Mission & Vision
At the core of our work at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is the belief that emotions matter. Emotions drive so many aspects of our lives: learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, and health.
At the Center we conduct original research in collaboration with experts in a wide range of fields, including education, policy, and technology, to build effective approaches for (1) supporting school communities in understanding the value of emotions, (2) teaching the skills of emotional intelligence, and (3) building and sustaining positive emotional climates in homes, schools, and workplaces.
We partner with schools, districts, and other organizations, both large and small, to foster social and emotional skills among all stakeholders in their communities. We rigorously test and refine each initiative with the goal of using emotions to create healthier and more equitable, innovative, and compassionate communities.
Our pioneer work in emotional intelligence started three decades ago, in the summer of 1987, when Professor Peter Salovey, now president of Yale University, was painting the walls of his house with his friend and colleague, University of New Hampshire Professor John (Jack) Mayer. The idea of emotional intelligence did not exist yet, but these professors were a fortuitous match: Salovey studied emotions and behavior, and Mayer studied the link between emotions and thought. Over a fresh coat of paint, the two friends and collaborators lamented that theories of intelligence had no systematic place for emotions. Together, they articulated a theory that described a new kind of “smarts”: emotional intelligence. In a pivotal paper, published in 1990, they described this revolutionary idea as the ability to reason with and about emotions to achieve personal and social goals.
That legacy continues today at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence under the guidance of our current Director, Professor Marc Brackett. 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, the Center aims to apply extensive research and expertise to transform communities, focusing on schools, nationwide and around the world.
Our Center Today
Today, the Center is comprised of a team of over 50 researchers, educators, psychologists, trainers, coaches, curriculum writers, and support staff. As a self-supporting unit within the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, our research and programming is funded primarily through foundation and federal grants, corporate support, training revenue, and philanthropists.
Applying research to real-world practice is a central tenet of the Center’s mission. RULER is the Center’s signature, evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has reached over 1500 schools and districts around the world and continues to grow.