ERIC Number: ED243041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Nature of Social Intelligence: Processes and Outcomes.
Ford, Martin E.
Although many people have studied social intelligence and theorized about it over the past 60 years, no one has been able to provide a clear picture of its nature. Traditional methods have overemphasized the social-cognitive outcomes of human functioning instead of social-behavioral outcomes. Two approaches used to study social intelligence can be categorized as implicit and explicit theories. Implicit theories include four major ideas: being a prosocial person (sensitive to the feelings of others), having well developed instrumental skills (communication and leadership), enjoying social activity, and having a good self-concept. Explicit theories focus on two sets of interrelated abilities: self-assertiveness, which is the ability to maintain and promote the well-being of the self in social situations, and integrative, which is the ability to maintain and promote the well-being of other people or the social groups of which one is a part. In order to understand why some people are more socially intelligent than others it is important to look at contributing processes. The single most important process is social planning ability. Other processes that appear to be important are an indivdual's perception of control, competence, empathy, and goal-directedness, and degree of interest in social kinds of accomplishments. An empirically coherent domain of social abilities can be identified if one stops trying to conceptualize social intelligence as purely a cognitive phenomenon, and views it instead in terms of effective social behavior that results from the interaction of a variety of psychological and sociocultural processes. (LLL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Stanford Univ., CA. Boys Town Center for the Study of Youth Development.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).