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Healthy Brain, Healthy Wallet: The Links Between Intelligence and Income


Being good with people has many rewards, such as building a strong support network, forming satisfying friendships, and greater psychological well-being. But what about cold hard cash? It turns out that high emotional intelligence is also associated with a high salary.

An article in Big Think explores some of the links between emotional intelligence and income. In concrete terms, one researcher has found that people high in emotional intelligence make, on average, $29,000 more per year than people low in emotional intelligence. That benefit holds true across every type of job he’s looked at so far.

Non-emotional cognitive abilities also help with income. High scores on intelligence tests are one of many things that can predict high earnings—though as we always emphasize, this result would be more informative if it went beyond a single measure of intelligence, because intelligence is more than one thing.