People who can predict the behaviour of others have higher personal intelligence, research finds.
Two other signs of high personal intelligence are self-motivation and being able to anticipate desires.
The idea of personal intelligence is broader than IQ.
It involves using intelligence to predict people’s behaviour.
Someone high in personal intelligence is able to analyse correctly their own and other people’s personalities.
People high in personal IQ know how best to deal with other people and how they will react.
Professor John Mayer, the expert on personality and intelligence who came up with the theory, said:
“Think of all the ways we read and interpret the people around us each day: We notice body language and facial expressions to estimate one another’s moods.
We draw initial guesses about personalities based on how people dress and present themselves, and we adjust how we interact with them accordingly.
We run through scenarios in our heads, trying to anticipate how others will react, in order to choose the best course in dealing with a boss, a coworker, or a partner.”
Reviewing decades of research on personality and intelligence, Professor Mayer has found it comes more naturally to some:
“We pick up on small pieces of feedback about ourselves from others, which we incorporate into a fuller and more accurate perception of ourselves.
And we make all kinds of decisions–about work-life balance, the neighborhood we live in, or who we spend our time with–based on what we think will be the best fit for our personalities.”
Professor Mayer concludes:
“People who are high in personal intelligence are able to anticipate their own desires and actions, predict the behavior of others, motivate themselves over the long term, and make better life decisions.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The book is called Personal Intelligence: The Power of Personality and How It Shapes Our Lives and is published by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.