IQ vs EQ. Are they Correlated?

Thinking Skills Mind Mapping Starter KitA student of mine recently asked whether there is a correlation between so-called EQ and IQ?

So what is EQ? Actually my delegate meant EI, or emotional Intelligence, as discussed in a doctoral dissertation by William Payne in the 1980s and popularised by Daniel Goleman in the mid-90s.

EI has been defined as having to do with perceiving, understanding, managing and using the emotions. We know that the Amygdala is deeply involved in processing emotions.

IQ as you know has to do with the ability to solve the kind of problems that face a student or academic. We know this is what the neocortex is about.

IQ, proposed by psychologist William Stern in 1912, is generally measured with standardised IQ tests developed by Raven, Wechsler, Stanford,  Binet and others.

It has been used to predict scholastic achievement, job-performance and even income.

Did you know that the average IQ score from many countries has been rising at around 3 points per decade since the early 1900s? That’s about 33 points. See, we are getting cleverer. This is called the Flynn effect .

It has been believed that fluid intelligence generally declines of age while crystallised intelligence remains intact. This view has been challenged by recent studies on meditating subjects who demonstrated increases in fluid intelligence even in later life.

So are EI and IQ correlated?

Apparently not! Which surprised me. Part of the problem is that there are no standardised ways to measure EI.

But thinking about it, EI or EQ is a very different idea from IQ. One measures abilities related to academic performance and the other related to life skills. You may want to have a look at Andrew Weaver’s well reasoned post here.

Another useful link is here. The conclusion of this writer is that it depends how you measure EI. If you use self-report measures correlations with IQ are very low, while if you use ability-based measures the correlations are slightly higher.

My view is:  to hell with IQ, EQ is the thing that matters.

But to pass that exam leading to the higher qualification, you need IQ.

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