions listed above, as there is yet to be a complete consensus on the operational definition of social intelligence...

Continue reading the Wikipedia article on Social Intelligence

Related Topics

If you’re interested in social intelligence, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

 Confidence | Empathy | Intelligence | Persuasion | Psychology

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