Social Quotient – Opening New Avenues

Decoding these terms which we will keep referring to, SQ stands for Social Quotient, IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient and EQ stands for Emotional Quotient. It is basically a quantified measure of your social abilities, your cognitive intelligence and your emotional intelligence respectively. SQ if often used synonymously with IQ and EQ, however, as propounded by Howard Gardener, each of these intelligences are independent of each other. This means that, if a person exhibits one type of intelligence, it does not necessarily indicate being high or low on other types of intelligences.

Social Intelligence LPS Global

The Oxford Dictionary explains intelligence as the power of perceiving, learning, understanding, and knowing. Alfred Binet was one of the first psychologists who worked on intelligence. He defined intelligence as the ability to judge well, understand well, and reason well. In 1912, William Stern, a German psychologist, devised the concept of Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which aimed at measuring a person’s cognitive capacity.

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that underlie accurate appraisal, expression, and regulation of emotions. It is the feeling side of intelligence. This concept was first introduced by Salovey and Mayer who considered emotional intelligence as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions”.

Social Intelligence or the SQ was postulated by psychologist Edward Thorndike, it was later reinvented by psychologists Howard Gardner and Daniel Goleman. Howard Gardner proposed the theory of multiple intelligences. According to him, intelligence is not a single entity; rather distinct types of intelligences exist.

Developing further on this theory, Daniel Goleman wrote his famous book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Social Relationships wherein he espoused that social intelligence is extension or a superset of emotional intelligence. It is a broader concept than emotional intelligence. So, in a way, where emotional intelligence leaves, Social Intelligence takes it up from there, and makes it more of a tangible applicable skill. It is more commonly referred to as “tact”, “common sense”, or “street smartness”.

Contrary to cognitive or traditional intelligence, intelligence in the Indian tradition can be termed as integral intelligence, which gives emphasis on connectivity with the social and world environment. Unlike the western views, which primarily focus on cognitive parameters, the following competencies are identified as facets of intelligence in the Indian tradition:

  • Cognitive capacity (sensitivity to context, understanding, discrimination, problem solving, and effective communication).
  • Social competence (respect for social order, commitment to elders, the young and the needy, concern about others, recognising others’ perspectives).
  • Emotional competence (self-regulation and self-monitoring of emotions, honesty, politeness, good conduct, and self-evaluation).
  • Entrepreneurial competence (commitment, persistence, patience, hard work, vigilance, and goal-directed behaviours).

Concluding, a good IQ and scholastic record is not enough to be successful in life and thus the society in general and the academicians in particular shall place focus on the holistic development of an individual giving equal importance to EQ and SQ as is given to IQ.