About Us

At the core of our work at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is the belief that emotions matter. Our emotions matter because they drive so many aspects of our lives: learning, decision-making, creativity, relationships, and health. We conduct pioneering research and we partner with field experts to build effective approaches for teaching emotional intelligence. We partner with school organizations, large and small, to foster the emotional intelligence of all students and adults in that community. We rigorously test and refine each initiative for maximum impact. Our approach leads to measurable improvements in emotional skills, effectiveness, and well-being. By developing each individual’s emotional intelligence, we transform organizations, making them happier, healthier, more compassionate, and significantly more effective.

Our History

Our leadership in emotional intelligence started three decades ago, in the summer of 1987, when our founder, Peter Salovey, was painting the walls of his house with his friend and colleague, John Mayer. The idea of emotional intelligence didn’t exist yet, but the professors were a fortuitous match: Salovey studied emotions and behavior, and Mayer studied the link between emotions and thought. Over fresh coats of paint, the two friends and collaborators lamented that theories of intelligence had no systematic place for emotions. Using each of their expertise, they articulated a theory that described a new kind of intelligence: the ability to recognize, understand, utilize, and regulate emotions effectively in everyday life. In a pivotal paper, published in 1990, they described this revolutionary idea, which they called “emotional intelligence.” Once the idea caught on, Salovey and his laboratory at Yale became the field’s most recognized leaders, pushing the field toward new discoveries and innovations. Today, that legacy continues at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence under the guidance of our current Director, Marc Brackett, while Salovey now serves as Yale’s 23rd president, and continues to guide the Center in carrying out its mission. When Brackett joined Salovey as a postdoctoral fellow in 2003, he brought with him new ideas that defined who we are today. Under Brackett's leadership, we applied our extensive research and expertise to transform communities, especially schools nationwide and around the word.

Under Brackett's leadership, we apply our extensive research and expertise to transform communities, especially schools nationwide and around the word.