EQ vs. IQ

What is IQ ?

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was historically defined by the ratio between your measured mental age and your actual age. For example, if you were 20 years old but had a tested mental age of 30, then you would have an IQ of 150. This is calculated as 30/20 * 100.

However, now IQ is measured using a variety of different benchmarks and the concept that it's related to actual chronological age isn't quite as important.

eq vs iq EQ vs. IQ

What is intelligence ?

A standard dictionary definition is that it is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. The emphasis is on both aspects and the ability to learn is no more important that the ability to apply. Throughout history, the people that society (perhaps eventually) consider to be intelligent are not necessarily the people that can amass knowledge but those that can apply it. This may be partly because those people are the ones that have ultimately created something such as Einstein and have therefore become famous. But it's also that accumulation of knowledge in itself is not intelligence unless the ability to apply that knowledge is also achieved.

This doesn't necessarily define intelligence of course. Someone who can learn the names of every character in the Star Wars films wouldn't necessarily be regarded as intelligent. The ability to become highly skilled in a single area of knowledge isn't therefore always considered to be a measure of general intelligence. There is therefore perhaps a concept that true intelligence is not just about depth of knowledge but breadth of knowledge. Or perhaps more accurately, intelligence is the ability to learn across a range of subjects and be able to understand.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a relatively new concept. As discussed on other pages on this website, emotional intelligence is a measure of how well someone can read or interpret their own and other people's emotions. There's some discussion as to whether the word intelligence should be used in this context. However, if the definition is applied that intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge then emotional intelligence is a good phrase. The ability to acquire the knowledge of how to manage social situations, how to understand your own emotions and manage them are a measure of intelligence. It is a different intelligence but intelligence all the same.

EQ vs. IQ

Therefore, the two intelligence quotients should be considered to be of equal value. Part of the reason they are perhaps not considered this way is because of the difficulties in testing emotional intelligence. It is relatively easy to try to test IQ. There are plenty of 'aptitude' tests that can be taken and the results are then compared to others to gain a relative performance. The tests can be varied and can include everything from a general understanding of concepts to the ability to recognise trends or solve problems. The question is whether these tests in themselves are really a complete picture of a person's intelligence and without the additional of EQ, then real intelligence is not being measured.

True intelligence is EQ + IQ

Consider a simple scenario and an example that many people are likely to be able to relate to - visiting the doctor. To become a doctor isn't easy. It requires a lot of study and without question, it requires the ability to learn and then apply. It might be worth adding a caveat that to be a 'good doctor' there is a requirement to learn and apply. But anyone who has visited a doctor will know that in reality the ability to diagnose is only a part of the skill. A good doctor will also possess substantial skills in being able to get to the information they need as well. A patient may be reluctant to talk in detail about a topic. They may not even consider that saying a small detail is important to the diagnosis. The ability - the emotional intelligence - of a doctor is required to break down any barriers. Without all the information, it is impossible to make a correct diagnosis. Additionally, the way and method of then speaking to the patient about the way forward is vital. A good doctor will know what needs to be done but a doctor with a high emotional quotient is likely to be far more able to get the patient to do it.

This scenario can be played out everywhere. Even in the most theoretical fields of science, the emotional skill to convince others, to persuade others and perhaps even to teach others is essential.

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