Current Models


In this section, we summarise current thinking and provide more detail on the models that have been touched upon in the History of EI and Controversy. These are described as either ability or trait models, although some of the trait models do not explicitly make this their focus.


Salovey & Mayer ability model

Probably the most influential model in the scientific arena is Salovey and Mayer’s. They originally proposed four branches of EI:


1.    The perception and expression of emotions;
2.    The integration of emotions into thought processes;
3.    The understanding of the relations between, and transitions among, emotions and between emotions and circumstances;
4.    The management of emotions to moderate negative emotions and enhance positive emotions.


They suggested that each of these four branches should be measured with different tools and developed the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) to assess these different aspects of EI.  Examples of how they are measured are in the table below and can be found here (cacuss.usask.ca/presentations/emotionalintelligence/SampleMSCEITItems.doc)

Branch of EI
  Measurement tool
Perceiving emotions in oneself and others For each of six pictures participants must rate the presence of five emotions from 1 to 5
Using emotions to facilitate thinking For each of five scenarios, participants must rate the helpfulness of three different moods from 1 (not useful) to 5 (useful)
Understanding emotions Participants answer 20 multiple choice questions to assess which emotions are related to particular situations
Managing emotions For each of 5 scenarios, participants rate the mood-management of actions from 1 (very ineffective) to 5 (very effective)


Bar-On trait model
In comparison Bar-On took the view that EI is a personal quality. He had a clinical focus to his work and developed the EQ-I (Bar-On, 1997) to assess those personal qualities that enable some people to possess better ‘emotional well-being’ than others. The EQ-I is a self-report measure where individuals answer a series of questions that aim to tap into  qualities such as assertiveness, empathy, stress tolerance, flexibility and optimism. Examples of questions from the EQ-I can be found here (http://www.eiconsortium.org/measures/eqi.html)


Goleman trait model
This model proposes that EI comprises of a number of qualities such as self-awareness, self-monitoring, delay of gratification, self control of responses, social awareness, and relationship management. Along with Boyatzis, Goleman developed the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI) using the “360 degree paradigm” which involved peers rating individuals on 20 different qualities. Examples of items from the ECI can be found here (http://www.eiconsortium.org/measures/eci_360.html)


Petrides & Furnham trait model
This model is explicitly designed as a trait EI model as can be seen by the proposed measurement tool which is called Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQUE, 2000). The TEIQUE measures 15 specific qualities which are part of four broader dimensions labeled ‘well-being,’ ‘self-control,’ ‘emotionality,’ and ‘sociability’. The TEIQUE is a self-report questionnaire where individuals are asked to rate their agreement with a series of statements.

Examples of statements from the TEIQUE

Expressing my emotions with words is not a problem for me.
I’m usually able to influence the way other people feel.
I’m normally able to “get into someone’s shoes” and experience.

I generally believe that things will work out fine in my life.


Scherer's Emotional Competence model
Based on his Component Process Model of Emotion, Scherer (2007, 2009) has suggested a functional approach to the measurement of ability in the domain of Emotional Competence. This distinguishes between Appraisal, Communcation and Regulation competence which are described in more detail in Components of EC. Using this model as a framework, specific measurement instruments are being developed to assess abilities directly related to each of the components.


Read more about:

>> Controversy

>> History

>> Emotional Competence

>> Components of EC

>> Application of EC