How to evaluate emotional intelligence?

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Louise Hay

How to evaluate emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that help us relate to our emotions and to others in a healthy way. In this article we will examine how to evaluate it.

Last update: December 26, 2021

How to evaluate emotional intelligence? And how can it help us? In the following lines we present this crucial skill for personal growth.

The concept of emotional intelligence has made its way as a result of psychologists' awareness that we can hardly separate emotions from decision making. Recognizing them, in fact, means taking them into account to make better decisions.

What is emotional intelligence?

Mayer and Salovey (1997) define emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive and express emotions, assimilate them in thought, understand them, reason on the basis of them and regulate them. The fundamental components of this definition are as follows:

  • Perception and expression of emotions: consists of identifying and expressing emotions, feelings and thoughts.
  • Assimilation of emotions into thinking: harnessing emotions to enhance thinking in a productive way.
  • Understanding and analysis of emotions: labeling emotions and understanding their associations with the changes they produce.
  • Reflexive regulation of emotions: reflect, monitor and regulate emotions.

Emotional intelligence it helps us guide our sensitivity in a direction that is favorable to our interests and those of the people we love. It also allows us to be grateful and regulate our moods.

It also helps prevent anguish from affecting our rational faculties and allows us to empathize with and trust others (Goleman, 1995).

This type of intelligence is not only made up of a set of emotional skills, but also of other skills such as cognitive and behavioral ones (Gallego, as cited in Dueñas, 2002). Among the cognitive skills we can find the following:

  • Knowing how to read and interpret social indicators.
  • Recognize strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understanding the feelings of others and respecting individual differences.
  • Develop realistic hopes for yourself.

Regarding behavioral skills we can find the following:

  • Resist negative influences.
  • Knowing how to listen to others.
  • Participate in positive peer groups.
  • Respond effectively to criticism.
  • Communicate with others through other non-verbal channels, gestures, tone of voice, facial expression, etc.

Assess emotional intelligence

According to a systematic review conducted by Sánchez-Teruel and Robles-Bello (2018), the measures of Most used emotional intelligence scores are based in 57,5% on paper and pencil tests (self-assessments, questionnaires, scales, etc.).

37% are based on 360º techniques and the remaining 5,5% on other measurement techniques such as external observers. Below we present some tools that, according to the researchers, offer levels of reliability and validity that support their use in psychological assessment processes.

Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS)

This tool evaluates the intrapersonal aspects of emotional intelligence and consists of three dimensions that we present below:

  • Beware of feelings. Level of conviction about emotional focus.
  • Emotional clarity. Subjective perception of one's emotions.
  • Emotional repair. Conviction of being able to interrupt and regulate negative emotional states and enhance positive ones.

Schutte Self-Certification Inventory (SSRI)

This inventory includes intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects and is composed of 33 items with a 5-point Likert-type response format. It is intended for adolescents and adults of the general population between the ages of 17 and 25 and includes four factors:

  • Emotional perception. The evaluation of one's own and other people's emotions is measured.
  • Managing your emotions. Assess self-control.
  • Manage the emotions of others. It refers to the ability to understand and help others through the perception of one's emotions.
  • Use of emotions. Analyze the use of one's emotions as a means of self-motivation.

Emotional quotient inventory (EQ-i)

This inventory consists of 133 items which they evaluate the five components of emotional intelligence. It can take about 30 minutes and you get an overall score, another score for the five factors, and another estimated score for 15 subscales. The dimensions to be measured are as follows:

  • Intrapersonal intelligence. It includes skills such as emotional self-awareness, personal self-esteem, assertiveness, self-realization, and independence.
  • Interpersonal intelligence. It is made up of the sub-dimensions of empathy, interpersonal relationships and social responsibility.
  • Adaptation. Appreciate flexibility and the ability to improvise in the face of unforeseen circumstances that can have a significant emotional impact.
  • Stress management. Assess your ability to tolerate stress and control impulses.
  • General humor. They address the sub-dimensions of happiness and optimism.

Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ)

This questionnaire includes 10 items that they evaluate emotional regulation. It is intended for the population aged between 18 and 70 years. It has two sub-dimensions:

  • Emotional suppression. Evaluate how the emotional response is modulated, which includes inhibiting the expression of emotional behaviors.
  • Cognitive re-evaluation. We try to evaluate a form of cognitive change linked to the construction of a new emotional situation that improves the person's mood.

Mayer-Salovey-Caruso test (MSCEIT) to assess emotional intelligence

The MSCEIT consists of 141 items. These measure all four aspects of the original Mayer and Salovey model :

  • Perceiving emotions effectively.
  • Use emotions to facilitate thinking.
  • Understanding emotions.
  • Managing emotions.


Emotional intelligence is a multidimensional skill assessed mainly through questionnaires, scales, inventories, etc. An attempt was made to determine to what extent this intelligence is present in people's lives.

Knowing this data is important to propose clinical, educational or work interventions that stimulate and improve emotional skills in different contexts.

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