emotional intelligence

IQ vs. EQ: Measuring Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

emotional intelligence

Post sponsored by Campbellsville University

By Gabe Duverge

Throughout history, scientists have tried to measure intelligence in many different ways and formats. These measures of intelligence have been used to rank people in ability, talent, and other characteristics. For a business seeking new employees, finding highly intelligent candidates is key. But how much does intelligence truly relate to workplace success? Does emotional intelligence factor in, and if so, how?

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

IQ is the most common professional measurement of human intelligence. Since its inception at the turn of the 20th century, it has been used in countless psychological studies as well as in business, education, and even government.

The history of IQ

Thinkers have long been interested in the varying intelligence of individuals. But in the early 1900s, the French government commissioned psychologist Alfred Binet to identify which students were the most likely to have difficulty in school. With a new law requiring all French children to attend school, Binet hoped to determine which students would need specialized assistance.

Binet and his colleague Theodore Simon quickly developed the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale, which remains the basis for most intelligence tests used today. While some were excited about the creation of this test, Binet stressed that it had limitations. Even as standardized intelligence measurement was just beginning, Binet was suggesting that “intelligence” was too broad to quantify.

In 1916, Stanford University professor Lewis Terman completed his modification of the original test and released the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. This test quickly became the standard IQ measurement in the United States and was the first to use the term “intelligence quotient.” Throughout the 20th century, more and more tests were created. Several were created for unique purposes, like for the military or for children. American psychologist David Wechsler developed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) in 1955, which remains among the most common IQ tests used today.

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IQ tests

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are the most popular tests, according to University of Connecticut educational psychology professor Jonathan Plucker. Although both seek to measure intelligence through IQ, they are different in their own ways.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale

Since its inception, there have been five editions of the Stanford-Binet, which is primarily used as a part of the teaching process. This is due in large part to the ability of the test to provide test-takers with more hands-on portions. The test can be administered to individuals as young as 2 years old and includes both a verbal and nonverbal portion.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

The WAIS has been revised four times since its creation and is designed for individuals over the age of 16. The test provides four scores in verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory, and processing speed. It also produces an alternate score called the General Ability Index that is only based on comprehension and reasoning.

IQ in the workplace

In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Griggs v. Duke Power Co. that intelligence tests such as IQ exams used for hiring must be related to job performance. Thus, companies refrain from using them specifically in hiring, but it isn’t uncommon for tests to be used after someone is hired.

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