The term “emotional intelligence” was not officially used until 1985 by Wayne Payne (Cherry “Timeline of Modern Psychology”). Today researchers still do not have an accurate description of emotional intelligence. In 1990 John D. Mayer was the first to describe emotional intelligence (EI) as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions” (Salovey 1990, pg. 185).
Mayer and his research partner Peter Salovey further defined emotional intelligence as “a set of skills hypothesized to contribute to the accurate appraisal and expression of emotion in oneself and in others, the effective regulation of emotion in self and others, and the use of feelings to motivate, plan and achieve in one's life” (Salovey 1990, pg. 210). Emotional intelligence is not only the regulation of emotions, but also the deregulation of emotions. The regulation of emotions is when we have control over our emotions. The deregulation of emotions is when there is no control over our emotions.
The deregulation of emotions is greatly needed in our society because to be creative and to think outside of the box, one needs to let go of his or her emotions. To be passionate, our society needs to let our emotions run freely and flow without being restricted. Emotional intelligence gives that passion which encourages people to create our imaginative and our artistic society that we have established today. The question of whether we can live without deep emotion is also a question of whether we can exist without imagination.
Emotional intelligence is a key ingredient in critical thinking. Critical thinking is the Rational reflective thinking concerned with what to do or believe, then critical thinking clearly implicitly implies the capacity to bring reason to bear on emotions, if for no other reason than that our emotions and feelings are deeply inter involved with our beliefs and actions. (Elder) In her article, Linda Elder gives the example: “If [a person] feel[s] fear, it is because [they believe] that [they are] being threatened. Therefore [they are] likely to attack or flee” (Elder).
This shows how thought and emotions collaborate with each other to express our actions in difficult situations and in everyday life situations. Elder discusses how “it is critical thinking which provides us with the mental tools needed to explicitly understand how reasoning works, and how those tools can be used to take command of what we think, feel, desire, and do” (Elder). To effectively solve difficult problems “one must have the desire to do so…Thus the affective dimension, comprised of feelings and volition, is a necessary condition and component of high quality reasoning and problem solving” (Elder).
If a person has a “‘defect in emotion and drive,’” that person can create a “‘defect in thought and reason” (Elder). “In short, the truly intelligent person is not a disembodied intellect functioning in an emotional wasteland, but a deeply committed mindful person, full of passion and high values, engaged in effective reasoning, sound judgment, and wise conduct” (Elder). “The emotions that you experience and the thoughts that drive them, like everything in the Universe, are at their core pure energy” (“The Power of Emotions”).
Emotions are designed to help people become aware of their special needs. Without emotions, people would not know how to make decisions. Our bodies were made to make decisions based on our emotions. In her article “The Importance of Emotions,” Carla Valencia discusses how emotions are the most important factors in making correct decisions (Valencia 1-2). Valencia explains how positive emotions “not only motivate our existence, but also give enjoyment and happiness” to our lives (3). When we express “negative emotions, on the other hand, [it] impact[s] our lives in a negative way” (3).
This affects our decisions because if we “take a decision when [we] feel revenge for example, the results could be dangerous. A negative emotional state leads to a negative behavior” (pg. 3). If people misuse their emotions, it can lead to wrong decisions. The different emotions that human beings feel are important for people to function as social and intellectual beings. In her book The Food and Feelings Workbook, Karin Koenig reveals that: The function of emotions is to tell us about our internal world, just as senses provide guidance in the external world... emotions also] keep you safe and out of harm’s way, steer you toward what’s healthy and life-affirming, and deter you from what’s dangerous and life-threatening. (Koenig “What Is the Purpose of Feelings? ”) Koenig believes that our feelings and emotions show people the “painful” and the “pleasurable” things, so that they can adjust and make proper choices (Koenig “What Is the Purpose of Feelings? ”). In The Food and Feelings Workbook, Koenig argues that people “have a better chance at physical survival if [they] are biologically programmed to be highly sensitive to both pleasure and pain... People] are also programmed for emotional survival” (Koenig “How Do I Know When I Have a Feeling or an Emotion? ”). This explains why we need our different emotions to survive. Our bodies need feelings to affectively interact with our environment. In his book called Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Donald A. Norman says that “affect is a vague sensation that may be either conscious or subconscious, but emotion is the conscious experience of such affect” (Norman 55). Emotions are not the result of a forced action; emotions occur naturally.
Karin Koenig agrees with this statement by saying that “feelings belong to our primitive defense system and are rooted in our collective biology and the history of the species. They are neurological, biochemical reactions that happen on a cellular level in response to stimuli. They don’t require thinking” (Koenig “How Do I Know When I Have a Feeling or an Emotion? ”). Emotions are used to differentiate the moral and the corrupt; the wrong and the right. We cannot survive without our emotions and feelings because our different emotions help us distinguish the good things from the bad things. Our emotions help us make decisions. Studies show that when a person's emotional connections are severed in the brain, he cannot make even simple decisions” (Hein “Emotions- Importance Of; Management of Negative Feelings; Positive Value of”). People whose emotional needs are not fulfilled become depressed which usually leads to their death by committing suicide(Hein “Teen Suicide”). “Teenagers around the world are killing themselves to put an end to their intense emotional pain” (Hein “Teen Suicide”).
Teenagers especially need their emotional needs to be fulfilled because they are at the point where they are developing their “emotional development” (“Emotional Development - Emotional Development During Adolescence”). Their “behavioral problems” are the result of their need to express their emotions (Hein “Emotions- Importance Of; Management of Negative Feelings; Positive Value of”). Our emotions are needed to help us make decisions, to help us be passionate about what we love, and to distinguish us from the rest of the world.
We need our emotions to help us survive in this society, and without our emotions we are nothing but robots roaming aimlessly around the Earth. The stark reality of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is due to the lack of emotions from the citizens. Huxley’s “utopian” society fails because to have a rich existence in a society, one needs to express and have a full range of emotions. Huxley describes a dystopian society with “promiscuous sex, ‘the feelies’, and most famously of all, [the] supposedly perfect pleasure-drug, soma” (Pearce). Humans need their emotions to distinguish them from other humans.
Their emotions and their personality create their own identity. If everyone was the same like the characters in Brave New World, we would not be able to function. We need our emotions to help us through difficult situations. Because the characters in Brave New World do not have emotions, they do not know how to handle difficult situations. Huxley falsely depicted a “utopian” society emotions and individuality. Huxley’s characters are not credible in that they lack the needed human emotion to make decisions, to create their own identity, to be creative, and to be mentally healthy.
Lenina is one important character who is like all the other citizens in the way that she acts and in what “her” beliefs are. She is taught by the directors and World Controllers that “No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy—to preserve you, as far as that is possible, from having emotions at all” (Smith). In Brave New World, the citizens do not know how to express their emotions because they are forced to be the same. If a person is different, like Bernard Marx, everyone criticizes that person.
Bernard Marx is out of the ordinary and he “hated [Henry Foster and the Assistant Predestinator]” because they talk about “[Lenina] as though she were a bit of meat” (Huxley 45 ; 47). He respects Lenina and perhaps feels “love” for Lenina. This is unusual for an Alpha because they are injected with drugs when they are embryos so that they would not feel these emotions. The citizens are trained to have sex, and to take soma holidays. Bernard Marx is a defect so he actually feels and expresses his emotions which make him unique from the other people.
Marx knows how wrong the “promiscuous sex, ‘the feelies’, and most famously of all, [the] supposedly perfect pleasure-drug, soma” is (Pearce). Linda is a citizen who was exposed to the outside world. Linda is forced to develop her emotions because if she does not, she will be considered an outcast to the “savages. ” In Brave New World, Huxley demonstrates a false interpretation of a “utopian” society by stripping away the citizens emotions and feelings. In addition to being a false utopian society, this book falsely demonstrates how the world would be like without emotions and feelings.
Steve Hein accurately describes what would happen without emotions. He says that “Our emotions help us make decisions,” and without these emotions we would be making wrong decisions which could lead to dangerous situations. We also use our emotions for critical thinking. The citizens in Brave New World do not have emotions; therefore, they do not have critical thinking skills. We cannot survive without critical thinking skills. Other than helping us make the right decision, our emotions make us unique. Without emotions, we are robots roaming aimlessly through the Earth.