« 8. EQ tests, Bar-On and trait assessments »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. Author of "How to build your emotional resilience and manage your emotions" and accredited user of the MSCEIT - the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test.

EQ tests and Emotional Intelligence tests are essentially the same; whether you prefer to use the phrase EI test or EQ test is mainly a semantic preference. Both EI and EQ tests purport to measure emotional intelligence.

However, because IQ tests were known before emotional intelligence tests were developed, people were already familiar with the concept of IQ. Thus, some researchers opted to call their Emotional Intelligence test an EQ test or Emotional Quotient test.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory - EQ-i, is one such EQ test.  

EQ tests: The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: EQ-i

This covers both emotional and social intelligence.

Five of the items covered under the intrapersonal skills of self-awareness and self-expression include:

  • Self-regard: To accurately perceive, understand and accept oneself.
  • Emotional self-awareness: To be aware of and understand one’s emotions.
  • Assertiveness: To effectively and constructively express one’s emotions and oneself.
  • Independence: To be self-reliant and free of emotional dependency on others.
  • Self-Actualisation: To strive to achieve personal goals and actualise one’s potential.

EQ tests: Daniel Goleman's EI assesments

The work of Daniel Goleman and his associates at the Hay Group probably also fall into this category of EQ tests and trait assessments, although they are not called as such by Daniel Goleman, to my knowledge.

There are two key EI or EQ tests associated with Daniel Goleman:

  1. The Emotional and Social Competency Inventory, (ESCI).
  2. The Emotional Competence Inventory, (ECI). 

A further article will discuss and describe these at more length.

Want to do the MSCEIT to measure your emotional intelligence? It is the gold-standard ability measure. To find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green. Click here.

How EQ tests relate to Mayer & Salovey's emotional intelligence

Some EQ tests include areas of assessment that are outside the understanding of emotional intelligence as identified by Mayer and Salovey. They appear instead to measure something different or in addition to EI. I think of them as measuring EI+.

The Bar-On EQ test, for example, covers a broad range of human features or traits, e.g. personality, assertiveness and social skills, as well as emotions and emotional intelligence. Thus they may be referred to as a trait model or trait assessments.

It isn't that these aspects aren't important; they are. But it can be confusing especially when they are used in research with resulting huge claims about the importance of EI; or when people think they have had their emotional intelligence assessed and they have really had a mix of features assessed.

It's a bit like going to MacDonald's where they ask "Do you want French fries with that?". You say "yes" and on your plate are seven different items and the French fries are hard to find because they are mixed in with everything else. In the end you aren't even sure which are the French fries.

The results may be interesting, it's just that I don't think they cover precise measures of emotional intelligence as originally defined. I acknowledge that both the EQ tests of Bar-On and the EI assessments of Daniel Goleman are used extensively.

Assessment on the MSCEIT is also included in our 5 star emotional intelligence coaching package.

EQ Tests: Emotional intelligence and personality

We have known about aspects such as personality, assertiveness, and so on, for some time and other specific measures of them already exist, e.g. the Myers Briggs personality inventory (MBTI).

However personality and emotional intelligence aren't the same thing. There has been ample evidence of this in the research, e.g. by Palmer et al.

I have used measures of personality for years, for example, and am looking for emotional intelligence assessments that build on existing knowledge and that provide us with something new, and about emotions. I like to know what is being measured!

Mayer and Salovey focus on emotions, and have emotions at the core of emotional intelligence. I expect therefore emotions to be the core component of emotional intelligence tests. 

It is important when selecting an emotional intelligence test to ascertain the content it covers and the theoretical basis upon which it is founded, so you know what is actually being assessed.

Please feel able to let me know about any experiences you have had with having your emotional intelligence assessed on any test.

Click here to find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green.

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