The term emotional intelligence was coined by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990. Daniel Goleman became aware of their work, and this led to his book "Emotional Intelligence."
Salovey and Mayer initiated a research program to create measures of emotional intelligence and to explore its significance. They defined emotional intelligence as "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action."
Goleman was a science writer who specialized in brain and behavior research. He argued that emotional intelligence is more significant than cognitive intelligence in being successful in life. He characterized people with a high emotional intelligence as people who had a high aptitude for understanding their own emotions, managing their emotions, empathizing with the emotional drives of others and handling the emotions of others.