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- Measuring Emotional Intelligence EQi - 2.0 (OA)
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Reuven Bar-On explains that emotional intelligence (Ei - my abbreviation) increases the ability to evaluate one's general intelligence. Ei is said to address the emotional, social and survival dimensions of intelligence. The concern is with understanding oneself and others, relating to people, and adapting to and coping with the immediate surroundings, which in turn can increase the ability to deal more successfully with environmental demands.

Ei refers to immediate functioning, how a person applies knowledge to the immediate situation (see Gestalt ''here and now'' Perls, 1969). To measure Ei is said to measure one's "common sense" and ability to get along in the world.


A broad literature review to identify the determinants of successful emotional functioning revealed common but variously labelled variables. Bar-On sought to reduce these to a smaller number of key factors. In developing a clearer picture of the structure and major components of emotional intelligence his focus was on the optimal or successful end of a negative–positive Ei continuum.

Bar-On's next step was to operationally define and refine the factors using material from the mental health literature and the practical experience of fellow practitioners. Continuous re-editing using logical and statistical analysis was conducted.

Scale Construction

With the conceptual framework completed the EQ-i was constructed selecting scale items reflecting those most closely related to the conceptual components of the operationally defined factors.

Data Analysis

Bar-On used a combination of "Factor Analysis" and "Confirmatory Factor Analysis" to empirically justify the subscale structure using the normative data sample of close to 4,000 people.

A second-order confirmatory factor analysis identified five composite factors that overall tap into the construct of emotional intelligence. Hence the EQ-i is claimed to present a 1 – 5 – 15 hierarchial structure of Emotional Intelligence, Fig. 1.

Figure 1. EQ-i Composite Structure

Feedback and Follow-up

Bar-On suggests that reliance upon the computer-generated report does not constitute proper feedback. Regardless of what form the report and feedback takes they are in themselves mandatory elements, (along with obtaining informed consent and debriefing), in the administration and interpretation process.

The feedback session should include a discussion about the respondent's overall degree of emotional intelligence and significantly strong and weak areas. Hypotheses should be made regarding the meaning of individual and clusters of high and low factors. The existence of danger signs should also be conveyed, based upon affirmative responses to critical items. It is further suggested that respondent should be retested to evaluate progress wherever possible.

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