IQ vs. EQ
When comparing IQ versus EQ, it's important to understand the difference between the two.
IQ refers to "Intelligence Quotient," and it essentially measures your intelligence and your ability to solve problems by conduction a thorough IQ-Test. IQ differs based on socio-economic, racial and locational factors (see our article on the average IQ.)
EQ, on the other hand, refers to your "Emotional Quotient" or your Emotional Intelligence, and it essentially measures your emotional intelligence as well as your ability to read, manage, and handle emotions.
Simply put, IQ measures how well you can reason and problem solve. And EQ measures how well you can understand and manage emotions.
What's the Difference Between IQ and EQ?
The first IQ test was developed in 1904 in order for researchers to distinguish children who were mentally slow versus children who were simply lazy. Later, in 1940, IQ tests in the United States became widespread and were used in schools to determine which children should take advanced courses and which children should be held back. The purpose was to determine which kids would excel later in school and which kids needed more help.
However, many have argued that IQ tests are not comprehensive as they only test one's intellectual reasoning. Creativity and emotional intelligence — important factors that can help determine success in life — were overlooked.
That's where emotional intelligence comes in. Emotional quotient tests were created much later, in 2001, as a way to flesh out the one-dimensional IQ tests. The idea of emotional intelligence bubbled to the surface of mainstream media in 1995 with Daniel Goldman's book, "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ."
Even before Goldman's book, "social intelligence" became a separate measure of determining how well one would do in life, and high social intelligence was sometimes deemed just as important as a high IQ in determining success.
How Do You Measure IQ?
To measure your IQ, you must take a test that has been designed for your age group. IQ tests are often calculated in two ways.
The first way is to take your mental age, divide that by your chronological age, and then multiply the result by 100. For example: if a child's mental age is 13 and his chronological age is 10, his IQ is 130. The second way is to compare your score to others in your age group. The average score in any age group is 100.
There are two measures of IQ: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence refers to your ability to solve problems intellectually. It also measures your cognitive abilities. Crystallized intelligence refers to your ability to use your life's experience to solve problems. Fluid intelligence usually diminishes with age, whereas crystallized intelligence usually increases with age.
Although IQ tests measure just fluid or crystallized intelligence, the types of tests are varied. You can test for mathematical skills, language skills, reasoning skills, and more.
There are different tests you can take to test your IQ level, but some are more popular than others.
Some examples of popular IQ tests are:
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
How Do You Measure EQ?
Like IQ tests, EQ tests can feel complicated as there are different ways to get results. There are three ways to measure your EQ: self-reporting, other-reporting, and an ability test.
Researchers argue that the ability test, or MEIS test, is the most accurate. The MEIS test measures four different areas of EQ, and it stands for Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale. The four areas it measures are:
How well you identify emotions: This refers to your ability to read other people's emotions as well as their emotional cues, specifically on their faces.
How well do you use emotions: This refers to your ability to affect other people's emotions with your own.
How well do you understand emotions: This refers to your ability to identify a chain of emotions, such as an emotion that transitions from frustration to explosive anger.
How well do you manage emotions: This refers to your ability to manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others.
The other two ways to test EQ are through self-reporting and other-reporting. Self-reporting is done when you fill out a personality test. Other-reporting is done when others write down their assessment of you.
Essentially, the EQ tests determine whether you're a people person or not.
Is IQ or EQ More Important?
There isn't a black or white answer to the question, and there shouldn't be. Both IQ and EQ play an important role in what makes a person a well-rounded, successful member of society.
However, depending on your career path, the answer could be an emphasis of one or the other. For academic careers — research scientists, mathematicians for example — having an above average IQ can count for a lot. If your job as a computer technician or as an accountant means you'll be working by yourself most of the time, a high IQ is a better indicator of success.
However, if you're in a field where managing people is part of the job description, having emotional skills is necessary and helpful. In fact, whether you're trying to get along with coworkers, managing a sports team, or being a business leader, the higher your EQ is, the better you'll probably fare.
Statistics have shown that people with a high IQ don't necessarily do better in life compared to those with an average IQ. A high IQ is too narrow a determinant. However, people with high IQs tend to do better in academic settings; and people with high EQs tend to do better managing people.
Still, success in life is more than just being only book smart (high IQ) or only people smart (high EQ). It's a healthy balance of the two: knowing how to solve problems but also being able to be work as a team.
Is EQ Equal to IQ?
Having emotional intelligence is just as important as having a high IQ. In fact, for some scenarios, EQ can serve you better. Promotions are often given to those who can get along well with their coworkers, and leaders become good leaders because of their ability to understand the emotions of others.
This doesn’t discount being able to solve problems intellectually, however. But, it does put EQ on an equal footing in society, where social skills are crucial to making yourself understood, selling products, or even getting hired.
Whereas a high IQ tends to mean better academic success and a higher salary, a high EQ tends to translate to more job success and more satisfying personal relationships. Understanding your emotions and the emotions of others can help you better handle stress as well.
It's easy to go back and forth debating which is better or more important. However, your best bet is not to discard one for the other but to develop both so that they can serve you in different situations.
Can a Person Have Both IQ and EQ?
Yes, in fact many people do have a combination of the two, developed over the years. Academic schooling gives you a good basis for developing your intelligent quotient. In school, students learn basic math, science, and language and therefore develop many of the necessary reasoning and problem-solving skills.
A school playground — having children play with others — are the first lessons, really, in emotional intelligence. This is where children learn to read what’s acceptable or not, simply by looking into their classmates’ faces and gauging their reaction.
Was something they said hurtful? Were they rejected from a clique? Learning inside a classroom teaches intelligence. Play time outside the classroom teaches emotional intelligence. As a result, most people should have a decent amount of both IQ and EQ.
Can You Teach IQ or EQ?
Yes, IQ and EQ can be taught.
It's possible to teach both to children, and to adults. If you're looking to boost your IQ, you can take specific courses to improve your reasoning and creative problem-solving skills. Taking consistent courses can lead to an improvement of up to 15 points on your IQ score.
To build your EQ, taking workplace training courses that can help with teamwork, empathy, and managing people are great. Even life experiences can boost your emotional intelligence. Raising children, taking care of elderly parents, going through stressful times — all of these can help you understand emotions and can teach you how to better manage them.