®emopedia:
glossary of useful terms

Emotional Intelligence (Mayer y Salovey, 1997): “The ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth”. (Mayer y Salovey, 1997, p. 10).

Emotional Intelligence (Bar-On, 1997): “Emotional intelligence is an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures.” (Bar-On, 1997, p.14).

Emotional Intelligence (Goleman, 1995): EI includes self-control, enthusiasm, persistence and the capacity to motivate oneself. There is an outmoded word that encompasses all the range of abilities that make up EI: character”. (Goleman, 1995, p.28).

Emotion: Psyco-physiological phenomenon that represent effective modes of adaptation to changes of the environmental demands that involve specific subjective experiences; activation of relevant thoughts, connected with performing an action related with oneself or the environment; motor coordination of our body prepared for a reaction (fight, escape…) and assessment of the current situation. Etymologically, emotion means impulse inducing to an action.

Intelligence: A set of abilities that help to understand and solve problems, processing information that involves: abstract thinking (fluid intelligence), to store in memory information in an organized structure (crystallized intelligence); To rapidly learn and process relevant information; to absorb information by means of perceptual and sensorial channels.

Emotional perception: Ability to perceive own and others’ emotions, as well as to perceive emotions in arts, photography, music and other stimulus.

Emotional easement: Ability to generate and feel emotions and to use them in cognitive processes of taking decisions.

Emotional understanding: Ability to understand emotional information, to understand how emotions combine among them and progress. Ability to perceive the emotional meaning of events.

Emotional regulation: Ability to be open to and to modulate our feelings and others’. Ability to promote our personal and emotional growth.

Emotional efficiency / Perceived emotional intelligence: Perception of people’s capacity to perceive and pay attention to their mood and emotions; their capacity to distinguish among them, to understand their causes and consequences and their capacity to regulate them.

Empathy: Ability to perceive and understand feelings and emotions of others as if we were in the same situation lived by them. It assumes to be able to put ourselves in other’s place, to understand their point of view, trying to experience in an objective and rational way what others’ feel.

Altruism: Prosocial behaviors a person carries out without considering his or her own safety or interests.

Catharsis: The process of expressing strongly felt but usually repressed emotions.

Chronic stress: A continuous state of arousal in which an individual perceives demands as greater than the inner and outer resources available for dealing with them.

Cognitive appraisal: With respect to emotions, the process through which physiological arousal is interpreted with respect to circumstances in the particular setting in which it is being experienced; also, the recognition and evaluation of a stressor to assess the demand, the size of the threat, the resources available for dealing with it, and appropriate coping strategies.

Coping: The process of dealing with internal or external demands that are perceived to be threatening or overwhelming.

Crystallized intelligence: The facet of intelligence involving the knowledge a person has already acquired and the ability to access that knowledge; measures by vocabulary, arithmetic, and general information tests.

Creativity: The ability to generate ideas or products that are both novel and appropriate to the circumstances.

Decision making: The process of choosing between alternatives; selecting or rejecting available options.

Fluid intelligence: The aspect of intelligence that involves the ability to see complex relationships and solve problems.

G Factor: According to Spearman, the factor of general intelligence underlying all intelligent performance.

General adaption syndrome: The pattern of nonspecific adaptational physiological mechanisms that occurs in response to continuing threat by almost any serious stressor.

Group dynamics: The study of how group processes change individual functioning.

Group polarization: The tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the decisions that would be made by the members acting alone.

Groupthink: The tendency of a decision-making group to filter out undesirable input so that a consensus may be reached, especially if it is in line with the leader’s viewpoint.

Intelligence quotient (IQ): An index derived from standardized tests of intelligence; originally obtained by dividing an individual’s mental age by chronological age and then multiplying by 100; now directly computed as an IQ test score.

Job burnout: Syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, often experienced by workers in high-stress jobs.

Learning: A process based on experience that results in a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential.

Motivation: The process of starting, directing, and maintaining physical and psychological activities; includes mechanisms involved in preferences for one activity over another and the vigor and persistence of responses.

Problem solving: Thinking that is directed toward solving specific problems and that moves from an initial state to a goal state by means of a set of mental operations.

Reasoning: The process of thinking in which conclusions are drawn from a set of facts; thinking directed toward a given goal or objective.

Self-concept: A person’s mental model of his or her abilities and attributes.

Self-efficacy: The set of beliefs that one can perform adequately in a particular situation.

Self-esteem: A generalized evaluative attitude toward the self that influences both moods and behavior and that exerts a powerful effect on a range of personal and social behaviors.

Stress: The pattern of specific responses an organism makes to stimulus events that disturb its equilibrium and tax or exceed its ability to cope.

Traits: Enduring personal qualities or attributes that influence behavior across situations.

Type A behavior pattern: A complex pattern of behaviors and emotions that
includes excessive emphasis on competition, aggression, impatience, and hostility; hostility increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

Type B behavior pattern: As compared to Type A behavior pattern, a less competitive, less aggressive, less hostile pattern of behavior and emotion.

Type C behavior pattern: A constellation of behaviors that may predict which individuals are more likely to develop cancer or to have their cancer progress quickly; these behaviors include passive acceptance and self-sacrifice.


For those interested in consulting a specific glossary of work and organisation terms, see the following links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3