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Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  9,273 Ratings  ·  313 Reviews
         Emotional Intelligence was an international phenomenon, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year, and selling more than five million copies worldwide. Now, once again, Daniel Goleman presents groundbreaking work that synthesizes the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are "wired to connect," and showing the surpri ...more
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Published September 19th 2006 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2006)
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Seth Jenson
Here are some interesting quotes from the book:

“When someone dumps their toxic feelings on us, explodes in anger or threats, shows disgust or contempt, they activate in us circuity for those very same distressing emotions. Their act has potent neurological consequences. Emotions are contagious. We catch strong emotions much as we do a rhino virus, and so can come down with an emotional cold. Every social interaction has an emotional subtext. Along with whatever else we are doing, we can make ea
Jun 22, 2010 Melissa is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very fascinating to me. It is research is neurobiology and is filled with wonderful research and data about how different parts of our brain affect change in our social behavior. It also has quite a bit of research about how early trauma effects brain development and can later effect styles of communication.

I think this should be required reading for all 10th graders. I say 10th graders because I believe they are at the place developmentally to really absorb and implement what Golem
Nov 24, 2008 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In my ongoing exploration of emotional intelligence, I decided to give this book a try in an effort to build my own skills at recognizing and responding to social situations. I learned early into reading this that I had chosen the wrong book. Goleman goes into a fair amount of depth explaining the neurological basis for our emotional reactions to social stimuli, but doesn't extend the discussion to how we can build the ability to read social situations and modulate our own behaviors and response ...more
Polly Trout
Jul 11, 2008 Polly Trout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goleman and I share a common passion for the places where spiritual practice and psychology overlap, and his work fascinates me. In both "Emotional Intelligence" and Social Intelligence" he shows how we can use our conscious minds to rewire our neurological response patterns, thus increasing the quality of our lives. In other books, Goleman explicitly talks about his belief that spiritual practices, like meditation or chanting, work because they rewire neural circuits along healthier pathways. T ...more
James Lamp
This book is supposed to be the sequel to Emotional Intelligence. Goleman further argues that IQ is a poor way of gauging intelligence or how successful someone will be in life. This book is full of neuro-science, brain physiology and psychological studies involving children, medical and psychological patients, inmates and ordinary people. He explores such ideas as emotional contagion, social rewiring of abused and neglected youths, the Us vs. Them mindset, how humans form attachments to others, ...more
Mar 27, 2008 Lulu marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a VERY bored snowed-in hermit
Recommended to Lulu by: my best friend
My friend and I started reading this book at exactly the same time, one year ago. I made a comment to him over coffee 2 or 3 weeks ago about some trivia I had gleaned from Social Intelligence, and asked what he thought of that particular chapter. His reply was priceless (on many levels). He sighed and whispered "I am STILL reading it!". I leaned in an whispered, "SO AM I!". We agreed completely on these points: 1. This book is not good enough to devour, but not bad enough to give up on. 2. Eithe ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Blerina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Anyone interested in understanding of why we feel what we feel, and what happens in our brains in different social circumstances and social interaction should read this book.
The examples Goleman brings here are those we witness everyday everywhere. Reading this book has helped me a lot to reconsider in a wiser way how my behaviours are affecting others around me and vice-versa. It has a lot of research data that some might also find it tedious.
As somewhere at the end of the book says, simply put
Feb 03, 2010 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was interesting, but not as incisive as his earlier Emotional Intelligence. It seemed a collection of chapters heading in a direction, but never really pulling it all together. I did learn a few things...the heavy-duty emotional work of the brain is generally done on the left side, and that the most important part of reaching attunement with another is through eye contact. It seems like we should know this, and we might say "of course," but sometimes it is the simple things that are the mos ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a fast read by any means, but full of insight. A lot of it simply adds jargon and technical context to things you may already know deep down, but it's comforting to hear it from a scientific/researched point-of-view.
John Stepper
Feb 18, 2017 John Stepper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to "interpersonal neurobiology" and the neuroscience underpinning our interactions and relationships.

The scope of applications in the book is extremely broad - from parenting and sex to prisons and the workplace - so not every chapter may interest you. But it is a great primer and provides ample motivation to dig deeper. The notes alone make for delicious perusing.
Apr 27, 2011 Dav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goleman, a science writer for the New York Times, does a great job of making accessible the impact of neuroscience research on modern understanding of psychology in social matters. This was one of the most personally interesting books I've read, as large swaths of it were directly applicable to my life. For example, the impact of parenting styles on neurological development of children and the passages that led me to understand that I had at least a mild case of Asperger's Syndrome n my younger ...more
Feb 26, 2013 Dayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marina Sandoval
Recommended to Dayla by: Friends
I believe this is the book that was the "break out" for Daniel Goleman. He is the guru for Emotional Intelligence. We used to call these 'social skills" and on report cards were not weighted with "letter grades" or rubric scores. It was more like "acceptable" or "non-acceptable." My request would be that if knowledge changes so much every year, and as it turns out according to Goleman, people only get fired from jobs because of their lack of "social skills," what aren't we changing schools aroun ...more
Jan 01, 2009 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I originally thought Goleman's Emotional Intelligence was his best work. Now I am not so certain. Comparing the two books, the most notable difference between the two has to do with the first book's style as being more authoritative. I think this is because Goleman was on new ground. He was explaining the emergent science of emotional intelligence.

Social Intelligence offers a more relaxed delivery regarding how the brain works in social interactions. It also offers insight regarding group think
Sean Kottke
Mar 08, 2012 Sean Kottke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as laser-focused or as immediately useful as Emotional Intelligence, it's really a survey of the state of the art of social psychology and emotional neuroscience, as seen through the lens of positive psychology. The descriptions of how things are supposed to work and what's not working when they don't are strong, but practical strategies for nurturing social intelligence in individuals or organizations where it is underdeveloped are not as well-defined as in Goleman's E.I. books. A good read ...more
Dec 15, 2010 Bashir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I read this year. Very well researched look at the way human brain processes social interactions. Very useful in understanding the underlying biological forces that determine our relationships with people and how you can use the knowledge to affect those relationships.
Jul 16, 2009 Klwycoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Goleman really opened a near area of social and emotional intelligence - the idea that books smarts is not the end all, be all. Great read for parents and anyone who is interested in the "other side" of intelligence.
Saeed Mashaal
Nov 13, 2012 Saeed Mashaal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its good read, suggested for every social scientist. It equips individuals with some methods and practices to understand the society in a better way in terms of human relations.
Apr 14, 2011 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great. first book i read on the topic. Had my interest from start to end and gave me lots to think about in-between.
Katrina Sark
"When the eyes of a woman whom a man finds attractive look directly at him, his brain secretes the pleasure-inducing chemical dopamine, but not when she looks elsewhere."

In effect, being chronically hurt and angered, or being emotionally nourished by someone we spend time with daily over the course of years can re-fashion our brain. These new discoveries reveal that our relationships have subtle yet powerful life-long impact on us. Thus how we connect with others has unimagined significance.
Jul 02, 2013 Winston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Manual for World Peace

With the latest research in neuroscience over the last several decades, our collective knowledge on how societies are formed and how people interact has taken profound leaps and bounds. Spindle cells allow us to make split-second judgements about how to act in a given social interaction. Mirror neurons allow us to feel another's mental state with similar rapidity. Even our closest cousins, the great apes and chimpanzees, have far fewer mirror neurons than do humans. Even
Jun 06, 2017 Andrei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aborda de forma vasta a questão da inteligência emocional e sua necessidade nas relações humanas, com enfoque na infância e adolescência.
Kristy Rousseau
Interesting subject matter and research. I just found it painfully boring and long. Not my cup of tea is all.
Sandeep Jindal
May 12, 2017 Sandeep Jindal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives brilliant insights
Bo Howell
Mar 12, 2017 Bo Howell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful discussion of how science is revealing more about our brains' physiology and what we can learn from such information. If you're curious about the biology behind your social behavior and how you can use that biology to become a better person in all aspects of your life, then read this book.
Emily Sievertsen
Mar 01, 2015 Emily Sievertsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Daniel Goleman introduces his philosophical novel by explaining what happens inside the brain during everyday interactions. There’s a lot more to social interactions than the average person thinks. During interactions, the neurons in our brains are going crazy,trying to figure out what we need to do next in order to create successful synergy. “A newly discovered class of neuron, the spindle cell, acts the most rapidly of any, guiding snap social decisions for us” (Goleman 9). This section of Soc
Anita Pomerantz
More of a psychology book than a science book, Goleman does a nice job of explaining the brain biology that underlies our feelings and social interactions. He then goes on to discuss the underpinnings of our social relationships, why some people are psychopaths, the impact of social relationships on health, etc. etc.

I found the first part to be the most enlightening. Goleman discusses how humans are inherently empathetic - - and how empathy is actually controlled by the more unconscious part of
Mar 21, 2012 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I recently started the Evelyn Wood reading dynamics program (often called speed reading). This book, like many others in this field drone on about various research that has been done. I decided to try the technique of skimming the book and then read it. It worked. The reading became a lot more interesting and meaningful.

We are prewired for kindness. (Ch 4)

Spindle cells are unique to primates & humans have a lot of them. (Ch 5)

Terminology used in this book:
- Low Road - The emotional response
Jul 28, 2011 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love what S. Anton “Explorer” writes in his Amazon review: “If you are expecting to learn anything that can actually help you in your life, forget it. An odd collection of quirky insights that in the great scheme of things add up to nothing.” While I’m not quite so harsh as to give the book a mere 1 star (I’ll give it 3), S. Anton’s review does a good job summarizing my gut reaction to the book:

1. I bought the paperback and found the rambling style difficult to plod through. Fortunately, I acq
Rebecca Wilkins
Oct 05, 2016 Rebecca Wilkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I read 1/3 of this book in about 2006 when it came out but started over this year and read the whole thing. There is a lot of information and all the science and anatomy associated with how the brain works. In the chapter on narcissists, in 2006 I had penciled in Bush but this year Trump is a casebook study of narcissism (grandiose sense of self-importance, obsessive fantasies of unbounded glory, rage when criticized, expects special favors, lacks empathy and readily exploits others while thinki ...more
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Author of Emotional Intelligence and psychologist Daniel Goleman has transformed the way the world educates children, relates to family and friends, and conducts business. The Wall Street Journal ranked him one of the 10 most influential business thinkers.

Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times best sellers list for a year-and-a-half. Named one of the 25 "Most Influential Busine
More about Daniel Goleman...

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“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.” 664 likes
“The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today.

That ratio of potential to enacted meanness holds at close to zero any day of the year. And if for the top value you put the number of benevolent acts performed in a given day, the ratio of kindness to cruelty will always be positive. (The news, however, comes to us as though that ratio was reversed.)

Harvard's Jerome Kagan proposes this mental exercise to make a simple point about human nature: the sum total of goodness vastly outweighs that of meanness. 'Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness and envy, and to be rude, aggressive or violent,' Kagan notes, 'they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture – especially toward those in need.' This inbuilt ethical sense, he adds, 'is a biological feature of our species.”
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