Emotional Intelligence: A Vital Need


Inteligência Emocional: Uma Necessidade Vital


Inteligencia Emocional: Una Necesidad Vital


Marcelo Simões Mendes*

Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba - UNIMEP, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brasil

Endereço para correspondência



Goleman, Daniel. (2012). Inteligência Emocional: a teoria revolucionária que define o que é ser inteligente. (M. Santarrita, Trans.). Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva. 383p.


The birth of Modern Science has rationality as its primary reference. Although Descartes proposed an accurate and effective method, there should be asked: could humans be conceived and guided only by their reason? In his book, Emotional Intelligence: revolutionary theory that defines what is to be intelligent, Daniel Goleman, a Harvard graduated psychologist, argues that emotions can play a vital role in our lives, including our survival.

In the first part of the book, Goleman emphasizes the function of certain brain areas. From this perspective, the amygdala would be responsible for managing emotional matters in a biological level. A trauma, disorder or the lack of this region could affect the emotional functioning of human beings or even cause, what the author calls "affective blindness" (p. 41), in which people would have difficulty evaluating the emotional meaning of facts.

Applying the above situation to symbolic and subjective plan, a reflection whether such affective blindness would be restricted to complication in the amygdala region should be done. The scientism, marked by the conception that Science assumes a condition of supremacy implying that rational knowledge would be the "true knowledge", corroborates with the weakening of men's emotional and affective aspects. On the other hand, globalization and the constant flow of information with the most difficult situations human kind can reach, other people's emotions seem to be neglected, the suffering of others appears to be common and that's why it's almost taken for granted in some moments.

Continuing the analysis of Goleman's work, the second chapter explores the nature of emotional intelligence. At this point, looking at yourself and developing self- consciousness are emphasized for the composition of this intelligence. On the way to building a positive emotional intelligence, such process isn't free from situations in which emotions acquire and influence negatively men's emotional health. The knowledge of your own emotions appears to be an important (re)start from which you can take another direction to the actions bounded to such emotions.

The last three chapters refer to how the use of emotional intelligence is applied in relationships and everyday situations. One of the situations pointed by Goleman is marriage, which exemplifies how the use of negative emotions, such as anger and anxiety, associated with destructive thoughts can compromise a marriage and even provide extreme situations, for instance, homicide attempts. On the other hand, the long-lasting relationships have certain characteristics in common, e.g., some couples going through difficult moments can create a space for each spouse's emotions in order to rebuild or even take another direction for the emotions that until then bothered them.

Another situation discussed by the author is when emotional intelligence is well used in the work environment. Goleman states that unlike more traditional concepts, in which work related emotions would only hinder accomplishing the company's goals, the modern trend indicates that when these emotions are used in a productive way, they influence the work harmony and a team's motivation, increasing the production.

Regarding the health care, the emotions can also play a major role. The emotional support in fragile moments – common during illness situations – can contribute with more than just the patient's emotional wellbeing, it may even strengthen the immune system.

In summary, in a context where reason still seems to play a major role in life dynamics, Goleman's work presents, in an applied and easy way to understand, how emotions in our lives can have a significant role in the promotion of mental health of the modern human beings.

Historically, many emotions have been oppressed, judged and even condemned. Currently, with the freedom of speech and the globalization, emotions have never been so allowed to be expressed.

Thus, these facts reveal a contradictory scenario. Although, we still have the supremacy of reason as the landmark of "true truth", the freedom of speech – which includes the emotions – has never been so present. At the same time, "modern diseases" – such as depression, panic disorders, bipolar disorder, among others – never before had such high incidence rates and prevalence.

Therefore, the education and reeducation of emotions seem to have a central role in this scenario. The development of Emotional Intelligence is shown to be important, not only for human's Mental Health, but also an urgent necessity of contemporary society.



Endereço para correspondência
Marcelo Simões Mendes
Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba - UNIMEP
Faculdade de Ciências Humanas
Rodovia do Açúcar, Km 156 (SP – 308), CEP 13423-170, Piracicaba – SP, Brasil
Endereço eletrônico:

Recebido em: 01/12/2014
Aceito em: 15/08/2017




* Graduado em Psicologia e Educação Física. Mestre em Educação e Doutor em Saúde Coletiva. Professor dos cursos de graduação em Psicologia da Universidade de Sorocaba e da Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba.


Este artigo de revista Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia é licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-Não Comercial 3.0 Não Adaptada.

Licença Creative Commons
A revista Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia esta licenciada sob uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-Não Comercial 3.0 Não Adaptada.


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