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Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Goleman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $10.18
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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 has written a groundbreaking synthesis of the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are “wired to connect” and the surprisingly deep impact of our relationships on every aspect of our lives.

Far more than we are consciously aware, our daily encounters with parents, spouses, bosses, and even strangers shape our brains and affect cells throughout our bodies—down to the level of our genes—for good or ill. In Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman explores an emerging new science with startling implications for our interpersonal world. Its most fundamental discovery: we are designed for sociability, constantly engaged in a “neural ballet” that connects us brain to brain with those around us.

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 the surprising accuracy of first impressions, the basis of charisma and emotional power, the complexity of sexual attraction, and how we detect lies. He describes the “dark side” of social intelligence, from narcissism to Machiavellianism and psychopathy. He also reveals our astonishing capacity for “mindsight,” as well as the tragedy of those, like autistic children, whose mindsight is impaired.

Is there a way to raise our children to be happy? What is the basis of a nourishing marriage? How can business leaders and teachers inspire the best in those they lead and teach? How can groups divided by prejudice and hatred come to live together in peace?

The answers to these questions may not be as elusive as we once thought. And Goleman delivers his most heartening news with powerful conviction: we humans have a built-in bias toward empathy, cooperation, and altruism–provided we develop the social intelligence to nurture these capacities in ourselves and others.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this companion volume to his bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, Goleman persuasively argues for a new social model of intelligence drawn from the emerging field of social neuroscience. Describing what happens to our brains when we connect with others, Goleman demonstrates how relationships have the power to mold not only human experience but also human biology. In lucid prose he describes from a neurobiological perspective sexual attraction, marriage, parenting, psychopathic behaviors and the group dynamics of teachers and workers. Goleman frames his discussion in a critique of society's creeping disconnection in the age of the iPod, constant digital connectivity and multitasking. Vividly evoking the power of social interaction to influence mood and brain chemistry, Goleman discusses the "toxicity" of insult and unpleasant social experience as he warns of the dangers of self-absorption and poor attention and reveals the positive effects of feel-good neurochemicals that are released in loving relationships and in caregiving. Drawing on numerous studies, Goleman illuminates new theories about attachment, bonding, and the making and remaking of memory as he examines how our brains are wired for altruism, compassion, concern and rapport. The massive audience for Emotional Intelligence will revel in Goleman's latest passionately argued case for the benefits to society of empathetic social attunement. (Oct. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Scientific American

We all recognize a special capacity that humans have—some more so than others—to connect with others in a deep and direct way. We see this quality expressed by a performer revving a crowd, a doctor healing a patient or a mother putting a child to sleep. To orchestrate these tasks, a person must sense and stimulate the reactions and mood of another. In 1995 Daniel Goleman, a Harvard University–trained psychologist and writer for the New York Times, published Emotional Intelligence, in which he discussed the human ability "to manage our own emotions and inner potential for positive relationships." Now he goes a step further. In Social Intelligence, he enlarges his scope to encompass our human abilities to connect with one another. "We are wired to connect," Goleman says. "Neuroscience has discovered that our brain’s very design makes it sociable, inexorably drawn into an intimate brain-to-brain linkup whenever we engage with another person. That neural bridge lets us affect the brain—and so the body—of everyone we interact with, just as they do us." Each encounter between people primes the emotions. This neurological pas de deux stimulates our nervous systems, affecting hormones, heart rate, circulation, breathing and the immune system. Goleman peppers his discourse with anecdotes to illustrate the power of social intelligence. From the countertop of Rosie Garcia, a multitasking baker in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, to the tantrum-tainted class of a Texas teacher, he shows how social sensitivity and wisdom can profoundly reshape conflicts. In one encounter in Iraq, a quick-witted U.S. commander turned a Muslim mob’s threats into laughter when he ordered his soldiers to kneel, lower rifl es and smile—averting a potentially fatal clash. Goleman deftly discusses relevant neural pathways, including the thalamus and amygdala, which together regulate sensory and arousal stimuli. He speaks of spindle cells, which rapidly process social decisions; of mirror neurons, which sense another’s movements; of dopamine neurons, which react to pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters that flow freely while two lovers gaze. The author’s introductory tour through this emerging research landscape helps readers grasp core concepts of social neuroscience, illustrating abstractions with poignant anecdotes, without excessive jargon. Goleman also explains how such research may influence our lives. Given our socially reactive brains, we must "be wise," he says, and be aware of the ways that our moods influence the biology of each life we touch.

Rick Lipkin


Product Details

  • File Size: 516 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553803522
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000JMKTMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
By Brant
Format:Hardcover
This is an easy to read book that will verify what you may have already noticed and couldn't put your finger on. Backed by new and hard science, innumerable studies and experiments, Dr. Goleman weaves a picture of everyday life that is profoundly affected by our natural empathy for other human beings. Dr. Goleman provides a road map for developing social awareness and facility.

Dr. Goleman describes the interdependence of nature and nurture. He discusses our brains' capacity to read and map what is going on within another person. Our social brain is triggered by mirroring neurons that instantaneously and unconsciously align themselves with those we are with. Our genes are designed to express themselves when triggered by a matching external social stimulus. If our parents worry about the future we worry about the future whether or not they said worrisome things out loud, the worry was transmitted unconsciously. Most of what we know about interacting with others is learned. So according to Dr. Goleman what you may not have learned when younger can be learned. This book makes it possible to see the world of human relationships as a field of new possibilities and gives us a lot to ponder about the state of our culture and what we might do about it and ourselves.

"How to Create Magical Relationships", written by Ariel and Shya Kane, is a great companion book to "Social Intelligence". This book is very down to earth with stories and examples of how people's lives and relationships have transformed. They offer a living example of social intelligence and ignite the possibility of everyone having magical relationships. The Kanes value living in the present with non-judgmental awareness. Their style and delivery are very practical. Using real world examples and illustrations from their own experience, they make a life filled with excellence, well being, and passion a vivid possibility for everyone.
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281 of 325 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacks coherence November 25, 2006
By Kristin
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I heard an interview with Daniel Goleman on NPR and thought this book sounded fascinating. Goleman explained that research into neuroscience was exploding, and that researchers had recently discovered biological, chemical and structural aspects of the brain that correspond to fluency in social interactions. When people strongly connect in social situations, the chemical activity in each person's brain actually synchs up with the other participants'. This causes a ripple effect throughout the body, causing greater and greater physiological connections. A person with high "social intelligence" has this effect to a much greater degree than others; an charimatic person can affect the physiology of a crowd of hundreds or even thousands. Goleman claims that such research will have a profound effect on the theory of social interactions and interpersonal relationships.

Unfortunately, the ten-minute interview was much more interesting and informative than the book. After making that basic point in the first five pages in the introduction, Goleman wanders incoherently from topic to topic, with no attempt at all to structure a cohesive argument or to draw any overarching conclusions from the material he discusses. Instead, each chapter consists of a series of only loosely related anecdotes that supposedly correspond to one research study or another. Goleman makes no attempt to explain the connections between these subsections or to thread them together into a coherent whole. Indeed, the entire book consists almost entirely of a series of examples, but Goleman never explains what the examples are supposed to be illustrating.

I found it impossible to read this book straight through.
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186 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Textbook on Human Communication October 10, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Daniel Goleman. He's the bestselling author who coined the term "Emotional Intelligence" with his 1995 book of the same name. Now he's got a new book, "Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships." Social intelligence is the ability to read other people's cues and then act on them. Life is all about relationships, and there is a science to how we relate to each other. It's fascinating to see how Goleman breaks down each aspect of communication. We can learn how to more effectively express ourselves so that we feel understood. And we can learn how to better "read" other people so that we can better understand. This helps to improve our interactions and ultimately strengthen our relationships. He talks about "synchrony" or interacting smoothly at the nonverbal level, which is an important, yet often overlooked, part of relating. Goleman also scientifically explains "the capacity for joy" and how that affects our social intelligence. He shows how our resilience plays an important role in our happiness, which comes into play as we express ourselves to others.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To get the most out of social intelligence July 24, 2008
By Eliza
Format:Paperback
For Goleman fans, who seek an in-depth coverage of the scientific
research behind social intelligence, this book will satisfy. It can be an essential resource for researchers and human development practitioners, but may have less appeal for those seeking a more applied, "how-to" explanation. Goleman provides lots of scientific tidbits, but little advice on how to actually describe, assess, or teach social intelligence as a set of practical competencies. As with his first book, "Emotional Intelligence: Why It May Be More Important than IQ," educators and business users will find it necessary to develop their own methods for application.

It's worth noting that this book was published a year after the publication of Dr. Karl Albrecht's book, "Social Intelligence: the New Science of Success." Albrecht's book offers a more practical, "street level" treatment of the subject, with a five-point descriptive model of social intelligence, ("S.P.A.C.E.," which stands for Situational Awareness, Presence, Authenticity, Clarity, and Empathy) and a primary focus on how those dimensions can be measured and developed.

Recommendation: read both books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Blah, blah, blah the end. There... I saved you the money.
Published 24 days ago by JenBen
1.0 out of 5 stars Not even close to "Emotional Intelligence."
It was probably my fault, but I stopped reading very soon. To me, it compared most unfavorably to the first half of "Emotional
Intelligence. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pelham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Like it
Published 1 month ago by Mohammed
5.0 out of 5 stars Got what I paid for.
Got what I paid for.
Published 1 month ago by GVL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent resource
Published 1 month ago by Dianne
5.0 out of 5 stars The series of Daniel Goleman helps people understand the value ...
The series of Daniel Goleman helps people understand the value of Intelligence and how to deal with the different types
Published 1 month ago by Jack R. Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing approach
Great compilation and a refreshing approach
Published 2 months ago by Norah Terrazas
5.0 out of 5 stars Not always an easy read - but well worth it!
Read this after reading Emotional Intelligence by the same author. Recommend reading this first; provides some insights/more creedence into why emotional intelligence is important.
Published 2 months ago by Lois
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, solid non-fiction book about human behavior.
This book acheives what it set out to do, which is explain how and why some people are better at social interaction than others. Read more
Published 2 months ago by brianman3
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book, but boring sometimes
I'll be honest, I needed this book for class. I did like it though. There were many things that the author put into it that I found interesting, my deal was that he used a lot of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by YT
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More About the Author

DANIEL GOLEMAN is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. His latest books are What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters and The Triple Focus: A New Approach to Education. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in Massachusetts.

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