Self-Directed Learning and Emotional Intelligence

Learning to Play with...

Learning to Play with… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What  studies have shown is that adults learn what they want to learn. Other
things, even if acquired temporarily (i.e., for a test), are soon forgotten (Specht and
Sandlin, 1991). Students, children, patients, clients, and subordinates may act as if they
care about learning something, go through the motions, but they proceed to disregard it or
forget it—unless, it is something which they want to learn. Even in situations where a
person is under threat or coercion, a behavioral change shown will typically extinguish or
revert to its original form once the threat is removed. This does not include changes
induced, willingly or not, by chemical or hormonal changes in one’s body. But even in
such situations, the interpretation of the changes and behavioral comportment following it
will be affected by the person’s will, values, and motivations.

In this way, it appears that most, if not all, sustainable behavioral change is
intentional. Self-directed change is an intentional change in an aspect of who you are (i.e.,
the Real) or who you want to be (i.e., the Ideal), or both. Self-directed learning is selfdirected
change in which you are aware of the change and understand the process of

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