Emotional Intelligence: Theories and Definitions

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, who have been lead researchers since 1990 in their famous paper  ‘Emotional intelligence, imagination, cognition and personality’, defined EI as “the sub-set of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s and others feeling and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”.

However, it was the publication of Daniel Goleman’s international acclaimed bestselling book ‘Emotional Intelligence, Why it Can Matter More Than IQ’, published in 1995 that led to the popularisation of EI practice in industries, education and communities around the global. With five million copies in print in 30 languages, the world was ready to learn and hopefully become more emotionally intelligent.

Goleman (1995) refers to emotional intelligence as the ability to sense, understand, value and effectively apply the emotions as source of human energy, information, trust, creativity and influence.  Since then, he has written, talked and advocated extensively on the subject. According to Goleman, 80% of what we need to be personally and professionally effective is emotional intelligence therefore; it plays a key role in determining success in life.

EI widely known around the world, a global movement and practices – a growing industry of networks of:

  • researchers and practitioners in education and industry
  • summits and conferences
  • publications
  • accredited training:
  • professional development courses
  • online self-assessment tools

Leading organisations

Psychometric Lab, University College London – Home of Trait Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Consortium – Articles, Research and Information on Emotional Intelligence

International Congresses | International Society for Emotional Intelligence

6th International Congress on Emotional Intelligence – ICEI 2017

EI World


In 2015, Roche Martin hosted the first  Emotional Intelligence Summit in London, sponsored by Harvard Business Review, Sheffield University and Sky,  attended by over 390 delegates from across different industries including the creative sectors

2017 Summit, 25 May, Sir Ken Robinson and Daniel Goleman are among the keynote speakers