ntelligence quotient alone is not enough to serve as the foundation for all-round happiness. Indeed, psychologists have firmly established that neither does IQ alone account for one's life success. Research data in this area is so strong that it is now empirically accepted that cognitive development should no longer be the singular aim of schools.
Social skills favoured
The evidence for this was found through a study conducted by Gregory Feist and Frank Barron among 80 PhD (science) students who experienced a battery of personality tests, IQ tests and interviews in the 1950s at University of California, Berkeley.
When the test subjects were revisited 40 years later and assessed for success through their resumes, evaluation by experts in their own fields, and listing in the American Men and Women of Science, it was found that social-emotional intelligence were four times more important than IQ in determining professional success among these individuals.
A meta-analysis of data from various research across cultures also reveals that IQ scores (which are believed to significantly correlate with school grades) account for as little as 4 percent and as high as 25 percent variance for success in job performance.
What researchers have consistently found is that while IQ scores and school grades could get people into universities and good jobs, whether individuals succeed or fail thereafter is significantly determined by their abilities to, as Daniel Goleman puts it, ''sense, understand, value and effectively apply the power and insight of emotions as a source of human energy, information, trust, creativity and influence''.
Go along to get along
As such, individuals who are able to handle frustration, control emotion and get along well with other people are invariably more successful, get and keep good jobs, are given promotions and live happier, fulfilling lives.
Although success is tangibly measured and used to guide decisions about people's potential, the fact remains that we live in a social environment that is dynamic and not always confined to measurable outcomes. Hence, people who truly succeed in the long run are those who acknowledge that there is more to success than IQ and academic grades.
Awareness in this direction will enable individuals to recognise the importance of spending time reflecting on oneself, learning to control one's impulses, keeping issues in a proper perspective, valuing intrinsic over extrinsic motivation, nurturing relationships and empathising with others.
Back to basics
It is time that schools take these research findings seriously and include the emotional aspects of learning more rigorously in mainstream curricula. This was the case in ancient schooling systems, regardless of how primitive they were _ founded on the belief that focusing on developing strong emotional intelligence is the prerequisite to producing clever individuals.
This is unlike our education system that aims at making students clever and leaving emotional development to chance and natural causes, such as age and experience.
Tools for the heart
Schools could do this by engaging students in activities that are geared toward specifically developing emotional intelligence. Starting the day with a gratitude exercise, where students focus their attention on at least three good things in their life, and making verbal remarks about how grateful they are, are both exercises that enhance introspective skills as well as increases a sense of appreciation and optimism.
Additionally, schools could incorporate technologies available from the Institute of HeartMath (http://www.heartmath.org/ ) _ a group that studies heart intelligence and emotional management to increase students' self-awareness and emotional states.
z Schools would also benefit from appropriate and intelligent use of strengths-profiling assessment tools made available at http://happier.com/tools.jsp . The site is operated by an organisation that is founded upon the principles of positive psychology.
Dr Edward Roy Krishnan is the director of strategic planning at Wells International School (www.wells-school.com). He also lectures in the Graduate School of Psychology, Assumption University.
He can be contacted at edwardmsia
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