EQI.org Home | Emotional Intelligence

Wayne Payne's 1985 Doctoral Paper on
Emotions and Emotional Intelligence


Update - 2015 - Full text copy of Payne's paper

Update - July 2011 - Excerpts from full copy of Payne's paper


My notes and selected quotes from the abstract

The original abstract

More quotes (jpg files)

July 2011

Someone sent me a complete copy of Wayne's paper on what he called emotional intelligence back in the mid 1980's. It is one big image file since it was put on microfilm before the days of the Internet. It is hard to copy from but I have been able to clip some sections of it as images to show you more of what is inside it. It is well worth getting a copy of if you are serious about studying or thinking about the concept of emotional intelligence. (If you write to me and explain your interest in it, I will try to send you a copy when I have time.) (Sept 2011Note- with some help of friends, we now have most of the microfilm in text format)

I am even more interested in Wayne's writing after spending time reading the actual paper rather than just the abstract which I saw before.

Page 58 - Quotes mother writing about coach in the USA telling kids to "leave the other guy bleeding"

The copy I was given is from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. I assume you can get your own copy there, but I haven't confirmed this. I also do not know if any other version is available other than the image version which is not searchable since it is not created from a digital text file.


Early writing on this page- From 2005

In 1985 Wayne Payne published a doctoral thesis titled, A STUDY OF EMOTION: DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.

I am not sure when I first heard of Wayne's thesis, but it was either in one of the Mayer-Salovey articles, or when I talked with Jack Mayer in his office. But one thing I am sure of is that Jack told me he had contacted the school Wayne went to and ordered a copy of the entire dissertation. I believe Jack did this around 1998 or 1999. Jack told me he also tried to get in touch with Wayne but he learned that Wayne had died. The school where Payne wrote this paper has now been renamed The Union Institute. I believe you can get a copy of the dissertation from them. Here is the contact information.

After I spoke with Jack I found an online copy of the abstract from Wayne's dissertation. At that time I read it a little quickly and then put a copy of it on my site without much comment. Today I read it again and found new interest in it. The abstract clearly suggests that Wayne had done a lot of thinking, and a lot of original thinking, about emotions and what he called "emotional intelligence" at least five years before Salovey and Mayer published their first paper, in 1990, using the term.

Wayne was obviously concerned about how society has historically suppressed emotions. This is something that Salovey and Mayer also seemed to be concerned about in their original 1990 paper on EI, though less so than Wayne. In comparison, Dan Goleman seems never to have been very concerned about the suppression of emotion. Instead, he gives the impression he believes we need to control and "regulate" our emotions even more than we are already taught to do.

Goleman's early, and apparently continued, interest in meditation is one indication of this. And his frequent use of the words "regulate" and "appropriate" is another indication. Goleman also said in his 1995 book that the ability to wait and the ability to "follow directions" are "elements of emotional intelligence" (p 193)

Also, in his 1995 book he made it clear that he thought the ability to "control impulse" and "delay gratification" was a main part of emotional intelligence. In contrast, Mayer and Salovey have never included the ability to delay gratification in their definition of EI.

Something else interesting to me is how Wayne talked about "emotional ignorance." He said that it causes social problems such as depression, addiction, illness, religious conflict, violence and war. I agree, but would add that our problems are not just from emotional ignorance, but are from what I call emotional poison. Parents, teachers and other adults are not just ignoring emotions when they teach and train children and teens; They are teaching emotionally unhealthy lessons and giving them emotionally toxic role models to follow.

I believe many children and teens would be better off without the adults who they are being raised, and often brainwashed, by. Just one example is how a 13 year old female in England was urged to learn to shoot a gun as part of her school training when her own emotions were telling her to stay away from deadly weapons. The same teen has been told "there is nothing to be afraid of" when she has told the adults and even older students that she is afraid of going to the medical center at the school. In other words, this teen, like so many around the world is being systematically invalidated and taught to discount the importance of her own feelings. When her innate feelings tell her she does not want to do something, she is called a "wimp" among other toxic labels. (See Education in England)

When I read what Wayne wrote in 1985 I have a sense that he was on the right track. A sense that he understood the idea of emotional intelligence perhaps better than Mayer, Salovey or Caruso. And definitely better than the people I call "fakes" in the field of EI today. I feel sad that Wayne is no longer here to offer us his ideas. And I feel very curious to know what is in the rest of his dissertation. I would like to read it one day myself. If anyone ever gets a copy of it, please let me know.

I may also try to contact some people at The Union Institute in Ohio where he went to school. Maybe some student would be interested in his work and could help us all out by telling us more about it.

Steve Hein
May 31, 2005

My notes and selected quotes from the abstract

The abstract starts with this:

"This dissertation introduces the concept of emotional intelligence... " (note)

He then says a "theoretical and philosophical framework is developed" to help us understand the "nature and characteristics of emotion and emotional intelligence" and to guide us ways of "developing emotional intelligence--in self and, by way of education, in others."

It is interesting to compare this with what Salovey and Mayer wrote in 1990 in their first paper on EI. They said:

"This article presents a framework for emotional intelligence..."

With other authors I might feel skeptical that they copied the idea of emotional intelligence from Wayne Payne without giving him credit, but knowing Jack Mayer, this seems unlikely. So my next thought was that in 1990 Salovey and Mayer did not know of the existence of Wayne´s paper . My next thought was "Why didn't they? Didn't they do a research check to see if any one else had used the term "emotional intelligence" before them? My next thought was "Maybe they did, but the abstract hadn't been available in any electronic form in 1990 so they didn't know it ever existed, but maybe later, around 1999, when Jack Mayer was looking for the first use of the term "emotional intelligence", it had been added to an online database, and Jack found it. As I recall, Jack told me he and his research assistants were looking for earlier uses of the term emotional intelligence because he and Peter Salovey never wanted to be given credit for being the first to use the term.

In any case, later Payne says in his abstract:

"Evidence is presented that the mass suppression of emotion throughout the civilized world has stifled our growth emotionally, leading us down a path of emotional ignorance.

Then he says that many social problems are the "direct result of emotional ignorance". He lists as examples depression, addiction, illness, religious conflict, violence and war. I agree, but I would add suicide, especially teen suicide to this list.

He then says that "perhaps we humans have tried too hard to "civilize" ourselves, trying to deny our true animal nature--our emotional nature--along the way." He suggests that we have done this "because we have had the wrong idea altogether about the nature of emotion and the important function it serves in our lives."

I agree with him on this.

He goes on to say, "This work is intended to be a prototype of a guidebook on developing emotional intelligence." He next lists three ways his paper offers this guidance.

1. By raising important issues and questions about emotion

2. By providing a language and framework we can use to talk about emotion, emotional intelligence and the related issues

3. By providing concepts, methods and tools for developing emotional intelligence

Then in the final line of the abstract Wayne says emotional intelligence "involves relating creatively to fear, pain and desire" and says his dissertation offers guidance on "how to relate to them in emotionally intelligent ways."

His choice of the word "creatively" is interesting to me. I can't think of many authors on EI who have said something like this. They usually say something more like "intelligently" but not "creatively." To say "creatively" suggest that Wayne had the idea that to be emotionally intelligent meant having the ability to create new ways of responding to emotional situations, as opposed to just repeating patterns that you have seen modeled by those around you.

And this, is a very interesting and, I believe, profound thought.

The original abstract



Wayne Leon Payne

Degree: PH.D.
Year: 1985
Source: DAI, 47, no. 01A, (1985): 0203


This paper introduces the concept of emotional intelligence, a faculty of consciousness heretofore overlooked. A rigorous theoretical and philosophical framework is developed to throw light on the nature and characteristics of emotion and emotional intelligence and to enable us to explore how one actually goes about developing emotional intelligence--in self and, by way of education, in others.

Evidence is presented that the mass suppression of emotion throughout the civilized world has stifled our growth emotionally, leading us down a path of emotional ignorance. Indeed, many of the problems facing society today are the direct result of emotional ignorance: depression, addiction, illness, religious conflict, violence and war. Perhaps we humans have tried too hard to "civilize" ourselves, trying to deny our true animal nature--our emotional nature--along the way. Whatever our motivation, however, we have not done this out of any inherent evil nature. We've done this because we have had the wrong idea altogether about the nature of emotion and the important function it serves in our lives.

This work is intended to be a prototype of a guidebook on developing emotional intelligence. It offers guidance in three ways: (1) by raising important issues and questions about emotion; (2) by providing a language and framework to enable us to examine and talk about the issues and questions raised; and (3) by providing concepts, methods and tools for developing emotional intelligence.

Since emotional intelligence involves relating creatively to fear, pain and desire, these states are explored in detail and guidance is offered on how to relate to them in emotionally intelligent ways.

Descriptor: PHILOSOPHY
Accession No: AAG8605928

Copyright FirstSearch

EQI.org Home Page

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
Emotional Abuse | Understanding
Emotional Literacy | Feeling Words
Respect | Parenting | Caring
Listening | Invalidation | Hugs
Depression |Education
Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org

Online Consulting, Counseling Coaching from EQI.org


The Union Institute

The Union Insitute
440 E. McMillan Street
Cincinnati, OH 45206-1925
(800) 486-3116 voice
(513) 861-6400 voice
(513) 861-3238 fax

Union Institure Website


Note on the word "dissertation" - The original abstract read "Project Demonstrating Excellence" which I am sure the grad students all called PDE and I assume is pretty much the same as a dissertation. When I went to the University of Texas we had to do a paper the school called a "Professional Report" or "PR" as all the students called it. This was like a mini dissertation. I still have a bound copy of mine somewhere and so does the U of Texas. Mine was on Organization Development consulting.

Table of Contents


Schools, Crying, Hypocrisy, Democracy

There are no institutions in society that provide opportunities to learn how to relate to emotion. The only education we offer children--or adults for that matter-- around emotional issues is in the context of "moral education," and responsibility for this falls primarily on the family and the church. It is considered to be nobody's business what I teach my children regarding such issues as how to deal with emotional stress. What recourse does a child have who, for instance, is consistently punished for crying? Who is there to help this child to understand that he or she is a victim of circumstances?

Certainly not our public schools. Supported by the same parents who punish their children for crying, the entire system of public education is designed to suppress emotion. We are taught early on that our inner experiences --our feelings, desires and interests--are simply not relevant. We are forced to ask for permission even to empty a full bladder, and it is not uncommon for such permission to be denied. And we are told what to study.

Beyond the family, school and church, the only resources available to a person who is struggling to solve an emotional problem are in the fields of psychotherapy and medicine. While these fields do have a number of emotionally sophisticated individuals working to help people to relate positively to emotional stress, these fields tend to be filled with people who, in the Stoic tradition, regard emotion as an illness of sorts. To them, emotion is something that erupts only when we mismanage our lives somehow and lose control over our inner states of being.

Accordingly, the goal of many therapists and physicians becomes, again, the suppression of emotion--often with the aid of a chemical tranquilizer. I find this to be generally true even among those therapists and physicians who sincerely profess to believe otherwise. Their beliefs and attitudes show in subtle ways, such as referring to a person in emotional distress as a "patient," not recognizing the implications in this.

Even those therapies that offer relief by way of emotional release often see the goal of therapy to be the return of the person to a centered, balanced, unemotional state, as in the psychoanalytic model. This view is, of course, a carry-over from the Stoic creed.

G. S. Brett of the University of Toronto describes this state:

. . . Both parties [the Stoics and Epicureans] accepted the view that . . . in the normal state the emotion in the proper sense was not found; all emotions were forms of disease, or, as we should say, abnormal states of excitement. The normal state was a point of equilibrium called tranquility, a point on the scale of feeling to which the person returns after divergence either toward elation or toward depression. (1928, p. 391)

The moral order has forced us into mass hypocrisy. We are punished for telling the truth about ourselves. We are taught to conceal and disregard emotion. As a result, each of us grows up living two lives: an outward expression that is acceptable to society, and an inner experience which may or may not have any bearing on his or her outward expression.

This enforced hypocrisy is backfiring on us. Our democratic form of government, although built on a beautiful ideology falls far short of that ideal because of political deceit. Government by representation can work only if we can trust our representatives to be honest with their constituencies. Our newspapers are filled with evidence that honesty among politicians is becoming increasingly rare.

from page 55-56

p 58 - "Leave the other guy bleeding"

Chapter 2 Summary

Chapter 3

Religion as a Psychotic Episode

When I was about 18 years old I became involved with the Assembly of God, a spinoff of Southern Baptists who had followed closely the teachings of the Moody Institute, an extremely fundamentalist organization. I was convereted to a born-again Christian and, for about a year, was an avid evangelist. Following the teachings of the Assembly of God, I became very critical of my parents (with whom I was still living) for watching television, swearing, playing cards, listening to popular music and dancing. I was disgusted with my mother for wearing lipstick and enjoying Elvis Presley. "But look how he moves his hips, Mom!" I became a bigoted moralist, spreading prejudice, intolerance and hatred in the name of love. It took me a full year to recover from this psychotic episode.

p 420


P's comments - Feb 2013

He sometimes uses vague terms like "relating to emotion" and "realms" without explaining what he means by the term.

P says it is too bad he is not still alive so we could ask him what he meant.

In Chapter 12 he spends a lot of time talking about holographs, without showing a clear, practical relevance to emotional intelligence.

P's Page