Emotional intelligence: new ability or eclectic traits?

Academic Article


  • Some individuals have a greater capacity than others to carry out sophisticated information processing about emotions and emotion-relevant stimuli and to use this information as a guide to thinking and behavior. The authors have termed this set of abilities emotional intelligence (EI). Since the introduction of the concept, however, a schism has developed in which some researchers focus on EI as a distinct group of mental abilities, and other researchers instead study an eclectic mix of positive traits such as happiness, self-esteem, and optimism. Clarifying what EI is and is not can help the field by better distinguishing research that is truly pertinent to EI from research that is not. EI--conceptualized as an ability--is an important variable both conceptually and empirically, and it shows incremental validity for predicting socially relevant outcomes.
  • Authors

  • Mayer, John D.
  • Salovey, Peter
  • Caruso, David R
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2008
  • Published In


  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Personality
  • Psychological Theory
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18793038
  • Start Page

  • 503
  • End Page

  • 517
  • Volume

  • 63
  • Issue

  • 6