Mental age vs. EQ

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Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
She is already a 2nd grader, but "her mental age is still low" or "her EQ is still low." She doesn't know how to make friends at school and always ask parents for help without firstly trying to solve the problem by herself.

Are they both correct? If so, which is better in this situation? Thank you.
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Mental age in comparison to chronological age = IQ
    Emotional age in comparison to chronological age = EQ

    Does that help?
    EQ is a recent coinage, not fully accepted in mainstream psychometrics. It's somewhat in the 'pop' domain, and refers to social skills, emotional self-regulation, expressive and empathic skills, etc. "Mental age" as factored in IQ (a standard measure) is a cognitive measure, including verbal skills, vocabulary, reasoning, logic and arithmetic skills.

    There is a wiki article on the topic, which says,
    Emotional intelligence - Wikipedia

    [the term] gained popularity in the 1995 book by that title, written by author and science journalist Daniel Goleman.[3] Since this time, Goleman's 1995 analysis of EI has been criticized within the scientific community,[4] despite prolific reports of its usefulness in the popular press


    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Thank you PaulQ and bennymix. I think I should use "her EQ is low" because she is smart just not good at socializing with others.


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would not use either.

    This web page discusses some of the reasons that children may have trouble making friends:

    Among that list, several of the problems can also cause trouble with working independently - executive function issues and attention issues, just to name two. This problem with social skills and independence isn't necessarily emotional intelligence any more than it is cognitive intelligence. So I wouldn't recommend either description.

    If you have to generalize, I'd recommend you say something like this: "her social skills lag behind those of her peers" or "she has poor social skills for her age" perhaps...


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Her EQ is somewhat below average. My suggestion. {ADDED: I withdraw this suggestion}

    See Truffula above.

    ADDED: Truffula has given a good suggestion above. Remember EQ is not yet accepted in mainstream psychometrics.
    Perhaps more importantly, it is not widely used in general speech or writing. Most people who hear you use EQ would not know what it means. They would probably think that you meant IQ.
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