Daniel Goleman Reframes the Intelligence Debate

Psychologist and Science Journalist

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. Working as a science journalist, Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half.
Goleman’s latest book is Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. The book argues that new information technologies will create “radical transparency,” allowing us to know the environmental, health, and social consequences of what we buy. As shoppers use point-of-purchase ecological comparisons to guide their purchases, market share will shift to support steady, incremental upgrades in how products are made – changing every thing for the better.
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, was published in 2006. Social intelligence, the interpersonal part of emotional intelligence, can now be understood in terms of recent findings from neuroscience. Goleman’s book describes the many implications of this new science, including for altruism, parenting, love, health, learning and leadership.

  • Transcript


Question: What is the relationship between IQ and success?

Daniel Goleman: Yeah.  The key point is that the way we’ve been thinking about intelligence as just academic intelligence, just IQ, does us a great disservice.  Because IQ turns out to be a very strong predictor of what job you can get in hold.  But interestingly, once you’re in that job, you know, once you’re a lawyer, once you’re a nurse, once you’re a, you know, salesperson, it fails to predict how well you will do within that job.  Why?  Because then, what matters is how you handle yourself and how you handle your relationships.  Everybody else is as smart as you are.  So there’s a floor effect, basically, for IQ.  So what we should understand is that success in life, not just in career but in your personal life, depends to great extent on these set of abilities and because it does, we should pay attention to nurturing them, to helping kids get it right in the first place.