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Emotional Intelligence

Last Updated: January 7, 2019

Introduction

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to perceive, understand, and regulate emotions in oneself and others. Introduced into formal scientific parlance in the 1990s,1 EI was popularized by the publication of Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book on the topic, entitled Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.As a construct, EI gained early traction in the field of business management, where it has been shown to predict job performance and leadership skills.2,3 EI has drawn subsequent attention from medical researchers interested in the relationships between emotion processing, medical training, and patient care.4–7

Neurosurgeons strive to deliver care that is clinically sound and emotionally responsive to the needs of their patients and families. In the pr...