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Emotional Intelligence Testing Essay

2112 words - 8 pages

As a young boy, my parents always had me self-report my emotions. We had this magnet it on the fridge with the boy who had funky hair and various faces. Under each face would be a different emotion1. It would range from “ecstatic” all the way down to “disgusted”. Each day I would look at these funny faces and see which was the best image of how I felt. Although I grew out of the stage my life when my parents would ask me how I felt using a funny graphic, looking back on it in hindsight, I can see the testing they were doing on me to keep check of my emotional stability during the early impressionable years and monitor my behaviors to see if it went outside the norm for children my age. This is an informal way of observing emotional intelligence (EI) but true testing in the field of emotional intelligence is widely contested as some researchers and psychologists consider it to be a largely pointless and counterproductive exercise, stating that scores produced are not predictive of anything important.
According to John Mayer et al, emotional intelligence is defined as “the capacity to reason about emotions and emotions to enhance thinking. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and two reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth” (Mayer 197). In their study, “Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Findings, and Implications,” they implemented the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligent Test (MSCEIT) which would consist of eight tasks, ultimately measuring each of the four branches of Emotional Intelligence. Results of this EI test would be used to prove their definition and in the long run, show the benefits of EI testing. In their study, they worked with the four-branch ability model, which tested the examinees ability to “perceive emotion, use emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions, and manage emotions” (199). The study asked respondents two tasks in each of the four branches, whereby a complete emotional intelligence analysis of the participant would be determined. The first branch consisted of the respondent’s ability to “identify emotions in numerous faces, as well as identifying emotions conveyed by landscapes and designs” (200). Branch 2 measured “sensations for which participants compare emotions to other tactile and sensory stimuli, and identifying the emotion that best fits a type of thinking” (200). The third branch was a measurement of the “ability to know under what circumstances emotional intensity lessens and increases, and identifying the emotions that are involved in more complex affective states” (200). The last branch measured both Emotion Management and Emotional Relationships, “which presents participants with hypothetical situations and asks if the situation would maintain or change their feelings, as well as asking participants how to manage others’...

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