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|The 1997 Mayer-Salovey 4 Branch
Model of Emotional Intelligence
In a 1997 article Mayer and Salovey listed these branches as follows and offered a detailed chart reflecting their thoughts. Here is a copy of that chart:
In that article they say that the branches in the chart are:
They add that abilities that "emerge relatively early in development are to the left of a given branch; later developing abilities are to the right." They also say that, "people high in emotional intelligence are expected to progress more quickly through the abilities designated and to master more of them."
|Here is a very short
version of the model, from Jack Mayer's website:
The Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence
From Jack Mayer's website
My early (around 2000) comments on their model:
I have a few concerns about their definition and some suggestions I would like them to consider.
First, I would like to see them focus more on the idea that intelligence is potential. An infant can be intelligent, for example, without being able to read, write or take intelligence tests. In other words, he may have no demonstrable abilities as yet, but he may have extremely high potential ability. He simply has not had a chance to develop his potential and his intelligence into competencies which can be measured by any existing tests.
The word "ability" itself can have two meanings. First, it can mean potential, yet undeveloped ability. Second, it can mean potential which has been developed into something which can be demonstrated, measured or tested. At present it is impossible to measure pure potential, thus the Mayer Salovey Caruso tests focus on only the second form of ability. (I suspect, though, that one day brain scanning devices will be able to tells us much more about a baby's potential.)
Second, their definition and the way they discuss EI in their writing does not address the fact that a child can start out with high innate emotional intelligence and then be emotionally damaged. (I discuss this further in my section on EI vs EQ. xx ) I would like to see them address this more in their work.
Third, I would like to see them emphasize that an emotionally intelligent person is capable of mastering an extensive vocabulary of what I call feeling words. By mastering I mean having the ability to not only perceive an extensive range of feelings in oneself and others, but also to quickly assign the most specific label to the feeling, for example in conversation with others or in self-reflection.
In their four branch model Mayer and Salovey do include the ability to express emotion, but the tests they and David Caruso designed only refer to a few emotions compared with the much broader available scope of feeling words which are available in the English language. (See this list for example)
Fourth, much of what is called emotional understanding is probably better called emotional knowledge. Knowledge can be taught and gained through experience, but intelligence represents potential before any learning has taken place. Of course, as Mayer and Salovey suggest in their model, this learning takes place faster and can go further when someone has more innate potential or "intelligence" in a particular area. One thing to remember, though, is that someone who is emotionally intelligent by birth, but who grows up in an emotionally dysfunctional environment, will "learn" unhealthy actions and thought patterns. Such a person will then appear to many as a teenager or adult lacking in emotional intelligence. Yet as I see it, this is true. The person is still emotionally intelligent. They are simply emotionally damaged. For more about this see the Dark Side of EI
Fifth, I am concerned with measuring emotional facilitation of thought and emotional management. I don't see how you can really do this with a paper and pencil test. The MSC team say they are measuring some of these things with their tests, but it is hard to say how much their test scores reflect actual ability in real life situations, or when under extreme stress. And these are the situations when highly developed emotional intelligence may be the most important.
Finally their definition is a bit too abstract for me when it comes to things like identifying emotion in art and music. I found this section of their CD ROM test a little hard to take seriously when it asks you to look at a graphic design and try to guess what emotions it is conveying. Therefore I would like to see them test for something like the ability to identify emotion in tone of voice or body language instead.
See also this note about love, need and hate
My adaptation of the Mayer Salovey 4 Branch Model
|. Emotional Perception
and Expression - the ability to accurately identify
and express feelings
2. Use of Emotions - the ability to use your feelings constructively
3. Emotional Understanding - the ability to understand the meanings of emotions and how they can change
4. Emotional Management - the ability to manage emotions for personal and social growth
Four branch EI Model -- Mayer, J. D. & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In P. Salovey & D. Sluyter (Eds). Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Implications for Educators (pp. 3-31). New York: Basic Books.
Note about love, need, and hate
In the Mayer Salovey they say: Ability to understand complex feelings: simultaneous feelings of love and hate... " but it might be more accurate to say "need and hate" for the following reason:
When we need someone and they aren't doing what we want or aren't giving us what we need, we may start to feel resentment or even hatred towards them. But this is based on our need for love from them. Not the love we feel for them.
We may be able to move quickly between what we think of as love and what we think of as hate, but it probably does not make sense to say we can simultaneusly love and hate someone. It is possible though to need and hate a person at the same time.
The expression, "there is a think line between love and hate" would therefore be more accurate if it were "a thin line between need and hate."