UNH Personality Lab

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


The ability model of emotional intelligence (EI) specifies that four related abilities are involved: perceiving emotions, facilitating thought using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing them. Several performance-based assessments have been developed to measure those four abilities. Although some researchers find empirical support for the four abilities, others have argued that emotional intelligence divides into three abilities, two or even a single, unitary ability (Legree et al., 2014; Palmer, Gignac, Manocha, & Stough, 2005). We reanalyzed archival data from four ability tests of emotional intelligence, Ns = 503, 5000, 1000, and 2000, conducting item-level exploratory factor models of all four assessments for the first time. Based on those analyses, we suggest possible revisions of the 4-factor model to guide future research and assessment.

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Personality and Individual Differences

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© 2023 The Authors.


This is an Open Access article published by Elsevier in Personality and Individual Differences in 2023, available online: