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Despite this criticism, it should be noted that the incremental validity of ability EI for predicting other work-related outcomes, besides job performance, is an open question.As suggested by Landy (2005), ability EI might end up predicting job satisfaction, leader emergence, or the size of one’s social network much better than it predicts job performance. Ability EI: How Many Facets (or Branches) are There?Although the incremental validity of ability EI is slightly larger in jobs that require emotional labor (ΔR= .015 = 1.5%; Joseph & Newman, 2010; that is, emotional intelligence can predict emotional job performance), and meta-analytic evidence has identified emotion regulation ability as the key driver of the relationship between ability EI and emotional job performance (i.e., Cascading Model of EI; Joseph & Newman, 2010), it appears that empirical evidence does indeed support the long-standing criticism of EI as having questionable incremental validity for predicting overall job performance beyond well-established general intelligence and personality constructs.
This incremental prediction of job performance by mixed EI is perhaps due to mixed EI measures’ having been developed via domain sampling of self-efficacy and self-rated performance constructs, in addition to Big Five personality constructs and general mental ability.
Due to its sizable incremental validity, the construct of mixed EI may be a useful practitioner tool that would benefit from future investigations into its construct validity.
In comparison to ability EI, mixed EI is defined as a constellation of personality traits, emotional skills and abilities, and self-evaluations such as general self-efficacy (Goleman, 1995; Petrides & Furnham, 2001).
Whereas the ability EI literature is largely based on Mayer and Salovey’s (1997) model, mixed EI has not been based on a single, consensus model, and as such has been referred to as an umbrella construct that is a “grab bag of everything that is not cognitive ability,” (Joseph & Newman, 2010), and consists of a “list of healthy individual differences” (Côté, 2014, p. Unfortunately, to this point, the constructs that occupy this list of healthy individual differences have been unclear, leaving us to ask, “Which constructs are mixed EI measures really assessing? Research has noted that a majority of mixed EI items can be classified as Big Five personality items (de Raad, 2005), and others have suggested that mixed EI likely borrows content from achievement motivation (i.e., Conscientiousness), impulse control (e.g., Conscientiousness), gregariousness/assertiveness (e.g., Extraversion), and self-evaluations—such as general self-efficacy (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008) and self-rated performance (Newman, Joseph, & Mac Cann, 2010).
Meta-analytic evidence indicates there is little-to-no incremental validity of ability EI in predicting job performance, above and beyond Big Five personality and general mental ability/intelligence (ΔR= .004 = 0.4%; O’Boyle, Humphrey, Pollack, Hawver, & Story, 2011).
In other words, ability EI does almost nothing to predict overall job performance, after one has accounted for personality and general intelligence.Therefore, although evidence suggests the MSCEIT can be represented in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of intelligence (Mac Cann et al., 2014), this type of construct validity evidence should be replicated on additional EI measures beyond the MSCEIT.Ability EI: Does it Predict Job Performance and Other Work Behaviors?For example, although the MSCEIT was designed to assess all dimensions of Mayer and Salovey’s (1997) model of EI, some have noticed that the MSCEIT fails to assess various dimensions of this model such as the ability to express emotion, the ability to perceive emotions in oneself, and the ability regulate emotion in oneself (Maul 2012).The MSCEIT may also unintentionally assess abilities other than EI (i.e., the MSCEIT exhibits construct-irrelevant variance) such as the ability to match emotions to colors and tastes (i.e., the Sensations measure of the MSCEIT; Maul, 2012).Access to society journal content varies across our titles.If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.Newman, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign March 2015 – The past quarter century has seen impressive growth of emotional intelligence (EI) as a topic of interest in the fields of psychology and management (Grandey, 2000; Law, Wong, & Song, 2004; Matthews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2002; Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008), likely fueled in part by claims that EI predicts job performance better than general intelligence does (Goleman, 1995).Claims regarding the strong relationship between EI and work performance have also stimulated interest among consultants and practitioners, who have made EI a widely used tool for personnel hiring and training (Fineman, 2004).Moreover, other work has proposed the addition of a new EI dimension (i.e., the ability to use emotional displays to influence others; Côté & Hideg, 2011), and the specification of sub-facets of existing ability EI dimensions (Côté, 2014).In order to establish a consensus definition of ability EI and its facets, we will need a multidimensional measure of ability EI that consistently supports the theorized facet structure.