As emotional intelligence (EI) rose in popularity over the last two decades, the concept of EI has been examined using a variety of assessments. Today’s blog article will compare the major differences between the Emotional Intelligence Quotient 2.0 (EQ-i 2.0) and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).
The EQ-i 2.0 and MSCEIT are two emotional intelligence assessments well-known in the corporate and research arenas. Some people may ask, how can both assessments measure EI and yet still be so different? You can liken this situation to a comparison of apples. Although a Honeycrisp red apple and a Granny Smith green apple are both types of apples, they look different, feel and taste different, and people have different preferred uses for them. Similarly, although the EQ-i 2.0 and the MSCEIT are both EI assessments, they look different because they are based on different theoretical models, they give different assessment experiences because they use different methods of measurement, and people prefer to use one or the other depending on the context.
What is being measured?
The MSCEIT is based on the four-branch ability model of emotional intelligence. This model defines EI as an actual type of intelligence that focuses on the cognitive skills needed to detect and reason with emotional information. Each branch of the MSCEIT model measures a distinct EI ability:
- Perceiving emotions: the ability to accurately identify one’s own and others’ emotions and express emotions to others.
- Facilitating thought: the ability to generate emotions to assist in problem solving or task completion.
- Understanding emotions: the ability to understand the causes of and changes in emotions.
- Managing emotions: the ability to use emotional awareness to make optimal decisions.
While the MSCEIT provides people with a focused assessment of the cognitive aspects of EI, in comparison, mixed models of EI use a broader conceptualization of EI that can also include social, emotional, and personality dimensions. For example, the EQ-i 2.0 is based on a trait model of EI and is designed to identify traits and skills that help people adapt to the social and emotional demands of life (i.e., emotional and social functioning). The EQ-i 2.0 assesses five composite EI dimensions, each made up of three subscales:
- Self-Perception composite: Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Emotional Self-Awareness
- Self-Expression composite: Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, Independence
- Interpersonal composite: Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Social Responsibility
- Decision Making composite: Problem Solving, Reality Testing, Impulse Control
- Stress Management composite: Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, Optimism
Part 2 of this post explain how both the EQ-i 2.0 and MSCEIT are measured and which different aspects of emotional intelligence they each look at. I will also give recommendations on which assessment to use.