IQ or EQ – Is One Better Than the Other?

posted in: APA Solutions | 0

As we dove into our monthly Mindset Matters live stream, I knew it was going to be a controversial topic. My in-house neuroscience expert (Erikson Neilans, Ph.D.) and I had already spent the day running one of our workshops at the APA Solutions research center. The topic? Emotional intelligence for impact. During this workshop, the atmosphere in the room was electric as we broke down our own research on the topic, and revealed the EQ assessment results to all the owners, managers, and hiring specialists in attendance. It truly was the perfect precursor to our mindset matters talk that immediately followed, and provided anyone who couldn’t attend our event a sneak peek into the benefits of our summer sessions.


In our live stream, we wanted to cover the same topic of Emotional Quotient, and whether or not it’s overtaking IQ as a predictor of success in potential hires, the workforce, and leaders. However, our goal was also to unpack the thought process surrounding EQ from the university sector, the business sector, and how we leverage both to provide the best brain-based solutions.

To start, we looked at all sides of the argument surrounding EQ and the assessments that are used. It truly is the age-old story of head vs heart. One camp suggests that emotional intelligence (“heart”) is a much better predictor of success in a role. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a traditional view that says IQ (“head”) is considered the primary determinant of success. Then the middle ground where it’s a combination of both.

To best sum up our discussion, I use a quote from David Caruso, Ph.D. that was brought up by our partner in the neuroscience space:

“It is important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head, it is the unique intersection of both”

Although there are no absolutes when it comes to a predictor of success, it truly is important to observe both IQ and EQ. We also find that even though a person may score lower on the emotional intelligence scale, EQ can be developed with a growth mindset through self-awareness, and a shift in ingrained thinking.

So, in conclusion, “one or the other” is not necessarily the answer, but both are additional tools in the shed to help find the solution. Watch as our in-house PhD and I have a live debate regarding Emotional Quotient, and whether or not it’s overtaking IQ as a predictor of success in potential hires, the workforce, and leaders. View the entire 30-minute stream below, and don’t forget to tune in next month for our upcoming Mindset Matters Facebook Live. Information can be found on our Facebook page.

View the full live stream to find out inside scoop on the controversial topic of IQ vs. EQ: CLICK HERE