Emotional intelligence (or EI)--the ability to perceive, regulate, and communicate emotions, to understand emotions in ourselves and others--has been the subject of best-selling books, magazine cover stories, and countless media mentions. It has been touted as a solution for problems ranging from relationship issues to the inadequacies of local schools. But the media hype has far outpaced the scientific research on emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the most widely discussed topics in current psychology. Although first mentioned in the professional literature nearly two decades ago, in the past five years it has received extensive media attention. The term "emotional intelligence" refers to the ability to identify, express, and understand emotions; to assimilate emotions into thought; and to regulate both positive and negative emotions in oneself and others.