Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com

Critical Review of Daniel Goleman p. 1, p.2, p3
* under re-construction *

How he misled the public; Notes from his books; Copies of some his articles, Notes on his background

Articles about Goleman | Reviews of Goleman's writing | Articles by Goleman | EI Consortium | Table of Contents page 2 | Page 3
My Criticism of Goleman

Introduction

How Goleman misled the public

Criticism of 1995 book Emotional Intelligence

How Goleman manipulates his readers

Excerpts from the education chapter in his 95 book

Criticism of 1998 book, "Working with Emotional Intelligence

Criticism of his comments for the Harvard Business Review

Criticism of his 1995 "EI" test in UTNE magazine

Goleman's Endorsement of Drugs

Examples of Goleman's self-promotion


Notes from his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence

Others' Criticism of Goleman

Review of "Working with Emotional Intelligence" by Robert J. Sternberg

Criticism by David Caruso

Robert Sternberg's letter in the American Psychological Assoc.'s APA Monitor

Criticism by Seymour Epstein

Criticism by Matthews, Zeidner and Roberts (Authors of Emotional Intelligence: Science or Myth

Robert Sternberg's Criticism in Matthews et al book

Criticism by Catherine Daus and Neal Ashkanasy

A revealing example of Goleman's emotional skills?

* finish sf cron article

 

Table of Contents page 2, page 3

Articles about Goleman Reviews of Goleman's writing Examples of Goleman's Self-Promotion
Promotional Intelligence * Highly recommended reading

xx San Francisco Chronical


Articles by Goleman

A good article on emotional literacy in American schools

1993 article about Mind/Body medicine

More articles by Goleman

Review titled "Emotional Intelligence: When spin meets timing", by Harry Onsman

Review of Emotional Intelligence by Kevin Langdon

Review of Primal Leadership by an Amazon.com reviewer


An example of self-promotion

Books for which he has written forwards

His endorsement of the book Chant and Be Happy

His endorsement of a book called Sexual Intelligence (Goleman says "Sheree Conrad and Michael Milburn bring a much-needed sanity to that confusing and unruly terrain, our sexual lives/"


 

 

Table of Contents, page 3

Notes on Goleman's Background
and Past Writing
   
His writing on altered states of consciousness, meditation, alternate realities, mindfulness

Notes from Goleman's book "The Meditative Mind

What concerns me about the writings

Why Goleman might have developed an interest in Eastern Spirituality

Ram Dass

Comments by Erich Fromm related to Goleman's
"emotional competencies list"

Emotional Intelligence or the Perfect Private Secretary?

Goleman's marketing of the term emotional intelligence
News about Daniel and Tara Bennett-Goleman and a family problem which has become a legal case

 

Archived Items

Jan 22, 2007 - Telling errors in the 1995 Goleman book?

Dec 9 - Dan calling the 80 20 myth preposterous; Anasuya, Dan and India

Oct 11, 2006 - Critique of Dan's new website.

April 21 - Dan's use of the term "Old fashioned"

March 28 - Goleman's endorsement of the use of drugs

Feb 9 - Goleman library, Notes on Annie Paul article

October 2005 - Note on the original intention of the Goleman 1995 book. Was it really intended to be about emotional intelligence?

May 9 - Interesting Comments by Erich Fromm Related to Goleman's "emotional competencies list"

April 17, 2005 - More critique of Goleman's "EI Consortium"

Critique of his "Applesauce" comments

A question for Goleman: How would you describe an emotionally intelligent soldier?

 

Archived Items


 

 


Introduction

The main purpose of this page is to publish my concerns with Goleman and his writing on emotional intelligence. For example, I want to let people know about the differences between his claims and those of the academic theorists and researchers. I also want to open people's eyes about who Dan Goleman may really be behind his public image; what his possible motivations and intentions may be and what his values and beliefs seem to be. I believe it is important for the public to take all of this into consideration when reading Goleman's writings and thinking about his version of emotional intelligence.

Some people who have read this page have written that my crtitique is too personal, but others have thanked me for affirming what they also felt or suspected, or for opening their eyes up so as to help prevent them from being misled in their studies or professions.

Before I begin with those concerns, I want to list the reasons I appreciate his work. For example:

- Without his books it is unlikely you would be visiting this site
- He helped me understand the evolutionary survival value of our emotions
- He has raised awareness of emotions and their importance around the world
- His work led me to get to know
Jack Mayer and David Caruso
- He introduced me to my amygdala, who I have affectionately called "Amy"

S. Hein
Jan 2006


How Goleman misled the public

It is hard to say what Goleman's intentions were when he wrote his book in 1995, but as time goes by it seems to me his intentions were more to persuade people to share his views than to inform them in a truly scientific manner. There is also doubt about whether he was even originally planning to write a book about emotional intelligence. (see this section).

Regardless of his original intentions, I believe that after 1995 Goleman was consciously misleading the public. I say this because after Goleman's book came out Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey began to publicly criticize Goleman. My web page also publically criticized him for his loose definition of the term emotional intelligence. Goleman, though, to my knowledge, has never apologized for anything he has said or written, and never shown much interest in clarifying things. In fact, he simply confused the public more with his 1998 book "Working with Emotional Intelligence." When reading that book, it is much easier to see Goleman's intentions for writing it. His goal was quite obviously to cater to the Fortune 500 type managers so he could establish himself as a highly paid consultant, a goal which I think it's fair to say he achieved.

In any event, here is a list of the ways I believe he has been misleading people, whether deliberately or not. After the list I provide more detail and support for my statements.

1. He makes unsupported claims about the power and predictive ability of emotional intelligence.

2. His own, self-created definition of emotional intelligence includes aspects of personality and behavior which are not correlated to emotional intelligence as it is scientifically defined. He also interchanges terms such as emotional literacy, emotional health, emotional skill, and emotional competency. He never defines any of these other terms, but he equates them all to emotional intelligence.

3. He tries to make us believe he is presenting something new, when in fact much of what he is reporting has been studied for years under personality research.

4. He implies that anyone can learn emotional intelligence and fails to acknowledge either the relatively fixed nature of the personality traits he includes in his definition of EI or the differences in innate potential among individuals.

5. He presents himself as the sole expert in emotional intelligence and fails to give adequate credit to Mayer, Salovey, Caruso and others.

6. He represents his work as "scientific" when it does not hold up to scientific scrutiny.

7. His personal beliefs about what is "appropriate" contradict the academic theory concerning the value of our emotions. He still seems to regard emotions as largely something to be controlled and restrained, rather than something to be valued.

8. He has claimed that his ECI -360 test is the "genuine article" when it comes to testing for emotional intelligence, but no one in the academic community seems to think it is even a measure of EI, let alone the "genuine" one.

9. When he wrote his book in 1995 he wanted us to believe the book was about emotional intelligence, but there is strong evidence that Goleman was not intending to write a book about emotional intelligence when he started writing. It seems much more probable that he was actually writing a book about emotional literacy and then later changed the title of the book to "Emotional Intelligence" so his book would have more sales appeal. See more on this.

Now I will give more detail on some of these.

1. Misleading claims about the power and predictive ability of EI

In his 1995 book Goleman on page 34, told us that IQ only contributes to "at best" 20% of "factors that determine life success." He implies, and let's us believe that EI accounts for the other 80%. Here is one quote from Goleman:

(Goleman being interviewed by John O'Neil, Senior Editor of Educational Leadership)

And you contend that emotional intelligence is just as important as the more familiar concept of IQ?

Both types of intelligence are important, but they're important in different ways. IQ contributes, at best, about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success. That leaves 80 percent to everything else. There are many ways in which your destiny in life depends on having the skills that make up emotional intelligence.

(backup copy)

In fact, because of his misleading statements, many people have made this inaccurate assumption and they are saying things like "scientific research shows that emotional intelligence accounts for 80% of success in work, school and relationships." The truth is there is no research which shows any such thing. See how Goleman says that "IQ contributes, at best, about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success. That leaves 80 percent to everything else" in his interview with the journal Educational Leadership See also my October 2002 editorial

In the 1995 book Goleman also said of emotional intelligence, "...what data exist suggest it can be as powerful, and at times more powerful, than IQ." An obvious reason this claim misleads is that when he wrote the book, the only people doing research on emotional intelligence were John Mayer and Peter Salovey. In 1995 Mayer and Salovey were still investigating whether the concept of emotional intelligence was even scientifically valid, and whether their preliminary tests were reliable. When Goleman made his claim in 1995 Mayer and Salovey had not yet done done any research measuring the correlations between emotional intelligence and anything else. It was not until the late 1990's that such research was begun. Now that the research from several independent scientists has tarted to come in we know that Goleman's claim can not be supported.

Mayer, Salovey and Caruso write:

To the unsophisticated reader, bringing up the "80% unaccounted for variance" suggests that there may indeed be a heretofore overlooked variable that truly can predict huge portions of life success. Although that is desirable, no variable studied in a century of psychology has made such a huge contribution. Models of Emotional Intelligence, p. 412)

and

Goleman suggests that emotional intelligence should predict success at many life tasks at levels higher than r = .45. It is not hard to conclude that at least part of the popular excitement surrounding emotional intelligence is due to these very strong claims. If there were truly a psychological entity that could predict widespread success at such levels, it would exceed any finding in a century of research in applied psychology.Models of Emotional Intelligence, p. 403)

Elsewhere Mayer and Cobb write (in reference to Goleman's 1995 book):

...the book claimed that scientists had discovered a link between high emotional intelligence and "prosocial behavior" and that emotional intelligence was "as powerful, and at times more powerful, than IQ" in predicting success in life. Such claims rapidly entered the educational policy arena. Writing in Educational Leadership, Scherer (1997, p. 5) echoed Goleman by stating "emotional intelligence, more than IQ, ... is the most reliable predictor of success in life and school." (p 163)

When John Mayer wrote to Goleman and offered him a chance to withdraw his misleading claims about the predictive value of emotional intelligence, he replied that:

"... in some life domains emotional intelligence seems to be more highly correlated with a positive outcome than is a measure of IQ. The domains where this can occur are "soft" -- those where, e.g. emotional self-regulation, or empathy may be more salient skills than are purely cognitive abilities, such as health or marital success... In those cases where EI is more salient than IQ, the predicative power for IQ would be lower than usual." Models of Emotional Intelligence, p. 403)

To me, this was a very evasive answer. Also, it sounds like saying, "In those cases where height is more important than IQ, such as dunking a basketball or hanging curtains, height is a better predictor of success than IQ."

Another example of a misleading claim from Goleman's corporate partner, Hay/McBer

...now compelling research indicates that emotional intelligence is twice as important as IQ plus technical skills for outstanding performance. When IQ test scores are correlated with how well people perform in their careers, the highest estimate of how much difference IQ accounts for is about 25%.

from ei.haygroup.com/about_ei

Note: In an interview with Training and Development Magazine Goleman is quoted as saying that the EI "competencies" are "... twice as
important as cognitive ability and technical expertise combined." Training & Development, Oct 1998 v52 n10 p26.

More claims from Hay/McBer

High-EI organizations have greater agility, resilience and focus

High-EI executive teams out-perform business targets by 15-20%

Studies attribute 90% of leadership effectiveness to developable EI competencies

EI makes measurable differences in team effectiveness, technical innovation, and sales productivity

EI raises quality of service transactions and reduces customer defections

from haygroup.com/products_and_services

Goleman's premature and exaggerated claims may be likened to a person who happens to read that someone else is studying a new form of medicine. He does a little more reading, attends a few conferences, takes a few notes, and decides this medicine might be helpful in fighting cancer and a wide variety of other diseases as well. He also sees the value to himself in being the first one to promote the medicine as the world's leading cancer cure and best new discovery of the century. He realizes that if he is established as the "expert" or "guru" of this new medicine, he will be rich and famous, whether or not the medicine ever proves to be effective against cancer or anything else. He is smart enough to know that people are desperate for a cure for cancer, that most of them will not bother to do their own research, and that it will take years before enough tests are done to prove him wrong. By that time he will have already gained his fame and fortune. As long as the medicine does no harm, he has nothing to worry about, except perhaps the loss of his integrity, which he may not value as temporary fame and money in the bank.

In the case of Goleman though, there is harm being done. The harm is that Goleman's self-promotion and unsupportable claims have served to trivialized the serious research which is being done by academic scientists. He has caused people around the world to be increasingly skeptical and cynical of what some believe is simply "another new-age American fad." He has also misled Ph.D. and graduate students around the world who were quick to begin studying what they thought was emotional intelligence after Goleman's two books were published. I have personally corresponded with students who have now invested years of their lives in studying his model of emotional intelligence and have used his personality test (which he has marketed as a test of emotional intelligence-- the ECI 360) as their primary scale to study correlations between emotional intelligence and other variables. I am concerned about how these students will if they realize, or when their research committee informs them, that what they thought they were studying may not actually be emotional intelligence at all, and that the test they were using to measure "EI" is more of a personality test than a test of anything which could justly be called emotional intelligence?

In the summer of 2001, for example, I chatted online with a Ph.D. student from Italy in her final year of research who told me "You are scaring me" when I started to explain the problems with Goleman's conceptualization of emotional intelligence. She told me she was already too heavily invested in using the ECI-360 to change to the MEIS or the MSCEIT, so I recommended that she at least point out the discrepancies between the Goleman conceptualization and the Mayer Salovey model. Whatever became of her, I do not know, but I am afraid she could have run into serious trouble defending her dissertation.

2. Problems With His Definition of EI

Besides equating it with emotional literacy, emotional health, emotional skill, and emotional competency, Goleman uses many different definitions of emotional intelligence. At one point he says it includes such "abilities such as being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one's moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize, and to hope." At other places Goleman equates emotional intelligence with "moral character," (p. 234, 285 of 1995 book), "good citizens," (see source) and "decent human beings" (p. 263 of 1995 book) Here is one quote:

even though a high IQ is no guarantee of prosperity, prestige, or happiness in life, our schools and our culture fixate on academic abilities, ignoring emotional intelligence, a set of traits-some might call it character-that also matters immensely for our personal destiny. p. 36

Goleman even says that the ability to "follow directions" is an "element of emotional intelligence" ( p. 193 of 1995 book)

A report from the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs makes the point that school success is not predicted by a child's fund of facts or a precocious ability to read so much as by emotional and social measures: being self-assured and interested; knowing what kind of behavior is expected and how to rein in the impulse to misbehave; being able to wait, to follow directions, and to turn to teachers for help; and expressing needs while getting along with other children. Almost all students who do poorly in school... lack one or more of these elements of emotional intelligence.

To me, it seems Goleman has come very close to saying that an emotionally intelligent person is one who is an obedient, compliant, unquestioning conformist -- a perfect servant of the state (or corporation).

In another place he says that EI includes social skills like "teamwork, persuasion, leadership, and managing relationships." In the same article he says it is "what we used to call maturity" (http://harvard-magazine.com/issues/so98/path.html)

Here are a few specific reasons why there are serious problems with Goleman's casual definitions:

First, motivation, persistence, impulse control, ability to delay gratification, and the ability to "hope" have never been shown to be part of emotional intelligence with any scientific EI test.

Second, without much effort we can think of common sense reasons why Goleman has misled us in each area.

For example:

Motivation - Picture a fraternity brother who is considering doing something dangerous, even foolhardy. Say he has been challenged to drink 10 bottles of beer in 2 minutes, or to smash a bottle against his head. He might be able to motivate himself to do it, but would this be a sign of emotional intelligence? (For more of my thoughts on the problems with calling motivation a part of emotional intelligence, see my "motivation" page.)

To persist in the face of frustration- Consider a man who is trying to have sex with a woman and is getting more physically aggressive. She has repeatedly told him no. He grows more and more frustrated with her rejection. Would it be emotionally intelligent to persist?

Impulse control - Let's say on the way to visit someone in marketing to deliver a proposal you happen to step into an elevator with the owner of a business. You have the "impulse" to introduce yourself. Would it be emotionally intelligent to stand in silence while the owner gets out on the next floor? Or say you have the impulse to jump up in the water to try to save someone who is drowning. Would it be emotionally intelligent to sit, watch and think about the situation for a minute or two?

Delayed gratification - Under construction....

Here is my old example - I am trying to come up with a better one. One that is less offensive! Please write me if you have a suggestion! Steve

Picture an old, unhappy martyr-like woman who never will accept any favors, help. thanks or compliments. Imagine she is the kind of woman who subtly lays guilt trips on everyone else and by her behavior makes everyone feel uncomfortable and miserable, including herself. She says she is making sacrifices now so she will get her reward in "heaven." She eventually gets cancer, partly from her from her inability to experience joy, happiness and closeness. She carries her behavior and beliefs with her to her grave. Is this what we would call emotionally intelligent?

Hope - Is it more emotionally intelligent to sit and "hope" (or pray) that things will get better? Or to take some constructive action to improve things?

Conscientiousness - On page 479 of their chapter in the Bar-On Handbook, Matthews and Zeidner report that conscientiousness and creativity tend to be negatively correlated. This makes sense of course, but I was pleased to see the research they present. Thus, if we were to say that conscientiousness is a good thing, and that is a factor in emotional intelligence, we would be saying that the more conscientious a person is, the higher his EI. And, according to Goleman, the more "successful" he is. This may indeed be true if you work in a job where following procedures is of high importance - I think of jobs such as in a post office, bank or insurance company. But if you work for an ad agency, or work for yourself, (something which Goleman seems to never address) you might want to be less conscientious and more creative. (For the benefits of emotional creativity, read an excellent chapter in the Bar-On book by William Averill. Here are a few notes from that chapter.)

Several of these have more to do with behavior than with a mental ability. Goleman seems preoccupied, in fact, with behavior. He clearly wants to use his definition of emotional intelligence to promote his personal beliefs about how we "should" behave. Keep in mind that for several years at least, Goleman has been living and working in New York City. If you have ever been to New York City you will know why Goleman takes a Freudian view of human nature. In other words, he believes that we are not much more than aggressive, violent animals who will destroy ourselves if we are not controlled. Keep in mind also that he was raised in the United States, easily one of the most violent and out of control countries in the world, especially among the countries which are materially wealthy by world standards. This helps explain why he believes emotions should be controlled.

Goleman rarely talks of using emotions in a positive way. He doesn't talk about their value to make needed changes in our lives and in the world. Thus, he underestimates the value of our negative feelings. He doesn't even seem to understand why people even have negative feelings or to understand that humans have natural emotional needs or that "success" and being a "star performer" do not necessarily meet our emotional needs.

Goleman also fails to mention that it takes intelligence to know when to act on impulses, when to delay gratification, when to persist in the face of frustration and when not to. It is not as simple as just saying it is emotionally intelligent to behave as Goleman would like us to.

A primary value of intelligence is to aid in making decisions -- decisions which will lead to long term health, happiness and survival. In fact, one might define intelligence as the ability to make such decisions. This is precisely why such decisions are called intelligent decisions. When we are considering our choices we might feel more pessimistic about one of the choices. This is important data to take into consideration. We can analyze why we feel pessimistic and use our rational intelligence to make an informed decision. Sometimes it is smart to allow our pessimistic feelings to guide us away from something. Sometimes it is smart to act on an impulse. Sometimes it is smart to act rather than sit around hoping things will get better.

Goleman says that optimism is a sign of emotional intelligence. But like hope and delayed gratification, one can have too much of a good thing. In other words a person can easily be too optimistic. Think of a father who insists his son will be okay if he plays sports with an injury. The son and the mother are both afraid. The father says optimistically, "He'll be fine. Don't worry." So the son plays and is badly hurt. Or think of someone who puts too much money in a stock feeling optimistic that it will double in value. Instead, the company goes bankrupt.

Robert McCrea writes about the difference between the mental abilities of the Mayer et al model of EI as opposed to personality traits:

The distinction between these abilities and personality traits is sometimes subtle, but it can be drawn. For example, one can be optimistic simply because one has a cheerful disposition (which requires no intelligence of any kind); or one may understand that one can create an optimistic assessment by deliberately calling to mind the chances of success or by summoning social support from others. This process of manipulating one's own emotional state requires a certain degree of psychological mindedness that Mayer and his colleagues deem a form of intelligence. (Handbook of Emotional Intelligence, p. 276)

Also, when we have a true intelligence, it seems clear to me that you can't have "too much" of it. I have never heard of anyone being "too smart." I have heard some people say that others are "too emotionally sensitive," but I disagree with their assessment. I believe that sensitivity is an aspect of emotional intelligence, and that it is only a question of what to do with the increased information that heightened sensitivity gives us.

With regard to how Goleman calls optimism a part of EI, Mayer et al say:

... does it make sense to label a trait such as optimism an "intelligence" because it predicts success (like intelligence)? We wonder whether this makes any more sense than labeling sleepiness an "alcoholic beverage" because, like alcohol, it leads to traffic accidents. Models of Emotional Intelligence, p. 399)

Goleman also calls "flow" a part of emotional intelligence. John Mayer says this is better called an "altered state of consciousness". (Goleman wrote about "flow" and altered states of consciousness in his past writing.)

Goleman likes to include social skills, which he defines in various broad ways, as part of emotional intelligence. Here is one example:

Social Skills: Capacity for acting in such a way that one is able to get desired results from others and reach personal goals. (from eihaygroup.com/resources)

With this definition, it seems anyone who is able to get a gun and rob a bank (i.e. gets the desired result from others and reaches their personal goal ) could qualify as having social skills and emotional intelligence.

Here is another example of how someone has taken Goleman's corporate definition of EI and has expanded it even further to try to capitalize on it. This person claims that he has a test which measures these "13 key areas of emotional intelligence"

Emotional Energy, Stress, Optimism, Self-Esteem, Commitment to Work, Attention to Detail, Desire for Change, Courage, Self-Direction, Assertiveness, Tolerance, Consideration for Others, & Sociability - Source

3. Many of the components of Goleman's original definition of EI and his new corporate definition have already been researched. These include the ability to delay gratification, "flow," optimism, resilience, and empathy. I won't list all the components of his corporate definition because there are simply too many of them. Goleman is trying to pull all of these together in one heading. Seymour Epstein criticizes Goleman sharply for this in this statement.

In their article Emotional Intelligence as Zeitgeist, as Personality, and as a Mental Ability, Mayer, Salovey and Caruso give specific examples of how some of the variables which Goleman claims to be correlated with EI actually are not significantly correlated at all. They support their assertion with several personality research studies. From my review of Mayer et al's work, the only components of Goleman's version of emotional intelligence which actually show a significant positive correlation with the MEIS and MSCIET scores are empathy and the ability to regulate emotions.

Emotional Intelligence as Zeitgeist, as Personality, and as a Mental Ability

4. Throughout his 1995 book Goleman states or implies that anyone can raise their emotional intelligence. He has continued to make this claim in his articles and interviews. Highly respected psychologist Rob

ert McCrae, among others, has spoken out against Goleman's claim that EI is easily learned. In his chapter in the Bar-on Handbook of Emotional Intelligence McCrae first explains how Goleman's mixed model of EI is largely based on unrelated personality factors (see pages 265-266). Then McCrae writes:

... we know a good deal about the origins and development of personality traits. Traits from all five factors [of the "Big Five" personality traits] are strongly influenced by genes and are extraordinarily persistent in adulthood. This is likely to be unwelcome news to proponents of emotional intelligence, who have sometimes contrasted a supposed malleability of emotional intelligence with the relative fixity of traditional IQ. Goleman, for example, was quoted as saying that "people can change from being pessimists to optimists in a matter of weeks." [My emphasis. For citations see page 266.]

On page 34 of his 1995 book Goleman says this of emotional intelligence: "No one can say yet exactly how much of the variability from person to person in life's course it accounts for. But what data exist suggest it can be as powerful, and at times more powerful, than IQ. And while there are those who argue that IQ cannot be changed much by experience or education, I will show in Part Five that the crucial emotional competencies can indeed be learned and improved upon by children -- if we bother to teach them." [my emphasis]

By the way, I noticed Goleman chose his words very carefully. He spoke of the "variability from person to person in life's course" rather than a person's success in life as seems to do when he is promoting the benefits of EI.

But my main point is that here Goleman says we can teach what he calls "crucial emotional competencies". To me, this is similar to saying we can teach all children basic math competencies, such as addition and subtraction. Any math teacher knows, though, that some kids have a progressively harder time when they get to multiplication, then division, then percentages and fractions. Still we can teach most people the concept of "half-off sales" and "40% off". Does this mean that we are teaching them mathematical intelligence though? And even if we can teach virtually all children that 2+2 = 4, does that mean that all children are created equal in their mathematical intelligence potential, and that any difference in their test scores, proficiency or achievement is due to a failure of the teacher and the environment?

I have never seen Goleman even suggest that some people are simply innately more emotionally intelligent than others, something which I believe most day care teachers would easily recognize. This omission seems to be a reflection of Goleman's desire to reject what we know about IQ, and more specifically of his personal political agenda to discredit the research presented in The Bell Curve. From several things Goleman has written I sense that he feels some personal resentment towards someone or some group regarding the issues of IQ and equality. In the US, in particular, these are both highly sensitive issues which trigger many strong feelings. Goleman is smart enough to attempt to mask his feelings behind his ostensibly objective writing and reporting, but they still can be read between the lines. Of course, me, I would never do that!

On this point, it is interesting to note that the way Goleman has defined EI as basically a set of personality traits and behaviors which can be taught, rather than as anything which is innate to us, he precludes the possibility that there can be any inherent inequality when it comes to emotional intelligence. In other words, by the way he has defined it, his version of emotional intelligence is indeed an answer to the Bell Curve.

For an editorial which criticizes the idea of EI being an equalizer see The New Leninism

5. How he is trying to take all the credit for himself

Goleman did not even mention the work of Salovey and Mayer until page 47 of his 1995 book. And in that book he only cited Salovey in the index three times, just once more than he cited Woody Allen, and twice more than he cited his old friend Richard Alpert, who now calls himself Ram Dass.

I am not the only one who has noticed Goleman's failure to give credit. For example, in his review of Working with Emotional Intelligence, Robert Sternberg says:

Goleman was not generous with credit to intellectual antecedents in his earlier book on emotional intelligence. This book helps to remedy the situation, but in a fairly minor way. He now includes a 1.5 page appendix that cites the contributions of Howard Gardner and of Peter Salovey and John Mayer, although some, including me, still are likely to believe that Goleman is less than highly generous with credit.

Also, when I did a search of the Hay Group site, (ei.haygroup.com), the people who Goleman merged his consulting practice with and who Goleman is still partners with, I found no references whatsoever to the work of Mayer, Salovey and Caruso. (And of course they don't have the eqi.org site listed on their links, even though they have several sites with far less information on EI linked.)

6. Misrepresenting his work as "scientific"

In her 1999 article Annie Paul puts it this way:

... while Goleman drew on the prestige of academia, he failed to adhere to its scrupulousness. The original theory only has a nodding acquaintance with the version presented in Goleman's book.

She adds:

...by focusing on personality traits rather than specific interactions between emotions and intelligence, Goleman undermines the book's claims to scientific accuracy.

and in referring to her interview of Jack Mayer on Goleman's unfounded claims she writes:

"The claims made for emotional intelligence were unrelated to anything we have ever claimed," Mayer states flatly. In particular, the assertion that emotional intelligence is more valuable than IQ in predicting success "is nothing that you will ever find in anything we wrote." Goleman arrived at that conclusion himself -- and the methods he used to get there are distinctly unscientific.

(http://www.salon.com/books/it/1999/06/28/emotional/)

For a detailed explanation of how Goleman has misrepresented the science on EI, request the reprints of Models of Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence as Zeitgeist, as Personality, and as a Mental Ability and Selecting a Measure of Emotional Intelligence: The Case for Ability Scale (see http://eqi.org/mayer.htm for reprint info)

7. Contradiction between his personal beliefs about emotion and the academic theory on EI

Close reading of the 1995 book seems to indicate that Goleman does not place a high value on the inherent value of our feelings. Certainly it seems clear to me that he places far less value on them than do the leading academic researchers in the field. Throughout the book an underlying theme is that emotions need to be restrained, tempered, controlled, managed and regulated. He seems to agree with the quote "Rule your emotions, lest they rule you." For instance, Goleman titled one chapter "Passion's Slaves." Tellingly, (I use that word mockingly, just in case you missed it. If you read the section on how DG manipulates his readers, you will understand.) I have never seen him refer to the idea that our emotions draw attention to what is important to think about, one of the central themes in the work of Mayer, Salovey and Caruso.

Goleman actually seems to be afraid of emotion and emotional expression. Later I will talk more about this, but I suspect that you will notice it if you go back and look at the book again. He even seems judgmental at times about feelings, telling us when it is "appropriate" and when it is "inappropriate" to display emotions.

Here is an example from an article written about EI:

"It's just management by niceness" is one criticism, with the implication that the approach lacks weight. Goleman disagrees, pointing out that EQ has nothing to do with 'letting it all hang out' and everything to do with controlling emotions so that they are used appropriately. (From http://www.teammanagementsystems.com/tms12-1s.html)

---

Side commentary: I have noticed that people who use the word "appropriate" usually seem to believe they know what is "appropriate" for others. I have also noticed that such people tend to be judgmental, self-righteous, and rigid in their thinking. Consider the child who is told, "Your behavior is not appropriate." The child doesn't understand what is wrong, though, since this is no explanation at all. It is simply a more refined way of saying "Because I said so."

Dan's use of the word "appropriate" may be a reflection of his own fundamental insecurity. I say this because I have also noticed that insecure individuals tend to be the most uncomfortable with any signs of emotion, especially strong negative emotion. When they feel uncomfortable, they are likely to tell you that your behavior is inappropriate. They are not aware enough and emotionally literate enough to express their own feelings, in particular their fears. Or, perhaps they are afraid their own feelings do not hold sufficient authority in their own right, so they make a general, categorical statement, as if it were universally given. This is about as helpful as telling someone something is wrong because it says so in the the Bible (or the Koran, Book of Dao, Book of Morman, etc). It is what some would call a cop out -- a failure to take personal responsibility for their decisions, beliefs, and feelings.

It reminds me of a time when I asked someone at a Montessori School how she felt about me putting my feet on the table so I could position my laptop computer legs and type. She said, "It doesn't matter how I feel! It simply is not appropriate at a Montessori School!" (This is not a reflection of the Montessori principles, by the way. This particular school did not live out the ideals of Maria Montessori.)

In short, to say something is "inappropriate" is not science. I can understand what Goleman is doing, and I think I have an idea why he is doing it, but I do not excuse him for mixing science with his personal experience of life.

8. His claims about his ECI-360 test

Here is what Goleman says about his test:

The ECI is the only instrument that incorporates the full depth of my research and that of my colleagues. Other instruments use the words "Emotional Intelligence" but the ECI is the genuine article." (trgmcber.haygroup.com/emotional-intelligence/eiacc.htm)

I really had to stop myself from laughing so I could write this down when I came across this! If you can find anyone outside of Goleman's, shall I say, "pawns", at the EI Consortium and the Hay Group who says that the ECI is a valid test of emotional intelligence, please let me know! (By the way, the Hay Group also goes beyond misleading to actually blatantly lying on their website (trgmcber.haygroup.com/emotional-intelligence/eiacc.htm) which promotes the ECI. If you read what they say in the in the Frequently Asked Questions section about the Mayer Salovey Caruso test, which they wrongly call the Salovey Mayer test, you may spot what I am talking about.)

Now, seriously, if you want to find out why his test is not a measure of EI, just pick up a copy of the Bar-On Handbook and read

9. Original Intention of his Book

Someone once told me that Goleman was not originally intending to write a book about emotional intelligence. I believe it was Reuven Bar-On, but it might have been David Caruso. Anyhow, I was told the book originally was to be titled "Emotional Literacy," and that only later did he change the title to "Emotional Intelligence."

If you read the book closely, you will see that Goleman talks a lot about emotional literacy. And as I mentioned in point 2, Goleman interchanges the terms "emotional literacy" and "emotional intelligence." It seems like he went back into the book and added the term "emotional intelligence" here and there once he and his book publishers decided to call the book "Emotional Intelligence."

Also, if you read the acknowledgements at the back of Goleman's book, you will see that the first person he thanks is Eileen Rockefeller Growald, the President of the Institute for the Advancement of Health. He thanks her for being the first person who told him about the term "emotional literacy". Why would he first thank someone for telling him about the term "emotional literacy" if his book was intended to be about emotional intelligence? Here is the quote:

I first heard the phrase "emotional literacy" from Eileen Rockefeller Growald, then the founder and president of the institute for the Advancement of Health. It was this casual conversation that that piqued my interest and framed the investigations that finally became this book.

Then he thanks the Fetzer Institute for giving him funding so he could further "explore" the term emotional intelligence without having to do so much work for the New York Times. Here is what he says

"Support from the Fetzer Institute has allowed me the luxury of time to explore more fully what "emotional literacy" might mean..."

 

and I am grateful for the crucial early encouragement of Rob Lehman, president of the institute , and an ongoing collaboration with David Sluyter, program director there. It was Rob Lehman who, early on in my explorations, urged me to write a book emotional literacy.

(I don't know, by the way, if he was actually an employee of the New York Times or if he just wrote articles for them as a free lance writer.) We don't know exactly when Goleman decided to further "explore" the idea of emotional intelligence. Was it after one year of working on a book about emotional literacy? After two years? Was it when he was almost done writing? We just don't know, and it is unlikely we would ever get the truth from Goleman.

We also don't even know if the grant that Goleman got from the Fetzer Institute actually even mentioned the term "emotional intelligence." My guess is that it didn't. Or it could be that Goleman got two grants. Maybe someday I will write the Institute and see if they will tell me what really happened.

But here is something else which suggests that Goleman was only planning to write about emotional literacy. The next thing Goleman says in his acknowledgements is that Rob Lehman, the President of Fetzer Institute, inspired him to write a book about emotional literacy. (See related note on the title of the book)

 

Another thing which implies that Goleman wasn't really very interested in the idea of emotional intelligence when he was writing his 1995 book is the fact that in that book he talks much more about than the work of Howard Gardner than he does about the work of Salovey and Mayer. See this note on the comparision between the number of references to the work of each.

 


How Goleman manipulates his readers, and other commentary on him

As of June 2001 I am just collecting some thoughts on this topic. Each time I re-read sections from Goleman's 1995 book I notice more of evidence of how he does this. Here are a few notes:

A few pages later, p.13, he opens the chapter with the story of a man who murdered two women in their twenties and how he "slashed and stabbed them over and over with a kitchen knife." This reminded me of the murder of Nicole Simpson. Feeling skeptical, I wondered why Goleman failed to add that story into his book. I went back to check the dates, thinking perhaps the murder was after the book came out. But no, the murder was in 1994. Now I remember that the first jury found OJ Simpson not guilty. So while most of the world probably disagrees with this verdict, and I certainly disagree with it, Goleman could simply say that is why he left it out. Maybe so, maybe not.

Another example: Starts out chapter 15 with a story on a school killing in America. p 231

 

 


Critical Review of Goleman's 1998 book, Working with emotional intelligence

 

Summary

For me, there was much less new material in this book than in Goleman's first book on EI, and it is written more for the mass market. It reads like a cross between an introductory text on Human Resource Management and a Tom Peters book. One big problem I have with the book is that it stretched the concept of EI into areas which were never included by the researchers Mayer and Salovey.

Also, Goleman seems to promote the belief that success is money and money is success. I quickly grew tired of all the references to "star performers," for example. I am afraid salespeople will become even more "fake" and relentless, and that managers who have a tendency to emotionally manipulate their employees will misuse this book. Goleman does not seem to sincerely endorse respect for the individual's feelings or to suggest that managers consider their own feelings about the products they are making and the services they are offering. I am afraid Daniel Goleman has gotten swept away with his fame, status and pursuit of his own financial success, and has lost sight of what is truly important to the human species.

Like all tools, the use of his book and his research will depend on the motives of the person using it.


More detailed comments.....

As someone who has worked in business, has had my own business, and has studied organizational behavior in both undergraduate and graduate school, when I read this book in 1998 I felt offended by Goleman trying to tell me that what he was writing about was something new. Even before I was aware that Jack Mayer and his research colleagues strongly disagreed with his use of the term emotional intelligence, I sensed something was wrong.

Now as I read more of Mayer, Salovey's and Caruso's work, and I see more of the research (for example that which compares the results of Goleman's "Emotional Competence Inventory", which he calls a measure of emotional intelligence, to other measures of personality such as the FIRO B test and the California Personality Inventory), I feel even more mislead by Goleman. Because Goleman has so firmly entrenched himself and his definition of EI in the business community, I feel a sense of obligation to try to stem the tide of his influence. I am afraid he is doing significant damage to the legitimate concept of emotional intelligence.

Below are a few of my more specific criticisms of his 1998 book on what he calls emotional intelligence. (I have more specific page number references if you are interested.)

----

He presents obvious, well-known facts as if they were important new insights, then he offers a research study citation to support it. For example, he speaks of "landmark" studies which show that (1) People with self-confidence are more successful. (2) People with initiative take more risks (3) Groups perform better if the group members get along.

He tries to mislead us into believing he is an expert in business-when in fact, his background is primarily academia and story writing.

He seems overly critical of trainers, training programs, consultants, psychologists, self-help books, business managers, business in general and anyone who is trying to do work under the name of EI. It seems he wants to be the sole prophet of Emotional Intelligence and he wants all consulting work to go to his (then) newly established consulting business.

Terms are interchanged and sometimes confused: Empathy/sympathy. Empathy/sensitivity. Empathy distress/sympathy. Cowardice/brilliance. Optimism/hope. Understanding/ involvement; Initiative/"sheer hard work."

Some of the terms used seemed unnecessary or contrived: "Pseudoempathy," "Empathy avoidance," "Empathy Distress"

Name dropping. Goleman steadily mentions names of the big companies he has consulted for, all the CEO's he has spoken with, etc. And he mentions his friends, business partners and former professors at Harvard a few too many times.

"I heard Alex Broer, vice chancellor of Cambridge University and a former director of research at IBM, tell a London briefing on emotional intelligence for British Telecom..." p 191

He labels people

Mediocre, nerds p 44
techies p 45
trouble maker p 93
dreamer p 94
pessimist p 126
oafish arrogant brash p 191

Uses too much drama:

"There is now a palpable bleakness about the new landscape of work." p 10

Uses words emotionally loaded with fear and urgency

Says EI is "crucial" and "essential to our success" p. 3,4
"People desperately felt the need for connection, for empathy, for open communication." p 9
"Another reality makes EI even more crucial"..." p 9
EI made the "crucial" difference between "mediocre and best leaders" p 33
"these turbulent times" p 99

His book is written too much like a series of newspaper articles for a mass-market newspaper like USA Today. In other words, his sections are short, have "cute" titles (some even with religious associations) and are significantly watered down in comparison with his first book.

Some sample section titles:

The Value of Magic p 34
Too much college, too little kindergarten p 42
The just-say-no neurons p 77
Change is the constant p 96
Angel's Advocates and Voices of Doom p 102
The Cardinal Sin p 307

He offers needless explanations and definitions. He tells us Lockheed is an "aerospace company" and that Lee Iacocca "turned Chrysler around." And he felt the need to define "micromanagement" for us.

He neglects the most important aspect of EI-- feelings. Like B.F. Skinner, Daniel seems to believe that what matters is behavior, and that feelings are just a means to an end. Goleman also seems to believe that feelings are messy and scary and are better left at home, unless they can be directly associated with "star performance."

Note: I have also started a page on Goleman to gather my notes from his books, copies of his articles, my critical reviews, etc.

 

 


 

 

Criticism by David Caruso

When I went to the EI workshop put on by David Caruso and Chuck Wolfe in 2001, David was talking about Goleman's list of all the Goleman includes in his definition of emotional intelligence. David said:

"When I see a list like this, I think it is absurd. I think it is ridiculous and I think it is embarrassing."

He then said,

"If you want to call yourself a science journalist, and write about emotional intelligence from a journalist's perspective, I think that is fine. I think it is great. But if you want to present yourself as a research scientist there is another standard to which you have to be held accountable."

S.Hein


Criticism by Academic Researchers Catherine Daus and Neal Ashkanasy

In their paper titled "Will the real emotional intelligence please stand up?", the authors say this:

"Let us first begin by making one point crystal clear - we do not endorse a Goleman (1995) or Bar-On (1997) type of approach to studying emotional intelligence...we also feel that to an extent, they have done much more harm than good regarding establishing emotional intelligence as a legitimate, empirical construct "

They later criticize their own peers in the psychology field when they imply that other psychologists have been too easily misled by people like Goleman and Bar-On. For example. they say:

"...some academics in our field have a rather limited exposure and a very narrow-minded, unsubstantiated view of the construct."

and

"It is unusual, and sometimes disturbing, to see scientists and researchers uncritically cite a popular trade book alongside peer-reviewed articles."

See full text of article

Added November 2003


Robert Sternberg's Letter to the Editor of the APA Monitor

This article is more a critique of Bridget Murray, who wrote about Goleman and his concept of EI than of Goleman, but it reflects Sternberg's opinon that Goleman's work is unscientific and should not be compared to or included among actual scientific research. Sternberg is a highly respected psychologist and professor at Yale University.

Credit the original theorists

I was disappointed in the article on emotional intelligence in the workplace by Bridget Murray in the July Monitor.

Daniel Goleman has done the field of psychology a valuable service by expanding upon and especially by popularizing the notion of emotional intelligence originally set forward by Peter Salovey and Jack Mayer. Goleman’s contribution is well represented by this article. There are two aspects of the article that troubled me, however.

First, one can understand why lay media would concentrate on the popularization rather than on the scientific theory underlying the popularization. But it is disappointing when the Monitor contains no more than passing references to the work of the originators of the concept and theory. Many individuals have expanded upon and popularized the work of theorists such as Freud or Skinner, but at least the original theorists still receive major credit and attention from psychologists.

Second, given the growing body of carefully designed empirical research that now exists on emotional intelligence (both pro and con), it is disappointing that this research was largely ignored. Psychologists deserve at least a taste of what has been and is about to be published in scientific journals as well as of what is to be published in popular psychology books.

I do not mean to detract from the outstanding contribution that Daniel Goleman has made. But articles such as this one do a disservice to the field in passing over the scientific contributions that are at the core of our discipline.

Robert J. Sternberg
New Haven, Conn

Source: American Psychological Association letters

(Source: American Psychological Association letters )


Criticism by Seymour Epstein - Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts

Epstein says Goleman fails to "adequately define" emotional intelligence and that he includes "so many different abilities under emotional intelligence as to obscure its meaning" (p 3)

Elsewhere he calls it a "far-flung network of concepts." (p 20)

Epstein also says:

In order for the kind of multifaceted concept of emotional intelligence proposed by Dan Goleman to be scientifically legitimated, it has to be demonstrated that the presumed components of emotional intelligence such as the ability to ...delay gratification, to control one's own emotions, to exhibit social competence, and to be emotionally well adjusted and not suffer from depression, anxiety attacks, and uncontrolled hostility are, in fact, positively correlated with each other and are best conceived of as a single overall ability with semi-independent components.

It also has to be demonstrated that reliable and valid measures of the components and of the overall construct can be constructed. Nothing like this has been attempted, and, until it is accomplished, all we have is unsupported speculation about an undefined concept referred to as emotional intelligence." p 19

He continues:

"...on a conceptual basis it is difficult to see...how one can define the inclusion of social competence as a component of emotional intelligence. Social competence and emotional adjustment are two distinct concepts, and, although related, there is no more basis for including one as a subcategory of the other than the reverse." p 20

He also says:

"Although Goleman's views are highly appealing to people because of his emphasis on the importance of abilities other than intellectual intelligence, they are not very useful for identifying a viable construct of emotional intelligence." p 20

Epstein, by the way, uses the term "ego strength" which he calls a personality variable to describe the abilities to delay gratification, to tolerate frustration, and to regulate impulses. (p20)

--

From his book Constructive Thinking: The Key to Emotional Intelligence

(I have additional notes from the Epstein book)

Epstein's university webpage

 


An example of needless and gratuitous self-promotion

Below is a quote from his book review of Emotions in the Workplace (found on Amazon.com and other places)

"[A] groundbreaking overview of a significant emerging area of scholarly theory and research. As a connoisseur of the role of emotions in work, I found much to relish and learn from in this intellectual feast." Daniel Goleman


An example of Goleman's EQ?

This is from a review of one of Goleman's presentations. The article is titled: It's Popular, But is It Science? The reviewer is Catherine Aman.

Goleman is making a very compelling case. There's only one small glitch.

When the woman charged with putting transparencies on the overhead projector gets ahead of Goleman's text, he shoots her a severe look and snaps, "Do you think we're there yet?" Flustered, she hastily switches the slide.

Though this momentary lapse in Goleman's friendly demeanor is fleeting, at least a few in the audience take note. Afterward, one woman in the elevator asks others whether anyone else noticed the incident. Someone says that he did, and both agree they're pretty skeptical of this guy Goleman.

 


The Goleman Library

As I mentioned on my Reuven BarOn page, Reuven told me that Goleman's family had donated a lot of money to a library in Stockton, California, Goleman's hometown. The other day I did a search on Google and found something amusing.

I searched for searched for "stockton library goleman"

And I found this link came up first. It is a link from the library asking for donations. This is amusing to me because with all of Dan's money, the library named after his family is still asking for more money.

http://library.deltacollege.edu/friends/

Finding this link also confirmed what Reuvon told me several years ago and gives proof that Goleman came from a family with a lot of money. I really wonder what he is doing with it all. I've never seen anything about him donating it or doing anything really except trying to make more.

S. Hein
Feb 9, 2006


Annie Paul Article

If you haven't read this article by Annie Paul, please do. It is the best article I've seen on Goleman and the history of emotional intelligence.

When I did some more reading about the author, I found out something interesting. One is that she is a Yale graduate. This tells me she is quite intelligent cognitively at least. More interesting is that she is also a former editor at Psychology Today. Just like Dan Goleman.

I wondered if she knew him personally while she was there, or knows people who know him. Some of her comments about him are quite stinging and I suspect they would only come from someone who knows Goleman personally. But I checked some dates on the Psychology Today site and I could not verify that they did work there at the same time. The last article I found by Goleman was in 1992. It was interesting enough though. You can see his dramatic style of writing.

Anyhow, Paul's articles only showed up around 1997. But I have no way of knowing if she was a staff member before then. Who knows. Maybe Goleman was her boss. If someone knows, please contact me. Thanks.

Steve
Feb 2006


Notes from 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence

Some of the more interesting things:

Section on the amygdala.

Section on how people can't make decisions if their emotional connections have been cut in the brain.

Section on how stress levels stay up for several days.

 

--

Note: these are not "cleaned up" Sorry. I may clean them up someday. (Page numbers refer to 1995 hardback edition)

 

Kids: Girls more cooperative, more empathetic (see also book "Brain Sex)

G's stop play when someone is hurt. B's expect the hurt person to get out of the way and/or stop crying.

G's talk more about emotions, express more & greater intensity; boys talk more about things; girls are better at reading verbal & non-verbal emotional cues. g's better at expressing & communicating emotions

boys: Better at minimizing the emotions of vulnerability, guilt, fear and hurt; women more empathetic (100's of studies show this, but young kids are equal in ability to express emotion facially; Print Brain sex summary

Characteristics of non-popular children listed on p 123,124 of Goleman. (example, pushing way into groups, talking about selves, changing topic of discussion too often and too soon)

ANGER: "reframing" is one of the most effective ways of managing anger. ie changing paradigm, self-talk.

Alexithymics are defined as those who are unable to verbalize their feelings. But it is not clear if this is because the were never taught the words or if they aren't capable of feeling.

p 62 ** study shows people are forgiving if they understand. In fact, when people understood, they showed compassion-- like Stephen Covey's example on the train with kids & wife in hospital - again, changing paradigm, getting new information.

Suggestions section:

p 68 on worry and rumination: [when you can't stop worrying] my adaptation: 1. self awareness, become aware of thoughts, feelings, body responses 2. Relaxation methods 3. challenge thoughts & assign probabilities 4. Worst case scenario 5. Make plans

+ accomplish small goal, give self credit

Students who are anxious, angry or depressed don't learn..

85 laughing seems to help people think more broadly, flexibly, with more complexity, and with more associations - making it easier to find solutions.

p 96 "Empathy builds on self-awareness..

97 people who can read feelings from non-verbal cues: - better adjusted emotionally - more popular - more outgoing - more sensitive 97

women generally are better at empathizing people who showed ability to improve during the 45 minute test had better romantic relationships 97

non verbal is more important 90%

kids by nature empathetic

Infants "catch moods" three month old babies of depressed mothers showed more anger and sadness and much less spontaneous curiosity and interest.. p 101

Baby's learn to be passive if emotions not mirrored. (what's the use..)

emotional capacity can be lost - connections aren't there - they atrophy.

102 people with certain brain lesions couldn't detect messages in tone of voice (example thanks angry, sarcastic or kind).

Another study showed other brain injured people couldn't express emotions through their own t of voice

110 criminals lack concern about future punishment, not afraid of pain when about to receive a shock-- implies impossible to rehabilitate

p. 115 ".. mood transfer is from the one who is more forceful in expressing feelings to the one who is more passive" some are more impressionable.

people who are poor at sending & receiving emotional signals tend to have problems in relationships-- ppl are uncomfortable with them & may not even know why 117

dominant ppl talk more but depends on rel power/status

hollow but popular - see quote p 119

See also 119 for social chameleons quote.

RELATIONSHIPS: 132-3 men paint a rosier picture of their marriages, women more vocal in complaints; since men are slower to recognize sadness, a woman has to be sadder before the man will bring it up;

133 How a couple discusses, argues and handles disagreements is key.

134 Gottman's research showing ability to predict divorce within 3 years with 94% by their communication styles using probes. Warning signs: harsh criticism, attack on character "if there is a way for your father to screw up something, he will."

p 138,9 to avoid "flooding" -- we need to know when to back off. (Gottman's term!)

results of flooding:

- distorted thinking - difficult to organize thinking - fall back on primitive reactions - want things to stop - or they want to run or strike back

Definition of flooding: pulse jumps more than 10 per minute at moment of hijacking pulse may jump 10, 20 or 30 bpm in one beat

140 when couples are unable to soothe each other but instead are the source of negative feelings, they start to seek relief their own, start living separate lives emotionally ["emotional divorce"] which is good sign of legal divorce.

143 inability to mend fences, de-escalate, is "a crucial difference" between couples who divorce or don't (Gottman again but no page number reference!)

143: main things are

- ability to calm self down - calm others down - empathy - listening well (from gottmans: why marriages succeed or fail)

WORK:

"The single most important element in group intelligence, it turns out, is not the average IQ in the academic sense, but rather in terms of emotional intelligence." p 160

Email response times

Mind & Medicine

p 168 immune system 168 not operating on worried patients 169 ppl who were chronically anxious, sad, pessimistic, hostile, cynicism, or suspicion etc. had double the risk of disease!

177 ** 122 men first heart attack. 8 years later 21/25 p's dead; only 6 of 25 of the most optimistic..

178 feeling isolated doubles your chance of sickness or death

179 men who had emotional support were not affected by stress vs. others who were three times more likely to die without such support.

Marital arguments and bad relations with your roommate affect immune system. The more important the relationship, the more it affects your health. p 179

p 180 healthiest way to vent feelings: express strong feelings, then reflect on them to find some meaning

p 180 Stanford study - breast cancer - lived twice as long if 1hr/wk therapy p 183 relationship between patient/doctor is important for health of patient

Good quote: 183:

1. Helping people better manage their upsetting feelings --anger, anxiety, depression, pessimism, and loneliness-- is a form of disease prevention.

2. Many patients can benefit measurably when their psychological needs are attended to along with their purely medical ones. p184

on depression and isolation- .. it would be unethical not to start trying to treat these factors (quote from J of AMA. p 185

 

p 193 the ability to wait and the ability to "follow directions" are called elements of emotional intelligence.

Here is the actual quote. Notice that Goleman doesn't at first directly say that these abilities are elements of emotional intelligence. He first calls them "emotional and social measures", but then he refers to them and the others as "elements of emotional intelligence."

The first opportunity for shaping the ingredients of emotional intelligence is in the earliest years, though these capacities continue to form throughout the school years. The emotional abilities children acquire in later life build on those of the earliest years. And these abilities, as we saw in Chapter 6, are the essential foundation for all learning. A report from the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs makes the point that school success is not predicted by a child's fund of facts or a precocious ability to read so much as by emotional and social measures; being self-assured and interČested; knowing what kind of behavior is expected and how to rein in the impulse to misbehave; being able to wait, to follow directions, and to turn to teachers for help; and expressing needs while getting along with other children.

Almost all students who do poorly in school, says the report, lack one or more of these elements of emotional intelligence...

 

========

Chapter 12 Parenting

=========

Next chapter on Stress, trauma etc.

204 "It does not matter if it was the incessant terror of combat, torture or repeated abuse in childhood,or a one-time experience.. All uncontrollable stress can have the same biological impact.

key is "uncontrollable" ie we need to have some sense of control over our bodies, our thoughts, our feelings, our lives

DEPRESSION

244 powerlessness, pessimism, feeling flawed increase depression

245 ways to lower depression in kids (cut depression in half) 8 sessions: reframing, challenge thinking, learn to make friends, get along better with parents, more social activities

coaching for friendship

Top

 


Criticisms of 1995 book- These are virtually untouched since 1995 when I wrote them

Giving Credit to Peter Salovey and John Mayer

I felt disturbed by Goleman's failure to acknowledge Peter Salovey and John Mayer for their scientific work on Emotional Intelligence until page 47 of his book. I also wonder how Salovey and Mayer feel.

Happiness

I also feel disturbed by the absence of discussion on the topic of happiness.

I found only one reference to the topic (p. 6 hardback edition). And here Goleman speaks of happiness primarily from the standpoint of brain chemistry.

I believe the quest for happiness is one of the most difficult undertakings in life, particularly in America, where success is defined by criteria such as material wealth, appearances, efficiency, productivity, output, grades and test scores. I also believe it is the most important quest each of us will ever pursue. Goleman leaves the issue of happiness virtually untouched, however, often referring instead to "success."

What Goleman does say about happiness is useful, but left me wanting more:

He spoke most of it from a biological standpoint saying that it causes these changes:

This seems to imply that happiness creates motivation, which certainly makes good sense to me. And it affirms the wisdom in the old saying "laughter makes the best medicine."

Following a common social trend, particularly among highly educated and intellectual people, Goleman seems to fail to acknowledge the importance of happiness. To quote Nathaniel Branden, "The world has rarely treated happiness as a state worthy of serious respect." (Taking Responsibility, 1996, p 10)

Responsibility

Goleman does not appear to endorse the concept of taking responsibility for one's own emotions. I could find no reference to the importance of this as a part of Emotional Intelligence. Goleman does not distinguish between the belief that others "make" us feel the way we do as opposed to the belief that our emotions are primarily within our own control.

For example, consider these statements:

I advocate taking direct responsibility for our emotions (and thus our happiness) by saying instead:

Or perhaps, it might be both constructive and accurate to say, "you helped me feel..." Saying "you helped me feel..." acknowledges that others do play a part in our emotions, but that we still hold primary responsibility for them. This is true more for adults than children, since adults actually are largely responsible for wiring the brain connections, and thus the emotions in children. In other words, adults do "make" children feel things, or not feel them, as the case may be. Further, I believe our feelings have much to do with our self-concepts and self-esteem (see below).

For example,

"When you praised me, it helped me feel really good about myself.
"When you lectured me, it helped me feel incompetent."

I recommend, however, to simply state our feelings with 3 word sentences beginning with "I feel..", rather than even including the word "you." People feel defensive so easily when we even imply there is a cause-effect relationship between their actions and our negative feelings!

On the other hand, if someone cares about our feelings, they will most likely get the message with a very clear and direct 3 word sentence. Then they can choose to take our feelings into account, show respect for them (and thereby show respect for us), and modify their behavior voluntarily.

If they are unclear about why we feel the way we do, they are free to ask us to explain our feelings. We then feel cared for, important and heard because they are showing concern for us, they want to get to know us better, and they are willing to listen to us.

Head Vs. Heart

I feel confused and disturbed by Goleman's repeated use of the word "heart" when he is talking about emotional matters, even when he has clearly stated that emotions come from specific parts of the brain. I believe it would be more useful to stick with a more accurate, more scientific, and more consistent presentation of our emotional chemistry as opposed to poetic, yet misleading terminology. For example, his chapter heading "Managing with Heart."

Thinking, Feeling and Believing

I believe it important to distinguish between these verbs when we use them. I believe it hinders effective communication when we freely substitute one for the other. I am uncertain if Goleman shares this belief. Consider this sentence: "If there is remedy, I feel it must lie in how we prepare our young for life." (p. xiii)

I am uncertain whether Goleman really "feels" this way, whether he "thinks" it or whether he "believes" it.

Another example: in an interview with ASTD magazine Goleman says:

Goleman: "My feeling is that no one is untrainable, if they are motivated."

I am afraid you will think this is a small point, so I will explain myself. I firmly believe most of us we fail to honor our feelings as separate from our thoughts. I believe it is important, therefore, to reserve the verb "to feel" in sentences involving feelings. For example,

Whenever we say "I feel that.." or "I feel like..." we are very likely to be misusing the verb. (See Emotional Literacy)

Self-Esteem

Again, I feel disturbed and discouraged that Goleman underemphasizes the importance of EQ to self-esteem and of self-esteem to happiness. In fact, he has no references to self-esteem in his index. On this point, I actually feel incredulous!

To me, the link between self-esteem and emotions is almost self-evident. (I say "almost" because for the majority of my life I was unaware of this link! Now, though, I see the two as inseparable and reciprocal.)

I also believe that self-esteem can be defined as how we feel about ourselves. To me, this is the single most important aspect of managing our emotions, yet Goleman seems to miss this connection almost entirely. As a comparison, I have a full chapter on the relationship between EQ and self-esteem.

Self-Help Books of No Help?

Perhaps Goleman's neglect of self-esteem is a function of his apparent general disdain for self-help books. He hints at his feelings and beliefs about such books on page xi of his introduction (which he calls Aristotle's Challenge). Goleman talks about how emotions have been largely ignored by the academic community (agreed!). Then he goes on to say:

"Into this void has rushed a welter of self-help books, well-intentioned advice based at best on clinical opinion but lacking much, if any, scientific basis."

I feel a little offended and defensive when Goleman puts down the entire category of self-help books with such a sweeping statement. I personally have found such books to be of tremendous benefit to understanding myself, my relationships and others.

One last comment. Many of the so called self-help books have been based on the personal experience of the authors. I believe that experience is the best teacher, we are the best authorities on ourselves, and that self-knowledge is the most valuable of all forms of knowledge. In fact, I have discovered invaluable insights to my own understanding by reading about the lives and experiences of others. I feel a strong sense of regret that such information was not made available to me as part of my public school education. If it had been, I truly believe I could have spared myself (and others) tremendous amounts of emotional pain and financial loss.

Controlling vs. Listening to our Feelings

As I read Goleman, I get the impression that he believes we need to control our emotions. In other words, he seems to believe that if we are out of balance as a society, it is in the direction of being too emotional, too impulsive. On page xiii, for example, he says that self-restraint is one of the "two moral stances" that our times call for (...the other being "compassion", which I agree with to the extent he defines compassion as understanding and empathy rather than sympathy and pity).

I agree that our society is out of balance, but I believe it is out of balance in the direction of over-intellectualization. I believe we are over-socialized to repress, suppress, disown, deny, medicate away,. etc. our emotions. I advocate that we listen to our feelings, that we get in touch with them, that we learn to identify them and then look for the message in them to see what we can learn from them.

That said, I do believe there are certain segments of society which are indeed overly impulsive, and this impulsiveness and lack of self-control contributes to violence, rage and other forms of socially destructive behavior.

Generally speaking, though, for those of us who have endured college, graduate school, the corporate world, etc., I suggest that we would do ourselves a favor to re-connect with our child-like feelings and our gut-level instincts. When we listen to our own inner voices, as it were, we find our own unique paths.

This, I believe, is highly preferable to conforming to the prevailing social standards, to trying to live up to the expectations of others, and to doing what we have been socialized to believe we "should" do.

-------

Examples of how Goleman stretched the term emotional intelligence (and how he uses drama, plus other notes)

From Chapter 15 "The Cost of Emotional Illiteracy"

Summary

He starts out talking about emotional illiteracy, then he adds emotional competence and emotional skills. I don't recall him ever actually defining any of these terms. For several pages he never even mentions emotional intelligence. Then he blends it all together and connects this mixture to nearly all the social problems in the world. He almost completely fails to mention that parents are primarily responsible for the kinds of children they raise.

Starts out with a story on a school killing in America. p 231

Then gives these other examples of "emotional illiteracy"

- p 231: says a signs of the "deficiency in emotional literacy" can "be seen in violent incidents" such as the school shooting

Then he talks about the "heightening of the turmoil of adolescence and troubles of childhood" (drama)

He quotes US statistics on violent crimes, teen arrest for forcible rape, teen murder rates, teenage suicide, teenage pregnancy, venereal disease, symptoms of depression, eating disorders. (drama)

Then he says talks about the US divorce rate and says, "Finally, unless things change, the long-term prospects for today's children marrying and having a fruitful, stable life together are growing more dismal with each generation." (drama)

The next section in the chapter is titled "An Emotional Malaise"

He starts by saying "These alarming statistics are like the canary in the coal miner's tunnel whose death warns of too little oxygen." p 232 Next he says these are "sobering numbers" and talks about the "plight of today's children." (drama)

Next he says, "Perhaps the most telling data of all--a direct barometer of dropping levels of emotional competence--are from a national sample of American children...comparing their emotional condition in the mid-1970's and at the end of the 1980's." (The data is based on teachers' and parents' opinions.

Note- he still hasn't said emotional intelligence. But he moved from emotional illiteracy to emotional competence.

He quotes these examples of this "telling data"

- withdrawal or social problems -preferring to be alone, being secretive, sulking a lot, lacking energy, feeling unhappy, being overly dependent

- Anxious and depressed - being lonely, having many fears and worries, needing to be perfect, feeling unloved, feeling nervous or sad and depressed

- Attention or thinking problems - unable to pay attention or sit still, daydreaming, acting without thinking, being too nervous to concentrate, doing poorly on schoolwork, unable to get mind off thoughts

- Delinquent or aggressive - hanging around kids who get in trouble, lying and cheating, arguing a lot, being mean to other people, demanding attention, destroying other people's things, disobeying at home and at school, being stubborn and moody, talking too much, teasing a lot, having a hot temper

Next sentence:

2nd paragraph: "While any of these problems in isolation raises no eyebrows, taken as a group they are barometers of a sea change, an new kind of toxicity seeping into and poisoning the very experiences of childhood, signifying sweeping deficits in emotional competence." p 233 (drama)

Next he says this "emotional malaise" seems to him to be a "universal price of modern life."

Again in 2nd paragraph he refers to "emotional competence."

3rd paragraph he refers to these data as "indices of emotional skills."

p 234

First paragraph is a quote from a Cornell professor who talks about children's "moral character."

Second paragraph says that families are "financially besieged" and uses term emotional competence again. (implies such parents are victims and doesn't hold them accountable for not having kids if they can't afford them)

Third paragraph talks about how "deficits in emotional or social competence lay the foundation for grave problems."

(classic bully) p 234 kids who "overreact" second para, p 235

same page, paragraph: He says kids have a "perceptual flaw and perceive slights where none were intended." (maybe they are especially sensitive to criticism and their actually was a "slight")

Some of his favorite words:

alarming p 231, 232
barometer 232, 233
telling 232
troubling p 231

--

Examples of how Goleman fails to see cause-effect between parents and children. See chapter on depression

(to be continued)


Goleman seems to like the term "old fashioned".

On page 285 of his 1995 book he says "There is an old-fashioned word for the body of skills that emotional intelligence represents: character.

Then in his 1998 book for the corporate market he says "There is an old-fashioned word for this growth in emotional intelligence: maturity. (This is found in several places on the web. Just do a search for that sentence. It is from an excerpt of the 98 book)

 


Goleman's writing on "altered states of consciousness," meditation, alternate realities, mindfulness

Below are notes on some of Goleman's other publications, which I got from a database search. Most of it is stuff he wrote before he became famous. See my notes on what concerns me about his writings.

Healing emotions : conversations with the Dalai Lama on mindfulness,
emotions, and health 1997

Gives instruction in mindfulness meditation and explains how mindfulness can make the pleasant experience of flow more frequent in our daily lives.

------------

The meditative mind : the varieties of meditative experience

Originally published in 1977, then republished in 1988

Forward by Ram Dass - See my notes from this book

----------

The Buddha on meditation and higher states of consciousness
Author(s): Goleman, Daniel.
Publication: Kandy, Sri Lanka :; Buddhist Publication Society, 1989
----------

Journey of awakening: a meditator's guidebook
Author(s): Ram Dass. ; Goleman, Daniel. 1990
----------

Meditation an instructional cassette /
Author: Goleman, Daniel. Publication: Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association, 1985
-------

Meditation an instructional cassette /
Author: Goleman, Daniel. Publication: Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association, 1985 Doc. Sound Recording
-------

The meditative mind.
Author: Goleman, Daniel. Publication: Crucible, 1989
-------

The art of meditation
Author: Goleman, Daniel. Publication: Los Angeles, CA New York : Audio Renaissance Tapes ; Distributed by St. Martin's Press, 1989
------

Flow and mindfulness an instructional cassette /
Author: Goleman, Daniel. Publication: New York, N.Y. Produced by Psychology Today, 1976
------

Introductory psychology /
Author: Goleman, Daniel., and others Publication: New York : Random House, 1982
------

Consciousness, the brain, states of awareness, and alternate realities
Author(s): Goleman, Daniel; Davidson, Richard J. Publication: New York :; Irvington Publishers, 1979


What concerns me about Goleman's writings on meditation etc.

From his early writings, we see that Goleman endorses the use of meditation and "altered states of consciousness" to numb our negative feelings. And from his 1995 best selling book, we see that he also endorses the use of drugs to medicate moods in his 1995 book.

I disagree with this view. First, I do not believe either approach truly heals deep emotional wounds. It might kill or numb the pain, and it certainly shuts one off from their painful feelings and environment, but that is not the same thing as healing the wound. Also, I believe if we turn to such mind control methods as meditation we lose several important things.

First, we lose the information our negative feelings provide to us

Second, we lose the motivation to look for cause-effect relationships, such as the parent-child relationship

Third, we lose the drive to make needed fundamental social changes

Here is an example of the kind of thinking that troubles me:

When someone abuses me, I remember that they are exactly who they are supposed to be, and that there is no "me" being abused anyway..

This example came from a "Ram Dass" website discussion board. Ram Dass was, or still is, Goleman's good friend. I have written more about him here. The discussion board link has since become a dead link, but it was http://pluto.beseen.com/boardroom/b/53268/View?n=00227

 

See my page on meditation

 


Goleman's Endorsement of Drugs

Here is something from Goleman’s 1995 book which I am copying from Kevin Langdon’s review….

In these times, one sign of the capacity for emotional self-regulation may be recognizing when chronic agitation of the emotional brain is too strong to be overcome without pharmacologic help. For example, two thirds of those who suffer from manic-depression have never been treated for the disorder. But lithium or newer medications can thwart the characteristic cycle of paralyzing depression alternating with manic episodes that mix chaotic elation and grandiosity with irritation and rage. One problem with manic-depression is that while people are in the throes of mania they often feel so overly confident that they see no need for help of any kind despite the disastrous decisions they are making. In such severe emotional disorders psychiatric medication offers a tool for managing life better.

Now read what Langdon says…

What is missing here is an appreciation of the soporific effects of psychiatric medication—and, more importantly, of the primacy of consciousness over functions. If one is seeking a tranquil life, a bit of lithium, Prozac, or Zoloft can be a big help, but if one is seeking consciousness and the direct experience of one’s own true nature, these poisons to the spirit are best left alone.

Source

This reminds me of something Kel sent to me. It was about how so many people are so pleased when they find drugs to change our moods. Kel said something like “Soon there will probably be a drug to make us feel happy when someone we love dies.”

When we take what Goleman wrote in his 1995 book and consider his past and his past associations, it seems reasonable to assume that he either once did, or still does, use and condone the use of drugs, mostly likely both legal and illegal, to medicate feelings. I personally would not be at all surprised to find out that Goleman still uses a variety of drugs to "manage" his feelings and control his behavior. In fact, I would be more surprised if he doesn't.

By the way, as I recall, he never said anything at all in his books about hugs.

Kel
Hugs

About Goleman's past - see in particular: Notes from "The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience"


Why Goleman might have developed an interest in Eastern Spirituality

From my experience, those from Western cultures who have sought emotional healing from Eastern religion and "spirituality," have suffered from emotional and or other forms of abuse as children. They tend to be highly intellectual people who are not in touch with their feelings. They may be able to write about feelings and emotion, as Daniel Goleman can obviously do convincingly, but they tend to be tense, highly stressed people who are out of touch with most of their own feelings and unable to express them in simple sentences with feeling words in the ways I suggest in my page on emotional literacy.

This appears to be because their cognitive skills and defenses are so highly developed as a result of the emotional abuse in their childhoods, as well as through typically highly intellectual homes and over-education in the institutional sense. Instead of directly addressing the emotional abuse or damage they suffered, they have chosen less confrontational, more passive, and less painful ways of self-healing. I can understand this, and I have some compassion for their situation, but it is not the route I have personally chosen or endorse. Nor is it the one which I think is doing the most for humanity.

---

An example of his association with Eastern Religion

 


Notes from "The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience"

Originally published in 1977, then republished in 1988. Forward by Ram Dass

This is a book that Dan Goleman wrote many years before he was famous. I was able to find the book in the library of Indiana University one day while visiting the Bloomingtong campus. The back cover tells us that Goleman "spent two years in the Far East with the meditation masters." The dedication page says: To Neem Karoli Baba and Sayadaw U Pandita for Tara, Govinddas, and Hanuman.

In the forward "Ram Dass" (Richard Alpert) talks about how he met Dan Goleman. First, though, he talks about his own use of psychedelic mushrooms to help him reach "mystical realms" and "altered states of consciousness." (p xi) One can suspect that Goleman used such drugs as well.

Alpert also tells us a little about their experiences in India with Neemkaroli Baba. Baba is Alpert's "guru" and "Mahariji." He boasts how his guru was able to take "a huge dose of psychedelics." He also says things like this about his guru: "...if his awareness was not limited to anyplace, then there was nowhere to go, for he was already here..."

These are the kinds of things I don't find too helpful and the reasons I feel offended by people who talk and write that way. To me it is an insult to my intelligence and to my needs for knowledge and understanding. I don't need riddles, mystery and "mantras." One thing I do need to know is what causes children to start out happy, trusting and confident and then to become afraid, defensive and insecure. And what causes children to become cult members and "devotees," and to "surrender" their intelligence and independence by turning over their lives and "souls" to gurus and gods.

In any event, Alpert later Alpert talks about the monkey god that they all worshipped:

"I sat before an eight foot statue of a monkey painted red, and I sang to him and meditated upon him." (p. xiv)

His "guru" convinced him that if he meditated enough he would "know God." He later tells us that he and Goleman had the same "guru." (p. xv)

As I comment on elsewhere, one must wonder what happened in Goleman's childhood to lead him to such extremes. And I, for one at least, wonder how his emotional background, two years studying meditation, and his likely use of psychedelic drugs have affected him in terms of his brain chemistry, his values, his beliefs and his needs.

At the beginning of Goleman's own writing in the book he talks about the all the rules for monks and people who are trying to learn meditation. He says for example that there are "227 prohibitions and observances regulating every detail of" the monk's life! Goleman seems to admire this, or at least he certainly doesn't question it. Later Goleman talks about how many bowls and razors a monk is allowed to have. Again, Goleman never questions this. From his statement that he travelled to Asia as a "predoctoral fellow" it seems that he had already been accepted to Harvard's Ph.D program, yet he evidently was not even able to manage his own life. Instead, he "surrendered" it to his guru.

At any rate, Goleman proceeds to tell us about the many kinds of mediation techniques he learned. In chapters one and two he tells us about something called the "visuddhimagga." He also tells us a little about sila, samadhi, sati, vipassana, sanghas, the eight levels of jhana, etc.

In chapter three, he tells us, among other things, that the "great danger for the meditator is mistaking what is not the Path for the Path." (p 27)

I have to laugh at this when I think that "the great danger for the student of emotional intelligence is mistaking what is not Emotional Intelligence for Emotional Intelligence"!

He also tells us the meditator's mind has "abandoned both dread and delight." (p 29) Then he talks about "nirvana" and tells us that it is "describable only in terms of what it is not," saying it has "no experiential characteristics." He also says that in nirvana "all desires originating from self-interest cease to control" the meditator's behavior.

Next he tells us about the "stream enterer" and how he can't do anything wrong once he has entered the stream, such as lying, stealing or earning his living at the expense of others.

The book continues in this way. Here are just a few more samples:

p. 44-45 "The enraptured devotee is on the threshold of samadhi, or jhana. His ecstasy indicates the access level; he verges on the first jhana. Should he concentrate with enough intensity on his ishta, he can enter samadhi. Once samadhi is reached, according to Swamin Muktananda (1971), there is no further need for chanting or japa...."

By the way, we also learn from this book that Goleman was already interested in Csikzentmihalyi's concept of "flow" (see p. 181) as well as in the writing of Jon Kabat Zinn (see p. xix and 193), who wrote an endorsement for the back cover of Goleman's 1995 book.

Towards the end of the book, Goleman goes into considerable detail in his description of "mindfully eating" an almond. This description takes up all of page 188, in fact.

Strangely, the book ends on the next page with these last few lines regarding mindful walking: "Finally, you can develop a direct perception of the entire routine -- intent, movement, sensations -- without labeling any of it."


Ram Dass

"Ram Dass" is an American named Richard Alpert who turned to drugs, meditation, chanting and gurus to try to deal with his emotional pain. He and Daniel Goleman evidently shared the same "guru" in India. They also wrote at least one book together - Journey of awakening: a meditator's guidebook. (See list of Goleman's publications) Dass also wrote the forward to The meditative mind : the varieties of meditative experience.

Dass tells us he was born into an "anxiety driven, achievement oriented Jewish culture." His father was sufficiently driven to become the founder of Brandeis University, as well the founder of his own entire railroad company. His mother evidently called him names such as fool and an idiot, but Alpert has very little to say about how his parents damaged him emotionally.

This is a major problem I have with people like Alpert: they virtually ignore the role of parents in creating dysfunctional children. As evidence of this, I searched a lengthy recent interview of Alpert to see what, if anything, he might have to say about parents and parenting. In the approximately 40 page long interview neither word appeared even once. (full text)

Alpert wrote a book called "Be Here Now" in which he tells of his transition from a product of the Judeo-Christian-American belief system to a "devotee" of a guru in India. He now sells books, tapes and even t-shirts from what is allegedly a non-profit web site: www.ramdasstapes.org


The "Monkey God"

Here is a translation of a chant to the "Monkey God"

When you were a child, you swallowed the sun, plunging the three into darkness and terrifying the whole universe. No one could free the world of this calamity, so the Gods came and prayed to you. Then you set the sun free.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

Because of his fear of Bali, the king of the monkeys, Surgrva, lived on a hill. He couldn't leave because a saint had cursed him, but he longed to see the Lord of Lords, Sri Ram. Who else but you could find a solution to this? Seeing Ram coming on the road, you took the form of Brahmin, and brought Ram to Sugriva, relieving Sugriva's suffering. Relieve the suffering of this servant of yours the same way.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

You went with Angad to search for Sita. Sugriva had proclaimed that any monkey who returned without knowledge of Sita's whereabouts would be killed. All the monkeys were tired after searching and were by the shore of the ocean. It was then that you brought word of Sita, saving everyone's life

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

Ravana ordered the demoness to frighten Sita. Sita asked the demoness to help her put an end to her sorrow. At that time, you, Lord Hanuman, killed the great demon. When Sita was asking for fire from the ashoka tree, you dropped Ram's ring down to her and relieved her sufferings.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

Laxman was fatally hit in the chest by an arrow, shot by Ravana's son. After killing Rhim (Ravana's son) you brought the doctor Sushena and his whole house. Then you went back and brought the whole mountain with the sajeevan herb on it. This is how you saved Laxman's life.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

Ravana waged an invisible war and bound Ram and His whole army in nooses of poisonous snakes. Everyone was suffering from this illusion and couldn't get free. Then you brought Garuda who freed them all from the serpents and saved them all from their great terror.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

Ahiravana took Ram and Laxman to the netherworld, to sacrifice them to the Goddess during a puja. Only you could help them by following to the netherworld, rescuing them and killing Ahiravana.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

You have done so many great deeds for the Gods, Oh Great Brave Hanuman, just think, what hardship is there that a poor man like me could have that you can't remove? Come quickly, Oh Hanuman, and relieve all my troubles.

Who in this world doesn't know, Oh Monkey, that your name is the "Reliever of Suffering?"

Red Monkey, with the red body
And shining red countenance
Your body is like a lightening bolt and you are the destroyer of demons
Victory, Victory, Victory to You, Lord of Monkeys

 

The chanting is actually done in Hindu and it starts out like this:

Ba-la sa-ma-ya ra-vi bhak-shi li-yo ta-ba ti-na-ko lo-ka bha-yo ad-hi-ya-ro

Ta-hi so tra-sa bha-yo ja-ga ko ya-ha san-ka-ta ka-hu so ja-ta na ta-ro

De-va-na an-I ka-ri bi-na-ti ta-ba cha-Ri di-yo ra-vi kas-ta ni-va-ro

Ko na-hi ja-na-ta hai ja-ga mein ka-pi (prabhu) san-ka-ta mo-cha-na na-ma ti-ha-ro


Books in which Goleman has written forwards:

Goleman seems to like to write forwards. In the ones I have read he sounds like a politician. He uses a lot of big, flowery words but basically says nothing of substance. This way he gets his name in front of more people and also creates a network of people who feel indebted to him.

Here are the books I have found so far... If you know of more please let me know.

1. Healing Power of Mind: Simple Meditation Exercises for Health, Well-Being and Enlightenment

2. Schools with Spirit

3. Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

4. Boundless Healing: Meditation Exercises to Enlighten the Mind and Heal the Body

5. The Heart of Parenting

6. In a Man's World : Father, Son, Brother, Friend...

7. Snow Lion's Turqoise Mane: Wisdom Tales from Tibet

8. The Denial of Death

9. The Meditative Mind

10.Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational Implications

11. The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence

 


His endorsement of the book Chant and Be Happy

Today I turned to the back cover of Chant and Be Happy, (citation) a book which promotes the Hare Krishnas and their belief that chanting their 16 words will solve all the world's problems. To my surprise and amusement I found this endorsement by Goleman:

"The ability to handle stress increases with the practice of meditation. In a culture like ours in which inner, spiritual growth is totally neglected in favor of materialistic pursuits, we might have something to learn from the Hare Krishna devotees' meditational practices."

Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.
Associate Editor Psychology Today
Author: The Varieties of Meditational Experience

This is exactly what I have been talking about when I criticize Goleman and others. Why do they want to keep trying to manage more and more stress? I suggest we work on reducing the sources of stress! Also, it would seem Goleman has changed his tune somewhat from the days he criticized the materialistic culture, now that he has himself become rich and famous.

On the first page of chapter 8 there is another quote from Goleman in which he adds: "I found the Hare Krishna devotees to be well-integrated, friendly, and productive human beings." With all of his training in psychology I wonder if he might have also found some problems with the way they strip people of their individuality. I also wonder what he thinks of them now. Or if he has heard of the lawsuit accusing them of child abuse and neglect. I also wonder if he thinks we still need people to be more productive, like the horse in Animal Farm.

S. Hein
Jan 1, 2001

Citation: A 1997 Australian printing by McPherson's Printing Group


notes to myself ....

inconsistent/contradictory/hypocritical etc.

. Long-term studies of hundreds of children brought up in poverty, in abusive
   families or by a parent with severe mental illness show that those who
   are resilient even in the face of the most grinding hardships tend to
   share key emotional skills. These include a winning sociability that
   draws people to them, self-confidence, an optimistic persistence in
   the face of failure and frustration, the ability to recover quickly
   from upsets and an easygoing nature.
  
   But the vast majority of children who face such difficulties are
   without these advantages. Of course, many of these skills are innate,
   the luck of genes-- from Emotional, social skills eliminate need for `wars' on
   behavioral misadventures.
   Source: Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, May98,
   Vol. 14 Issue 5, p1,

write a review of this: ei.haygroup.com/resources/default_ieitest.htm

 

From living in New York he sees need for control. Freudian - belief that humans are innately aggressive, violent, selfish, destructive.

Smart people figure out a way to be happy (without hurting others)

Personality traits have more to do with behavior - intelligence has more to do with the mind.

Goleman wants to control behavior - that is why I call him the BF Skinner of emotions.

When he labels people with words like selfish and bully it shows how little he really understands about cause and effect, especially the cause effect relationship between parents and children. He does not understand that unmet emotional needs are what causes people who have food and shelter to act in selfish and aggressive ways. It also shows how little compassion he actually feels. I wonder how he could go through so many years of studying psychology and still be labeling people.

find example of police officer who said "talk to city hall" and walked away, which Goleman thinks is an example of high EQ

comment on this

Quote About Criticism From Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman ISBN 0-553-09503-X

 

(p. 151) "In a sense, criticism is one of the most important tasks...Indeed, how criticisms are given and received goes a long way to determining how satisfied people are with their work [and] with those they work with..."

"The Worst Way to Motivate Someone" (p. 151)

"...Criticisms are voiced as personal attacks rather than complaints that can be acted upon; there are ad hominem charges with dollops of disgust, sarcasm, and contempt; both give rise to defensiveness and dodging of responsibility and, finally, to stonewalling or the embittered passive resistance that comes from feeling unfairly treated. Indeed, one of the more common forms of destructive criticism...is a blanket, generalized statement like 'You're screwing up,' delivered in a harsh, sarcastic, angry tone, providing neither a chance to respond nor any suggestion of how to do things better. It leaves the person receiving it feeling helpless and angry.

From the vantage point of emotional intelligence, such criticism displays an ignorance of the feelings it will trigger in those who receive it, and the devastating effect those feelings will have on their motivation, energy, and confidence in doing their work."

What are effects of personal attacks?

defensiveness, excuses, or evading responsibility. stonewalling--avoiding the person who attacks. thoughts of innocent victimhood or righteous indignation...

(p. 153) "The Artful Critique"

"An artful critique can be one of the most helpful messages...Such a message has the opposite impact of destructive criticism: instead of creating helplessness, anger, and rebellion, it holds out the hope of doing better and suggests the beginning of a plan for doing so."

"An artful critique focuses on what a person has done and can do rather than reading a mark of character into a job poorly done. As Larson observes,'A character attack--calling someone stupid or incompetent--misses the point. You immediately put him on the defensive, so that he's no longer receptive to what you have to tell him about how to do things better.'..."

"And, in terms of motivation, when people believe that their failures are due to some unchangeable deficit in themselves, they lose hope and stop trying. The basic belief that leads to optimism, remember, is that setbacks or failures are due to circumstances that we can do something about to change them for the better."

(quoted from p. 153) Suggestions for better critiques:

1. Be Specific.

Pick a significant incident, an event that illustrates a key problem that needs changing or a pattern of deficiency, such as the inability to do certain parts of the job well. It demoralizes people just to hear that they are doing 'something' wrong without knowing what the specifics are so they can change. Focus on the specifics, saying what the person did well, what was done poorly, and how it could be changed. Don't beat around the bush or be oblique or evasive; it will muddy the real message. ...say exactly what the problem is, what's wrong with it or how it makes you feel, and what could be changed.

2. Offer a solution.

The critique, like all useful feedback, should point to a way to fix the problem. Otherwise it leaves the recipient frustrated, demoralized, or demotivated. The critique may open the door to possibilities and alternatives that the person did not realize were there, or simply sensitize her to deficiencies that need attention--but should include suggestions about how to take care of these problems.

3. Be sensitive.

This is a call for empathy, for being attuned to the impact of what you say and how you say it on the person at the receiving end. ...[lack of empathy often leads to a hurtful fashion of feedback, such as the withering put-down] The net effect of such criticism is destructive: instead of opening the way for a corrective, it creates an emotional backlash of resentment, bitterness, defensiveness, and distance. (p. 154) Counsel for those receiving criticism: "...see the criticism as valuable information about how to do better, not as a personal attack. ...watch for the impulse toward defensiveness instead of taking responsibility. And, if it gets too upsetting [take a break] after a period to absorb the difficult message and cool down a bit. Finally,...see criticism as an opportunity to work together with the critic to solve the problem, not as an adversarial situation."

 

 


Trajectory 9 times.

 

9 pages with references to trajectory in this book:

1. on Page 59:
"... are driving on the freeway. If your reflexive thought is "That son of a bitch!" it matters immensely for the trajectory of rage whether that thought is followed by more thoughts of outrage and revenge: "He could have hit me! That ..."
2. on Page 81:
"... choices a child makes is a telling test; it offers a quick reading not just of character, but of the trajectory that child will probably take through life. There is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse. It is ..."
3. on Page 121:
"... tentative attempts to refocus on another topic; people who intrude or ask "nosy" questions. These derailments of a smooth social trajectory all bespeak a deficit in the rudimentary building blocks of interaction. Psychologists have coined the term dyssemia (from the Greek ..."
4. on Page 140:
"... each other, and feel alone within the marriage. All too often, Gottman finds, the next step is divorce. In this trajectory toward divorce the tragic consequences of deficits in emotional competences are self-evident. As a couple gets caught in the reverberating ..."
5. on Page 236:
"... with teachers will become delinquents in their teen pears I' Of course, not all such aggressive children are on the trajectory that leads to violence and criminality in later life. But of all children, these are the ones most at risk ..."
6. on Page 237:
"... toward delinquency, engaging in petty crimes such as shoplifting , theft, and drug dealing. (A telling difference emerges in this trajectory between boys and girls. A study of fourth-grade girls who > were "bad"-getting in trouble with teachers and breaking rules, ..."
7. on Page 238:
"... get beaten up badly don't really suffer that much."'1 But timely help can change these attitudes and stop a child's trajectory toward delinquency; several experimental programs have had some success in helping such aggressive kids learn to control their antisocial bent ..."
8. on Page 278:
"... similar convergence on emotional literacy occurred with a consortium of psychologists trying to find ways to help youngsters on a trajectory toward a life marked by crime and violence. Dozens of studies of such boys-as we saw in Chapter 15-yielded a ..."
9. from Back Matter:
"... 'paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Kansas Citv, Missouri (Api 1989) 20 The trajectory to dehnquencti Gerald R Patterson, "Orderly Change m a Stable World. The Antisocial Trait as Chimera,".fovrnal gf(,lmical and Consulting Pslcbolog ..."


 


Counter

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Intelligence-Matter-More-Than/dp/055338371X#reader_055338371X

p 341