Ability Based Model vs “Mixed” Approaches Model

There are two general models of Emotional Intelligence in the field. One is an ability based model originally proposed by Jack Mayer, a University of New Hampshire psychologist and Peter Salovey, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Yale University, and further developed by David Caruso, a research affiliate and a management psychologist at Yale University. The other is a mixed approach model based on the work of author Daniel Goleman.

Author, Daniel Goleman- whose book "Emotional Intelligence" is based on Mayer’s and Salovey’s article Emotional Intelligence published in 1990, indicated their research to be the most influential statement of EI theory in its current form.

Ability Based Model

Specifically, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso’s Model of Emotional Intelligence (EI) consists of these four related intellectual abilities/skills:

These skills/abilities are measurable by a scientifically validated and reliable test-MSCEIT (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test). One either has these skills or needs to develop or enhance them.

  1. Identifying Emotions: the ability to recognize accurately how you and those
around you are feeling.
  2. Using Emotions: the ability to generate emotions that can facilitate creative problem-solving, good judgments, responsible
decision-making and the appreciation of multiple points of view.
  3. Understanding Emotions: the ability
to understand the causes & consequences of emotions, the transitioning from one
emotion to another, & the complex blend of emotions.
  4. Managing Emotions: the ability to manage emotions in your self and in others.

“Mixed” Approaches Model

The “Mixed” Approaches Model, on the other hand, is defined and measured by a set of perceived abilities, skills, and personality traits. Proponents of this model generally used self-reports (I am good at recognizing how I or others feel), or 360’s (John/Sue is good at recognizing how he/she or others feel).

Research indicates that one’s estimate of his or her EI ( as assessed by self-reports or other’s reports of their abilities) is mostly uncorrelated with actual emotion-related ability and does not predict behavior.


Head and Heart Combined

It is very important to understand that Emotional Intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence. EI is the unique intersection of both emotion and intelligence, of affect and cognition. It is the head working with the heart to help people use their emotions to be creative problem solvers who appreciate and respect multiple points of view and live more effective lives.


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