Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2013, 95-113


Emotional Intelligence: Theory and Measurement 20 Years After

Ljerka Hajncl - District Service Osijek, Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, Osijek
Dario Vučenović - Family Center of Zadar County, Zadar Family Center of Zadar County, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 95-113).pdf

This review presents an analysis of research on the theory and measurement of emotional intelligence (EI) covering the last two decades. Empirical findings taken by EI researchers have shown that EI emerges as a multifaceted construct focused on selected specific attributes or the integrative sum of these attributes. The basic theoretical models of EI differ in the views on its etiological nature. In Mayer and Salovey’s theoretical framework, EI is defined as a generic type of mental ability which relates to interactions between emotions and cognitions. Later developed conceptions of EI (Goleman, Bar-On, Petrides) incorporate qualities such as personality traits that relate to emotional functioning. Initial evidence of EI measurement showed that ability instruments and trait scales appear to be measuring disparate constructs. Therefore a consensus was agreed upon that trait EI may be studied separately from ability based EI. This assertion is supported most clearly by the weakness or lack of convergence among objective tests of EI and self-report questionnaires. Recently, evidence shows that there could be common elements in the various models. This has been proven by empirical findings on moderate correlation between self-report measures even if they are operationalized from different EI concepts. Moreover, contextual analysis suggests that all models constitute one core component – the ability to manage emotions – as the central part of the continuum from preexisting capacities (emotional perception, emotional memory) through mediate attributes (emotional knowledge, emotional skills) and finally to personality and manifested behaviors (personality traits connected with emotions).

emotional intelligence, models, measurement

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