Psychology of Emotions: The key theories and concepts of social cognition are covered in this article. We’ll see that intelligence encompasses more than simply being rational, thus it extends beyond only logic and reasoning to include the ability to comprehend emotions, both our own and those of others. We’ll examine how certain findings, like the discovery of mirror neurons, along with the discovery of some key theories, like the theory of mind, have fundamentally altered how we currently think about and research people’s capacity to comprehend the emotions of others.
We’ll focus on how the discovery of mirror neurons and the theory of mind led researchers to hypothesise that, in addition to our minds, our bodies may play a significant role in our ability to understand the emotions of others (Psychology of Emotions). You will therefore be in a position by the end of this week where you are highly familiar with these basic theories of social cognition and the supporting literature.
Logic and reasoning abilities alone cannot describe an individual’s intellect. There are other sorts of intelligence that deal with a person’s capacity to manage both their own and other people’s emotions.
We’ll see how this characteristic can encompass a wide range of social and emotional abilities, as well as how our social cognition abilities—specifically, how we see our own bodies—can have an impact on how we live our daily lives.
Abraham Maslow originally discussed emotional aptitudes in 1950. The phrase “emotional intelligence” appears to have first been used in a study by Michael Beldoch in 1964. The hypothesis of many bits of intelligence was first introduced in Howard Gardner’s 1983 book Frames of Mind, which argues that conventional measures of intelligence, like IQ, fall short in explaining cognitive aptitude.
When he first proposed the concept of multiple intelligences, interpersonal intelligence—the ability to comprehend the intents, motivations, and desires of others—was also included. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to recognise and understand one’s own thoughts, feelings, and motives.
The ability to recognise one’s own emotions as well as those of others, to differentiate between various emotions and assign them the proper labels, to use emotional information to direct thinking and behaviour, and to modify emotions to adapt to the environment is referred to as emotional intelligence, emotional quotients, or emotional intelligence quotient.
The phrase was first used in 1964, but it only became widely known after scientific journalist Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book Emotional Intelligence was published in 1995.
Goleman described emotional intelligence as the range of abilities and traits that underpin effective leadership. Being aware of emotions enables one to observe them, live in harmony with them, and avoid interacting with them. Daniel Goleman claims that there are five elements that make up emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy, and social skills.
The capacity to recognise and comprehend one’s own moods, feelings, and desires as well as how they affect others is a crucial aspect of self-awareness. Self-assurance, realistic self-evaluation, and a self-deprecating sense of humour are characteristics of self-awareness. The capacity to keep track of one’s own emotional state as well as to currently recognise and name one’s feelings are prerequisites for self-awareness.
Daniel Goleman claims that self-regulation, which includes the capacity to restrain one’s judgement and deliberate before acting, as well as the ability to divert negative impulses and moods, is also a part of emotional intelligence. Trustworthiness, integrity, comfort with ambiguity, and openness to change are hallmarks.
Internal motivation is a drive to work for internal motivations that go beyond money and status, which are external rewards like an inner vision of what is important in life, joy in doing something, interest in learning, and a flow that comes from being involved in an activity. A tendency to pursue goals with vigour and persistence that originate internally rather than outside is known as internal motivation. A strong desire to succeed, optimism in the face of setbacks, and organisational commitment are characteristics.
Emotions give us information about how the person we are interacting with views the circumstance, our own behaviour, and their intended course of action (Psychology of Emotions). The goal of emotional signals is to change the social environment by motivating the behaviour of the other person, such as encouraging an approach or discouraging avoidance in the observer.
Quick processing of the other person’s facial expressions is crucial for quick and effective social interaction, especially when those expressions indicate a potential threat in the environment, like fearful faces. Even when the face is perceived subconsciously, we can quickly and easily recognise facial expressions in less than a second.
Our body’s signals have a big impact on how we think (Psychology of Emotions). According to the hypothesis of “embodied cognition,” not just our brain but also the entire nervous system shapes many elements of cognition, whether it be in humans or other organisms. High-level mental constructions like concepts and categories as well as proficiency in specific cognitive tasks like judgement or reasoning are examples of cognitive traits.