Personal Intelligence, The Power of Personality and How it Shapes Our Lives is a book by John D. Mayer who is a psychologist that co-developed the theory of emotional intelligence. In my search to understand emotional intelligence I happened upon this book and (new to me) term and concept that expands on the original theory. Join me in a review of his book in the next few weeks on this topic.
Some questions that will be considered in the review are:
1. What is personal intelligence and how does it differ from emotional intelligence?
2. What are some examples of personal intelligence?
3. What are some questions I can ask myself to determine how my personal IQ rates in relation to others.
4. What are the key reasons to work to increase in personal intelligence?
5. What steps can I take to improve my personal IQ?
6. Is personal intelligence something I should be concerned with as a Christian?
What is personal intelligence?
Mayer stipulates that it is a broader intelligence that expands to understanding our own personalities and the personalities of those around us. Personality can be defined as:
American Psychological Association definition:
Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: One is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole.
Merriam-Webster defines personality as the set of emotional qualities, ways of behaving, etc., that makes a person different from other people.
Personal intelligence may be differentiated from emotional intelligence by looking at the “themes” or “patterns” that emerge out of our awareness of our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. These themes may be a result of learned behavior from our immediate culture or family of origin or our broader culture being our society. There is strong evidence that our personalities are shaped by our genetic inheritance as well in the form of temperament.
According to the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health, temperament is defined as:
Individual differences in human motivation and emotion that appear early in life, usually thought to be biological in origin. Temperament is sometimes considered the biological or physiological component of personality, which refers to the sum total of the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social dimensions of an individual.
Paying attention to the themes that arise from our genetic inheritance regarding personality is part of the learning process. For example, you may find similarities to how you react in life to a particular family member. Am I outgoing or shy? Am I thin-skinned or thick-skinned? Am I laid back or uptight? Do I think before I talk or think out loud? An example of these genetic personality differences in the animal world is demonstrated by the purposeful breeding and cross breeding of particular breeds for a specific outcome in behavior and temperament. If you are researching the type of dog for your particular home or purpose, there is ample information available on specific breeds to predict their tendency for energy level, sociability and intelligence and skill set.