New Study Suggests Emotionally Intelligent People Earn More Money

December 3, 2014

7:00 am

The Oxford Dictionary of Psychology defines emotional intelligence as the “[a]bility to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.”  In this age where empathy is encouraged, emotional intelligence is increasingly becoming a desired trait in the professional world – and it seems that being emotionally intelligent can literally pay off. That is, at least, according to a recent paper published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior that suggests people who exhibit higher levels of emotional intelligence are likely those who will earn more on average overall.

Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany asked volunteers to identify the varying emotions being expressed in a series of images and voice recordings, gauging their individual levels of emotional intelligence. After determining each participant’s level of emotion recognition ability, the researchers looked into the backgrounds of each subject – looking at things from basic info such as income level to deeper, more subjective information gathered from their respective coworkers.

What they found was that those who scored higher on the emotion recognition tasks were only generally rated more socially skilled by their work colleagues, but also were more likely to have been earning more money than those who scored lower on the task. This, of course, is unsurprising when you consider that it takes a bit of tact – equipped with this ability to recognize people’s moods and behaviors – to ensure that you effectively work alongside your colleagues and bosses. The lesson: develop your emotional intelligence.

If you’ve got an hour to spare, consider watching this lecture from Yale on how you can improve your emotional intelligence. Watch “Emotional Intelligence: From Theory to Everyday Practice” below:

 (H/T New York Magazine)

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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