Emotional Intelligence vs. Personality

It seems like the issue that never goes away: the question of whether or not Emotional Intelligence is just another aspect of personality. Well, there are probably studies out there that have linked eye color, shoe size, height, weight, freckles, and countless other human attributes to personality. Maybe they can all be subsumed as personality.

Seriously, though, for the doubters, here’s another study looking at the interrelation of cognitive intelligence, personality, and Emotional Intelligence (as measured by the MSCEIT). The study, by Drs. Eric Rossen and John Kranzler from the University of Florida, looked at academic achievement, psychological well-being, peer attachment, positive relations with others, and alcohol use.

The researchers evaluated 150 undergraduate college students. They were administered a number of measures including the Wonderlic Personnel Test (IQ), International Personality Item Pool (personality), and MSCEIT (Emotional Intelligence).

In most of their analyses the cognitive IQ measure accounted for little of the variance – including GPA (grade point average). The Big Five personality components did account for a moderate amount of the variance of a number of factors. Emotional Intelligence contributed to the prediction of positive relations with others and alcohol use. This was above and beyond the contributions of IQ (which were negligible) and personality.

The authors suggest additional studies like this with children and adolescents. As the youth version of the MSCEIT comes closer to fruition, we hope to see dozens of these studies emerge.

Reference: Rossen, Eric & Kranzler, John (2009). Incremental validity of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test Version 2.0 (MSCEIT) after controlling for personality and intelligence.  Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 60-64.


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