Unlike IQ, which is gauged by the famous Stanford-Binet tests, EQ does not lend itself to any single numerical measure. Nor should it, say experts. Emotional intelligence is by definition a complex, multifaceted quality representing such intangibles as self-awareness, empathy, persistence and social deftness.

Some aspects of emotional intelligence, however, can be quantified. Optimism, for example, is a handy measure of a person's self-worth. According to Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist, how people respond to setbacks--optimistically or pessimistically--is a fairly accurate indicator of how well they will succeed in school, in sports and in certain kinds of work. To...

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