Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Bantam Books, New York
Goleman explores a part of the brain which enhances the human experience more than any other. Human intelligence as measured by IQ tests rests on a part of the brain evolved to help us love our families, to protect our young. Intelligence springs from the emotional center. Besides making us good people, it makes us stronger too by allowing emotions to enhance our intelligence.
He also explores family or group relationships, trauma, specific physiology, animal empathy, the work environment, the topic of crime and even Robin Hood's purported quotes.
He is brilliant, is adept at the crossover relationships between topics so relevant to my study and breaks many new trails through the studies of psychotherapy and sociology.
References and Notes:
Anger: Blood flows, heart rate increases, and a rush of hormones allows us to be more vigorous
Fear: Face is blanched and runs cold as it is shunted to the legs making it easier to flee. The body becomes edgy, going on general alert making quick decisions easier
Happiness: The brain inhibits negative feelings and releases available energy. Quiescence allows the body to recover from upsetting emotions. Rest, readiness and enthusiasm
Love: Tenderness and sensual pleasure create empathic feelings and parasympathetic arousal. Feelings of calm and contentment allow interpersonal commitment
Surprise: Eyes open to take in a larger visual sweep. Openness to the situation allows for more information to be able to figure out what is going on and create a plan of action
Disgust: Globally universal, disgust has the same expression everywhere. Something is offensive to the nose, or metaphorically so. As Darwin suggested, a primordial attempt is made by curling the lips to spit out the offensive substance.
Sadness: Helps us adjust to significant loss such as death or disappointment. It brings a drop in energy and enthusiasm and approaches depression where the metabolism slows. Withdrawal allows for introspection, mourning and a chance to grasp life's consequences. The loss of energy may keep saddened organisms close to home.
Large in humans, near the brainstem, the amygdala and hippocampus gave rise to the cortex and the neocortex. The amygdala is the specialist for emotional matters. Without it one is unable to gauge the emotional significance of events, affective blindness; one loses affection. It’s a storehouse for emotional memory and thus significance itself. Life without it is stripped of personal meanings.
All passion depends on it. Tears are an emotional response unique to humans. Triggered by the amygdala and the cingulate gyrus, sobbing stops when these regions are soothed by being held.
Joseph LeDoux, Center for Neural Science at NYU
Amygdala scans every experience; it has a powerful emotional responsibility. If there is fear of some significant concern it reacts instantaneously, telegraphing messages to all parts of the brain.
(Regions / Emotions)
Hippocampus: Narrative memories
Neocortex: Rational thought
Hippocampus and amygdala work together, each receives and stores information and the amygdala determines if it has any emotional valence. The amygdala is formed much closer to birth and is formed by life's earlier experiences especially the relationships between newly born infants and parents. The experiences are stored in their pure and raw form having been stored before the skills of description have been formed. Reactions caused by the amygdala can be so baffling because they date back to a time when almost all experience was bewildering and had no links to rational analysis.
The amygdala and other lymbic areas prime the emotional reaction and the prefrontal cortex dampens the feeling in order to act more effectively. Sensory information from the thalamus goes to the neocortex where a response is coordinated by the prefrontal lobes, the planning area for goals including emotional ones. If an emotional response is called for, the prefrontal lobes dictate it.
This is the cascading process for everything except emergency reactions. Within moments the prefrontal lobes determine a "risk/benefit" ratio to the possible emotional reactions to find the one that is best; when to run or attack and also to placate, seek sympathy, etc.
The neocortal response is slower but more reflective than the amygdalan response. In hijacking the amygdala reacts but there is a failure of the neocortex to dampen the response. The rational mind is flooded by an emotional emergency. The left prefrontal lobe regulates negative emotions where the right one holds negative feelings such as fear and aggression. The left moderates the right.
(Intelligence at Harvard University)
In the 1940s, before students were chosen or culled by intelligence quotients by the University system, a study was initiated which followed the students into middle age. Those with high intelligence test scores where not as successful as those with lower scores in terms of such free market measurements as salary, productivity and professional status. Nor did they get as much satisfaction from life such as in relationships.
Other studies prove that IQ ratings can predict socioeconomic status but measurements emotional abilities are much greater predictors. This compared against societal free market measurements, not internal more nebulous personal achievements.
** since therapy is personal yet a "tango", empathy is everything below
Knowing one's emotions: recognizing feelings as they happen
Managing emotions: Handling feelings builds on self awareness, ability to shake off anxiety, gloom, irritability and being able to bounce back from life's upsets.
Motivating one's self: Getting emotions into the flowing state towards goals while stifling impulsiveness or delaying gratification.
Recognizing emotions in others: Empathy and altruism allows us to understand what other people want or need, creating professional skills.
** Evil empathy as in human resource exploitation (management / Mumford)
Handling relationships: As empathy is proactive sympathy, relationships are proactive empathies.
(Pure IQ Types w/o emotional intelligence)
High IQ type: a caricature of intellect
High IQ male: ambitious, productive, predictable, dogged -- critical, condescending, fastidious, inhibited, sexually/sensually impaired, unexpressive, detached and bland
High IQ female: intellectually confident, can express thoughts, have intellectual and aesthetic interests -- introspective, prone to anxiety, rumination, guilt, express anger indirectly rather than openly
** Passive aggressive -- back stabbing??
** isn’t aesthetic an emotional skill?? -- are they faking it??
** Possibly these studies separated male/female traits as a consequence of testing
Calculated: From neocortex, outrage at unfairness or injustice
Spark of Rage: From amygdala
Franklin, Ben: "Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one"
Dampening Anger: Rage is the mood most unable to control or escape; most intransigent. It is seductive, propelled by the self-righteous inner justification for venting rage. Energizes and even exhilarates
Defusing: Brooding gives more "good" reasons to be angry, but analyzing the train of thoughts and reframing the situation helps put the anger to rest (Tice)
Self-perpetuating: Every event in a sequence of provoking situations becomes a "mini-trigger" to escalate the intensity of anger. Amygdala excretes catecholamines and the effect subsides only gradually. If the secretions are too frequent, the brain heats up and violence erupts. People become unforgiving and exist beyond reason, oblivious to the consequences of reactions fostered by the illusion of power and invulnerability. Failing cognitive guidance (experiential intelligence) becomes primitive. Limbic urge is ascendant; brutality becomes the guide to action (Zillmann)
** Animus of the hunter (Mumford)
Solution: Timing, challenge the thoughts that created the anger as soon as possible, preferably even before the anger erupts (Zillmann)
Nature: I left and vowed I would never return, but it was a beautiful summer day and the stillness and the beauty of the country lanes soothed me and melted my anger.
Cooling down: Can help reduce the anger especially with exercise, but can also be used to rationalize the anger developing cooler reappraisals which can deepen the anger
Catharsis, venting rage: may feel satisfying but does nothing to reduce anger and the target of this "appropriate response" of anger may actually retaliate
Handling anger: Don’t suppress it, but don’t act on it (Tibetan teacher)
Pleasure in what we do and an optimal amount of anxiety at the consequences of failure can propel us to achieve life long goals. Guiding emotions allows us to facilitate ourselves and achieve goals rather than allowing emotions to selfishly and impulsively interfere with them
Strong expectation that things will turn out alright, buffers against apathy, hopelessness, depression when faced with adversity.
Unrealistic optimism can be disastrous
Emotional attunement, capacity for sympathy (in another's shoes)
Builds on self-awareness (congruence), more open to others if we are in touch with ourselves. Our internal knowledge gives us the ability to understand all the subtleness of others' communications; the weaving of sounds and motions in other's language and motions, telling silences or trembles. Possibly navigating by "dead reckoning", guessing how others would be feeling, where they are on the emotional map by regarding our own navigation system.
Absence of empathy seen in rapists, molesters, psychopaths (and some therapists?)
Tone of voice, gesture, facial expressions.
Part of the rhythm of relationship, mothers let their infants know that they have a sense of what the infant is feeling. When the baby squeals with delight, the mother affirms it by cooing or giving a gentle shake. If the baby shakes a rattle, the mother gives a shimmy in response. The mother matches the baby's level of excitement. The attunements give the baby the feeling of being emotionally connected; mothers give these messages once a minute
** Like servers calling to each other to assure "state" (infosoc)
Love makers sense each others emotional states, shared desire, intentions, increasing arousal, mutual empathy (congruence).
Absence of attunement in the child damages the emotional health of the child. Without emotions, joys, tears, cuddles, the child avoids expression and possibly loses emotions that are necessary for interactions in life.
Unfortunate emotions can be attuned to by the child; depressed mothers can bring about more anger and sadness in their child's play.
** What about self actualization, can the child grow anyway??
An imbalance in early life can be corrected later, life is an ongoing experience and others can fulfill the gaps left by a less fortunate childhood.
Foster home to foster home is the condition the cruelest of criminals share, emotional neglect and no opportunity for attunement
** Definition of criminal ... changers may need to break laws to change this process
** Why "emotional person" bad in free market environment, un-attunement component of the economic system
Hyper attunement: Children of continual abuse are hyper alert to emotions around them, post traumatic vigilance. Those gifted at empathy very often developed their empathic skills surviving abusive childhood environments.
** The best humans, found in Africa??
** Pain will never go away, no shortage of hurt yet attuned humans to look for
** What comes around goes around??
Researchers have developed data proving animal empathy, by using excruciating electrical shock to prove their points. Monkeys were allowed to prevent other monkeys from being shocked by researchers by recognizing fear in their cage-mates faces.
** Would these researchers be Maslow's "well adjusted Nazis", they must be empathic as they are studying empathy, yet they themselves would probably benefit from electro shock to enhance their own empathic experience as "to feel with another is to care" (therapeutic contradiction)
"Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee"
In the progression of empathy from babyhood onward, a one year old feels distress when another infant cries as if they were hurt, by one year they will actively soothe another crying child.
Putting oneself in another's shoes (empathy), allows the formation of moral principles.
Empathic people support the economic distribution of resources based on need.
** We no longer need morality, a derived human lesson, when empathy is both political and given at birth
Consequences do not trigger anxiety in psychopaths; they lack concern for what they do. As they cannot feel fear nor fear pain, they have no empathy, or concern, for fear and pain in others.
** Suppressing fear is bravery, ignoring the consequences of the potentially painful or lethal results of dangerous selfless acts is psychopathy. The consequences will include post trauma where society consistently, and appropriately, punishes self sacrifice as no good deed goes unpunished.
** is the psychopath, the punished, the backbone, the survival of humanity??
Organizing groups: skill of the leader, networking peoples skills and efforts
** No longer a network, a matrix
Negotiating Solutions: mediator, preventing conflicts
Personal Connection: Empathy, team players, dependable family members and friends
Social Analysis: insights about others feelings, motives, and concerns. Competent therapist or novelist
** As opposed to empathy (or sympathy)
(Hatch and Gardner)
Emotional brilliance, Aikido, the art of reconciliation
Ultimate defense, the face goes blank, withdrawing from communication, sending a powerful, unnerving message, distance, superiority and distaste. Devastation to relationships cuts off all possibility of reconciliation.
Time out when emotional flooding begins
(Moving towards reconciliation)
Listen during the emotional hijackings, listen past the anger, hear peace offerings
McBroom is a pilot who had his air-crew so scared that failed to tell him about the depleted fuel during an emergency and the plane crashed. Arrogance, intimidation and other deficiencies can cause an organization (or a planet) to crash and burn.
Feeling empathy or compassion puts people in conflict with organizational goals. Feeling for others would prevent "hard" decisions and though empathy they may allow a more humane implementation.
**Or would they fake empathy, publicize superficial platitudes and affect a cruel and satisfying implementation of a business decision.
(Empathy and healing)
Chemical impact on the immune cells, fear causes problems in surgery and prevents healing. Blood pressure can cause excess bleeding.
Chronic anxiety, sadness, pessimism, tension, hostility, cynicism, suspiciousness doubles the risk of diseases, asthma, arthritis, headaches, ulcers, heart disease. Emotions are as big a risk indicator as smoking or cholesterol for heart disease.
Stress doubles likelihood of virus infection
Isolation doubles risk in illness for men. Being cut-off is emotional risk.
Health is dependant on relationships
Robin Hood: "Tell us they troubles and speak freely. A flow of words doth ever ease the hear of sorrows. It is like opening the waste where the mill dam is overfull."
Openness has a beneficial medical effect (Pennebaker, Southern Methodist University)
(Aggression passed generation to generation)
Study of 870 in Upstate NY: Followed from age 8 to 30, the quickest to habitually use force were most likely to drop out and have a criminal history by age 30. Their children were also the most likely to have similar problems in school.
The troubled kids, as parents, made family life a school for aggression. As children they were punished arbitrarily and with relentless severity. As parents they continued the process. Other than punishment, there was little interest in the children's lives and the children were ignored. The acts of punishment were transported to the playground and carried throughout life. The parents wished for the best for their children but they were repeating the style of parenting that had been modeled for them historically.
** Historic patterns developed during the anti-empathic paleotechnic by moralists working to help the factory owners exploit the human resource