Seniors and Emotional Intelligence

October 10, 2016



Emotional intelligence has not been known for a long time; however, it has already become one of the most discussed topics among scientists of different fields. After Daniel Goleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence” saw the light in 1995, it has been translated into thirty languages and the talk about the phenomenon never stops.

In accordance with the psychologists John Mayer (the University of New Hampshire)? and Peter Salovey (the University of Yale) , EI ? or emotional intelligence, is something that can bring one’s social skills to an absolutely new level.

Major characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person are:

  • ability to understand emotions of others, interpret meanings and use this knowledge to their advantage;
  • it is easier for such a person to deal with various emotionally-related problems;
  • emotionally intelligent person has good verbal skills;
  • he or she also is open and communicative;
  • teaching and counselling, as well as any occupations that involve communication are more preferable for such people;
  • Self-destructive behaviours are not something that emotionally intelligent people are prone to;
  • etc.

According to the above mentioned book as well as various researches, EI (EQ) is quite essential for achieving success in life. Surely, it is quite hard to estimate a certain level of EI in some given person, especially if you take into consideration that it can change with age. One thing is for sure ? it looks like that EI will be no lees important indicator than IQ in the nearest future.

Surely, there are different points of view on the account, and Daniel Goleman comes into disagreement here with John Mayer who at some point writes that ?In fact, we have tried to explain why such claims are unrealistic in a number of ways.” More interesting information about their researches can be found on John Mayer’s website.



There has also been an interesting research on the account carried out by Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network .

It’s title is ?Age and Emotional Intelligence?, carried by Lorenzo Fariselli, Massimiliano Ghini and Joshua Freedman.

The researchers are trying to figure out the following issues:

  • whether age and EI are related?
  • do elderly people really get more emphatic, wiser, better at self-management and etc?
  • in what areas of EI the effect is higher?
  • are there spheres of EI that do not improve with age?
  • can training of EI help?


The study used 405 Americans between 22 and 70 years old. It showed that EQ increases slightly with age. In the course of the study the statistical method called Linear Regression was used.

It was focused on three macro areas:


  • Know Yourself (self-awareness)
  • Choose Yourself (self-management)
  • Give Yourself (self-direction)


The outcome of the researcher showed that ?older people are slightly more likely to be higher in emotional intelligence. The finding suggests emotional intelligence is a developing ability; it is likely that accumulated life experiences contribute to EQ.? The conclusion of the research indicates that better results would, perhaps, bring a clearer picture of the relationship between age and EQ. One thing is for sure ? that the statement about wisdom coming with age is ?overstated?.



It looks like that age does not necessarily always brings us more self-awareness or self-control or ability to empathize or communicate better. With EQ it is more about developing all these skills consciously over the years.



Full text of the research ?Age and Emotional Intelligence? can be found here.


Text by: Natallia Tsahelnik

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