Emotional Intelligence Home Page

unfinished notes...

More on Bar-On, Stein and the EQi

Emotional Intelligence vs. Psychological Well-Being

Obeying, killing and "emotional intelligence" according to Reuven

More on Bar-On, Stein and the EQi

about the first page of the EQi manaul.... see the file on MHS

So we see that Bar-On and Steven Stein, the president of Multi-Health Systems (MHS), claim very directly that the BarOn EQi is a “measure of emotional intelligence.”

And we also see that they started saying this as early as 1997.

Later I plan to get a copy of this page and scan it in. Or I will write to Stein and ask him to confirm that this is what the pages says or at least once said. I also plan to ask him how he decided to call the BarOn EQi a “measure of emotional intelligence.” And I will ask him if he still thinks it is fair to call it that. And I will ask him who else besides he and Reuven and the people who are making money from selling and administering his test are saying that it is a “measure of emotional intelligence.”

The 1997 date is important because Goleman’s first book came out in 1995 and it was after this, according to Stein himself, (xx) that Stein and Bar-On met and came up with the idea of marketing the test Bar-On had been working on a test of “emotional intelligence”. Prior to the 1995 Goleman book Bar-On had been calling his test a test of “well-being” – something quite different than emotional intelligence, as Mayer et al have defined it.

In the EQi technical manual there is a quote by someone named Daniel Gomez Dupertois, a psychology professor in South America. It is supposed to be a testimonial for the EQi test. But in the quote Dupertois calls Bar-On's test a test of "well-being". He never refers to it as a test of emotional intelligence. I assume this is either because he made the statement before he found out that Stein and Bar-On planned to market the test as a test of EI or because he has some integrity and didn't feel right about calling Bar-On's test a test of emotional intelligence.

At any rate, I am not at all impressed with Steven Stein. I wasn’t impressed with him before I saw this manual and I am even less impressed with him now. Besides seeing Reuven’s manual I also had a chance to read some of Stein’s book that he co-wrote with someone else. The book is called “The EQ Edge.”

I learned a little more about Stein from the first few pages of that book. I learned, for example, who some of his friends are and what kind of people he spends time with.

His book starts with pages that are numbered with Roman numerals. On pages ix and x he thanks some of friends who helped him collect data on the BarOn test. First, he thanks some people in the US military. Then he thanks Larry Tennenebaum, who is “co-owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs”. In case you don’t know, the Toronto Maple Leafs is a hockey team. And in case you don’t know, hockey is one of the most violent games in sports. And I think it goes without saying that people in the military are involved in the most deadly types of competition known to the human species. But let me show you a direct quote from Stein’s book. This is what he says on page x

We were pleasantly surprised at how open these hockey professionals were to the importance of emotional intelligence in the development of their young hockey players.

I could be wrong, but I am guessing that Stein has a lot of friends in the military in both the USA and Canada. And I am guessing that he also has friends in the Israeli military. I learned from my reading that day that Bar-On was in the Israeli military for something like 11 years, serving as a psychologist, according to Bar-On. And I learned that Stein and Bar-On met at some dinner conference in Israel in around 1995 or 1996. Stein did not tell us the exact date. I suspect this is because he doesn’t want people like me to figure out even more about how he and Bar-On took advantage of the popularity of Goleman’s book and rushed out a test which they called a “measure of emotional intelligence” and made a lot of money from. I also found out that the BarOn EQI costs 25 dollars per test. And I found out that if you want to use it for research you have to buy a minimum of 50 at a price of 5 dollars each. So if my math is correct, that is 250 dollars. That is a lot of money in a lot of countries for a lot of psychology students.

I will speculate some more about Stein. I will guess that he likes to go to hockey games. And I will guess that he probably sits in the VIP boxes with the Larry Tannebaum. And I will guess that both Stein and Tannebaum are Jewish. And I am sure that Bar-On is Jewish because Stein even says that Bar-On is an “American born Israeli” in his EQ Edge book. (I am not sure how you can be an “American-born Israeli”, but I will take Stein’s word for it.)

Now I am afraid you will think that I am some kind of racist and I don’t like Jews since I have mentioned that Bar-On, Stein and Tannebaum are (or probably are) Jewish. But Jack Mayer is also Jewish and this doesn’t really bother me. I would not discredit someone’s work just because they are Jewish. But I do want to call attention to two things. One is Israel’s track record of success in resolving conflicts and creating peace, and another is the reputation Jewish businessmen have for putting human feelings ahead of profits. Of course, I am being quite cynical and sarcastic, and not all Jews are the same, but I think you get my point.

Basically I want to help people who read my site think about some things, or at least take some things into consideration when they decide whether to spend money on the BarOn EQi and whether to pay Reuven Bar-On or Steven Stein consulting fees or speakers’ fees.

I want people to think about what is really important to these people. Is truth important, for example? Is peace important? Is non-violence important? Are people’s feelings important?

Or is money, military power and winning hockey games important?

Emotional Intelligence vs. Psychological Well-Being

The more I learn about Bar-On and Stein, the more offended I feel by what they have done. To call Bar-On’s test a “measure of emotional intelligence” nearly makes my blood boil. When I read that Stein and Bar-On were giving the EQi to soldiers and hockey players and calling it a test of emotional intelligence I have to look at the page again because I can hardly believe my eyes. I would say this is all just some kind of April fools joke if it wasn’t so serious. (But I am not sure if they have April Fools Day in Canada, Israel or South Africa – where Bar-On supposedly started talking about an “emotional quotient.”)

So what might be the difference between psychological well-being and emotional intelligence in the military or in the hockey arena?

I am finding it hard to put my feelings and thoughts into words... It seems so obvious to me that there is a difference and that a truly emotionally intelligent person would not found be in either place, but I am having a hard time explaining why. And yet at the same time I wonder if a person could be emotionally intelligent yet be raised to believe that killing people and winning hockey games is important and even admirable. I suppose he, or she, could be. But then I wonder if he or she were exceptionally intelligent on an emotional level if they would still participate in wars or hockey games even if their culture placed a high value on such things.

And then I think about money and business. And I wonder the same thing. Could an emotional genius stay in the business field even if he or she was socialized to get into that kind of work? I suspect that the more emotionally intelligent a person is, the more they follow their inner voice rather than listen to those around them. In the same way, I suspect that a person who is more intelligent in the traditional sense will be more likely to think for himself than a somewhat less intelligent person. In other words it seems to take more intelligence to think for oneself than to simply do what every one else does and believe what everyone else believes. And it seems to me a more intelligent person has a more accurate idea of what is really important in life. I think of Einstein for example. Most people would probably agree that Einstein was not very worried about his appearance. I also read once that he didn’t wear socks because he didn’t see the need for them and they just took more time to put on. So I would say that these are small indications that Einstein knew what was important in life and what wasn’t.

....unfinished... sorry!


April Fools Day is April first and the tradition is for school children to tell some big lie and then say “April Fools!”

Daniel Gomez Dupertuis

In 1997 Daniel Gomez Dupertuis was a psychology professor at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata Buenos Aires Argentina. Bar-On or Stein or someone him got him to write a testimonial for the EQi technical manual. Here is part of what Gomez Dupertuis said:

“Dr Bar-On’s contextualization of psychological well-being and his approach to a comprehensive assessment of its dimensions through the development of the EQ-i immediately commanded my attention and interest.”

He also tells us that he met Bar-On in 1991.

Notice that Gomez Dupertuis talks about “psychological well-being” not emotional intelligence. I would guess that Bar-On wanted him to say “emotional intelligence” but Gomez Dupertuis’ conscience would not allow him to lie and say that Bar-On was working on a test of emotional intelligence when the two met. So if Bar-On was calling his test a measure of “psychological well-being” in 1991, then when did he decide to start calling it a measure of “emotional intelligence”? I would guess that he decided to do this somewhere between 1995 and 1996, after he saw how popular Goleman’s book was. More specifically I would guess that he and Stein came up with the idea together.

Stockton, California

Something else which I have known for a long time but have never written about is the fact that Bar-On once told me that he grew up in the same town as Goleman – Stockton, California. Bar-On also told me that Goleman’s family is quite wealthy and there is a library in Stockton named after the Goleman family since they gave so much money to it. I am going to speculate that one of the reasons Bar-On decided to start calling his test a test of emotional intelligence was because he felt envious and resentful of all the attention Goleman was getting, not to mention all the money he was making. Now Bar-On is making more money and is more famous himself than he was before the whole EI fad so I suppose he feels less resentful is more willing to be friendly with Goleman. After all Goleman and Bar-On have something in common. They both want to minimize the importance of the work of Mayer, Salovey and Caruso so their claims about emotional intelligence will be taken more seriously.


Obeying, killing and "emotional intelligence" according to Reuven

Bar-On found out who was successful in the Israeli military and looked at their scores on his test. Now he says that if you score highly on his test you have high "emotional intelligence" or “social emotional intelligence” depending on what you read.

In other words if you are the kind of person who feels comfortable obeying orders and killing people, and you don’t feel sadness or empathy for those you are killing or preparing to kill, or for their loved ones or family members, and if you don’t have nightmares and feelings of guilt and shame which lead to depression and suicidal thoughts, then you are emotionally or socio-emotionally intelligent.


If you can obey orders and kill people they you can obey orders and make money.

They can’t be good fathers or mothers because they don’t have empathy. If they had empaty they wouldn't be able to kill people.

They can’t lead a double life. And if they are trying to then this is also causing stress and inner conflict.

And people who leave the military have psychological problems.

From my personal correspondence with him and from reading his posts on EMONET I have noticed that Reuven likes numbers. I think he likes to talk about numbers much more than he likes to talk about feelings.

Consultants and psychologists can make a lot of money charging for their time to interpret the results of the EQi test.

My partner Laura said that this all seems like a joke to her. She also said that it seems to her that the people who like to manage numbers don’t like feelings because they feel more safe with numbers.