Understanding the MBTI ® and Personality Type
An exploration of Emotions, Feeling & Emotional Intelligence
By Ross Reinhold, INTJ
“What’s your child’s EQ?” may soon rival the importance of IQ to parents and educators. EQ stands for Emotional Quotient and is the measurement equivalent of what is called “emotional intelligence” . . . or EI for short.
Reflecting this rising interest in the subject, a recent issue of the Bulletin for Psychological Type (Vol. 29, No.3 2006) had a series of articles on Emotional Intelligence and its relationship to personality type. One of the reasons people in the type community are interested in EQ is that the language of EQ frequently makes reference to feelings and identifies desirable EQ traits, like empathy, that are frequently correlated with the Jungian mental function of Feeling. On the surface it seems like there should be some compatibility between the models and in particular with Feeling judgment. But when I delved into this subject more deeply, I came away with a different conclusion. This nosing around Emotional Intelligence prompted me to pick up a related topic that has piqued my curiosity: the relationship of emotion to Jung-Myers mental function of Feeling.
What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?
Many, including the contributors to Wikipedia, believe EI is rooted in a theory of “Multiple Intelligences” originally developed by psychologist Howard Gardner. Gardner believed the traditional IQ test and related measures of learning ability failed to capture the full range of human intelligence. His interest in this subject lead to his developing a "Theory of Multiple Intelligences" (1983) in which he identified what he believed were seven primary intelligences. Some intelligences were similar to the conventional concept of "intelligence" but others touched upon talents not commonly associated with IQ. Among these non-traditional "IQ concepts" were “interpersonal” and “intrapersonal” intelligences.
Several years after Gardner, another psychologist, Daniel Goleman, explored this same territory in his 1996 book "Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ". Goleman essentially re-organized two of Gardner’s intelligences under the umbrella of emotional intelligence and then sub-divided this concept into four primary areas of competence:
Goleman’s book, coupled with an article on the same subject in Time magazine by Nancy Gibbs, is credited with helping launch a much wider interest in this subject beyond the field of psychology among: public educators, organizational development professionals, management coaches, life coaches, and others who find the theme of emotional intelligence pleasing. It should be noted that while Goleman has garnered much of the credit for popularizing this idea, he was joined (and in some cases preceded) in this effort by a number of other psychologists plowing the same fields.
Since 1995, there have been subsequent books and articles, the development by Goleman of an EQ inventory, and the development by others (Mayer, et. al.) of similar proprietary emotional intelligence instruments purporting to measure this newly discovered form of intelligence. A growing movement has been launched; it floats; it is in vogue! Success in life and in many fields is dependent upon this intelligence. Managers need it; teachers need it; people need it.
Given this attention, I thought it appropriate to explore in greater depth the connection of EI to Type and a related theme of how “emotion” relates to Feeling Judgment.
Is Emotional Intelligence related to Feeling, yet something distinctly
different and unrelated to Jung-Myers Thinking?
® MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Meyers Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries (aka meyers briggs or myers briggs).
*The Bulletin of Psychological Type is published by the Association for Psychological Type, a membership organization for persons interested in advancing the practical application of psychological type. Information about publication and membership can be obtained here.