Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
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Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  5,353 ratings  ·  219 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 surprisingly d...more
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Published September 19th 2006 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2006)
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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...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
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
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
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...more
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
Jun 29, 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
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...more
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.
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
Oct 18, 2013 Dayla rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
Sean Kottke
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
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.
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
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.
great. first book i read on the topic. Had my interest from start to end and gave me lots to think about in-between.
Gian Fiero
What if you were told that your ability to connect with people and maintain meaningful relationships was not only the key to your survival, but your success?

Daniel Goleman who rode to fame with popularizing the work of Peter Salovey and John Mayer in EQ, delivers this message in Social Intelligence, his follow-up.

The book continues his trend of popularizing the research of others in somewhat of a sprawling fashion, but makes its point early on. The rest essentially serves the purpose of support...more
This book had been on my radar to read for years. I think I avoided it thinking it was yet another "self-help" - of which I read far too many of in my mid-30s and 40s. A friend recently persuaded me to pick it up. In part, it could be viewed in that genre, but it was so much more. The author delves into neuroscience and how the brain works with our social interactions and communication with others. He writes about our "capacity for joy," communicating on the nonverbal level, or capacity for comp...more
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...more
Ayame Sohma
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...more
Keith Kendall
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...more
Cristian Nitoiu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's hard to classify how I felt about this book. The technical sections, which explain the neuroscience behind social connection, were interesting (although sometimes on the dry side).

Where the book really came to life were the anecdotes and real-life case studies that explained how the neuroscience works out in the world. Examining how the "social brain" can be rewired with training in empathy, etc., was fascinating.

Over all, I would say that this book belongs on the shelf next to Goleman's ot...more
Polly Jirkovsky
I usually don't finish non-fiction, but I read almost all of this book. I enjoyed the exploration of of neurological mechanisms behind social interactions, the science of why a certain interaction can just feel "off". I also liked Goleman's broader worldview- that violence and distrust are encouraged not innate. The last chunk of the book deals with how stress hormones, such as cortisol, affect the body's ability to fend off illness, showing a direct correlation between oppression and ill health...more
Tess Mertens-Johnson
This is the follow up from “Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.
Emotional Intelligence probes into what causes us to react they way we do to situations we are in due to our brain activity, emotions, and experience and social skills.
The book followed how we react to situations at all aged and maturity levels.
It went into depth on how compassion and relaxation nurture the mind and the soul.
This would be an excellent book for managers to read about how to deal with their subordinated.
Paige Turner
This book was just simple fasinating. I loved it!

Summary (from Amazon):
Our reactions to others, and theirs to us, have a far-reaching biological impact, sending out cascades of hormones that regulate everything from our hearts to our immune systems, making good relationships act like vitamins—and bad relationships like poisons. We can “catch” other people’s emotions the way we catch a cold, and the consequences of isolation or relentless social stress can be life-shortening. Goleman explains th...more
The How to Win Friends and Influence People for the 21st century. This book should be required reading by anyone seeking to improve existing relationships while creating more effective future ones. In fact, even if these items are not high on your agenda, it is still worth a read to understand the underlying framework driving human interactions. Those with sensitivity and high Emotional Quotients may find the reading to be intuitive, but it still helps these individuals to frame their understand...more
This is a fascinating book, to the extreme. I feel like I've referenced this book to friends and family more than other books because so much of it feels so accessible while also being eye-opening. I am an incredibly optimistic person, but I also tend to see things in black and white. Us vs them. Right vs wrong. A lot of my preconceived notions of socialization were altered when reading this book, for the better.

The social solutions to world problems seem to be the ones that are thought of last...more
Haytham Badawey
Very interesting and helpful book. I couldn't agree more with everything the author wrote. Social life is the priority number one in life and should be taken very seriously.

Unfortunately, most people have no class, and don't know enough about social intelligence, and therefore they end up treating each other with no manners. My attitude was improved after reading this book, but I suffered more than before, because now I can spot all the sociopaths who ruin the society with their bad attitudes,...more
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To read... 1 29 Aug 27, 2009 09:23AM  
  • Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life
  • The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are
  • Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others
  • Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
  • 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books
  • Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
  • Frames Of Mind: The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences
  • Click: The Magic of Instant Connections
  • Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders
  • Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence
  • Toward a Psychology of Being
  • Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are
  • On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
  • Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain
  • Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
  • Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
  • Influence: Science and Practice
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
More about Daniel Goleman...
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence Working with Emotional Intelligence Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

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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.” 401 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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