Social intelligence

In the 1980s, with the multiple intelligence theorem, the thesis that there are different types of intelligence was put forward. Intelligence or IQ is largely due to genetic factors. However, the knowledge that existing intelligence can develop through learning has opened the door to many new studies.


What is Social Intelligence?

Social intelligence, also called “tact” or “common sense”, continues its development by feeding on experiences gained through human relations, successes and failures in social environments.

Social intelligence is the ability to get along with others and get them to cooperate with you. Sometimes referred to simply as “people skills”. It demonstrates awareness of situations and the social dynamics that govern them. It gives information about the interaction styles and strategies of the person in human relations. It also includes a certain amount of self-insight, one’s own perceptions, and how one responds.


Is Social Intelligence Part of Personality?

According to the theory of multiple intelligences developed by Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard University, the answer is: No!

Social intelligence is part of the “intelligence” cluster, and Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has gained wide acceptance in recent years, particularly in the field of public education.


Multiple Intelligences Theorem

Thinking that his psychometric views on intelligence are very limited, Howard Gardner, in his 1983 book, argued that all people have different types of “intelligences”. In his theory that he put forward eight different types of intelligence, Gardner suggested adding a ninth, known as “existential intelligence”.

This theory argues that people have many types of intelligence, including interpersonal, spatial-visual, and linguistic intelligence, and therefore intelligence should not be studied in a single direction. If a person excels in a field such as painting, he likely has other talents as well. May be strong in verbal, visual and natural intelligence. For example, someone who plays football very well can also memorize a poem very easily.

Karl Albrecht took the liberty of transforming Gartner’s categories into a simpler model useful in business and professional settings. According to Karl Albrecht’s simplified interpretation, intelligence has six basic dimensions, these are:

  •     Abstract
  •     Social
  •     Practice
  •     Emotional
  •     Aesthetic
  •     kinesthetic


Social Intelligence Test

So, how is social intelligence, one of the dimensions of intelligence, measured? Social intelligence is similar to the ‘standard score’ approach used in IQ tests. It is a set of statistical data with an average of 100 points.

According to Jean Piaget, intelligence is not a fixed quality. It underlies an adaptive balance between the individual and the environment. It is a complex hierarchy of information processing skills. Accordingly, the individual can change his attitudes and behaviors in response to his social environment and develop his social intelligence in a positive or negative way.


How to Take a Social Intelligence Test?

Social intelligence has until recently been measured by techniques such as question-and-answer sessions. These sessions were used to assess the individual’s suitability for particular special education programs and to assess their abilities. Later, some tests were developed to measure social intelligence.

Social intelligence tests with question-answer technique,

  • When diagnosing autism spectrum disorders
  • Semantic pragmatic disorder or SPD
  • Schizophrenia
  • dissemia
  • ADHD etc. It can also be used to control some non-autistic or semi-autistic conditions.

Some self-report measures of social intelligence are also available. There are doubts about the success of these easy-to-manage methods in demonstrating self-efficacy.

George Washington University Social Intelligence Test: One of the aptitude measures available to assess social intelligence. In June 1928, a psychologist from George Washington University, Dr. Created by Thelma Hunt. It was initially seen as useful for measuring a person’s capacity to cope with people and social relationships.

Social Intelligence Test;

  • human behavior,
  • social judgment,
  • name and face memory,
  • It is designed to assess a variety of social abilities consisting of predicting theory of mind based on facial expressions.

The second revised edition of the George Washington University Social Intelligence Test consists of the following items:

  •       observing human behavior
  •       Recognition of the speaker’s mental state
  •       Memory for names and faces
  •       Judgment in social situations
  •       sense of humor 


Low Social Intelligence 

In terms of interpersonal skills, Karl Albrecht classifies behavior towards others between a “toxic” effect and a “nurturing” effect. Toxic behavior makes people feel worthless, angry, frustrated, guilty, or inadequate. Nourishing behavior makes people feel valued, respected, approved, encouraged or empowered. An ongoing toxic behavior indicates a low level of social intelligence, an inability to connect with and influence new people. A sustained pattern of nurturing behavior tends to make a person much more effective in their dealings with others. Nourishing behaviors are indicative of high social intelligence. 

People with low social intelligence are better suited to work in smaller groups or independently, as they may not have the necessary communication with customers and other co-workers. People with a social intelligence of over 120 are considered socially gifted and can excel in jobs that involve direct contact and communication with other people.


How to Develop Social Intelligence?

Socializing and developing socially is now the basic step of living in harmony and being psychologically rehabilitated in modern societies. Since social intelligence is nourished by various factors, every individual at every age should take a step in the direction of self-development. Dr. Here are 9 ways Goleman states that we can improve our social intelligence:


  • 1.Prototalk:

When we speak, micro-level expressions, sound waves, body language that we use consciously or unconsciously affect the other person a lot. People with high social intelligence are also highly aware of this issue. Expressing ourselves by caring about other people’s feelings and needs affects social communication.

  • 2.Social Triggers:

We need instinctive, emotion-based stimuli to process interactions. This is how we read body language, facial expressions and then formulate feelings about people.

Another social trigger is the logical, critical thinking aspect of interaction. We make use of them in the communication process, when telling stories and during mental connections.

We should be aware of these triggers that will help us make decisions in social relationships and develop these aspects. We can ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What kinds of social interactions am I afraid of?
  • With whom do I feel anxious?
  • When do I feel like I can’t be myself?
  • 3. Safe Base

Whether extroverted or self-contained, everyone needs a private space and time to be alone with themselves. Goleman suggests a safe base for this. This base can be a place, hobby or activity that helps us process emotions and events. First, it gives us an opportunity to recharge before interactions. Second, it helps us process and learn from every social encounter. It will be helpful to take time to reflect and review what went right and wrong in our lives.

  • 4. Empathy 

One of the biggest pitfalls in social intelligence is a lack of empathy. It will be helpful to do studies or get support to improve our empathy skills.

  • 5. Mirror Neurons

When someone smiles at us, it’s hard not to smile. The same goes for other facial expressions. For example, when one child cries in the classroom, others begin to cry too. These are our mirror neurons in action. Being constantly in negative and stressful environments also negatively affects social intelligence. Being exposed to negative reactions makes us feel depressed.

  • 6. Adapting

Our brain copies the people around us so we feel the way they feel. This helps us understand them, where they come from, and even be better at predicting their reactions. Sometimes allowing people to experience their emotions and leaning towards adapting with empathy instead of criticizing them helps strengthen relationships.

  • 7. The Dark Triad

Goleman, the dark triad of humans,

  • narcissistic personality,
  • Machiavellian personality and
  • psychopath or antisocial personality

It is useful to pay attention to whether there are such people in the relations to be established.

  • 8. Mind Blind

If your intuitive side is strong, it can be said that you have high social awareness. Otherwise, it will be necessary to talk about mind blindness. Mind-blind is the inability to sense what is going on in someone else’s mind.

  • 9. Friend Recipe

Goleman’s recipe for a long, healthy and happy social life is positive relationships. It’s always good to be together with our loved ones. According to Goleman’s research, physical actions such as talking and hugging improved vital signs in patients. For this reason, it is the best way to establish strong bonds for a healthy and high social intelligence.


Social Intelligence Games 

Parents and schools in particular need to be mindful of supporting children’s emotional and social intelligence development. It is possible to raise a generation with high social intelligence if the necessary care is shown from an early age.

It will be beneficial for children in the education age to spend time in group games, collective activities and games that can improve their empathy skills and increase their self-confidence, and develop them in a healthy way so that they can develop healthy relationships. Children’s harmony and social skills should be observed in playgroups. Thus, activities can be organized to meet the needs of each child and meet their demands.

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