Emotional intelligence and EQ tests
IQ tests are known to measure one’s cognitive abilities in solving problems, making logical conjectures, and grasping and communicating complex ideas. However, that’s not all there is to intelligence, as have been made explicit by the existence of the Emotional Quotient (EQ).
The Emotional Quotient
EQ generally refers to one’s emotional intelligence, in terms of the ability to be aware of the emotions in both oneself and others, as well as how said awareness is utilized to guide one’s behavior for favorable outcomes.
EQ is also commonly defined by four distinct attributes:
This refers to the ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, and to manage one’s emotions in healthy ways (such as following through on commitments, adapting to changing circumstances, etc.)
This refers to the ability to recognize one’s own emotions and how they may affect and influence one’s thoughts and behaviors.
This refers to the ability to empathize and understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of others, and the picking up of emotional cues as well as finding comfort in social settings and the power dynamics in each group or organization one finds oneself involved in.
This refers to the ability to develop and maintain good and healthy relations via clear communication, the inspiring and influencing of others, the agreeableness exhibited when working in a team, and the management of conflict wherever it arises.
People with high EQs tend to easily:
- Identify and acknowledge emotions in oneself and others.
- Empathize with others.
- Adapt their feelings and behavior to match situations and scenarios.
- Control impulses and natural urges.
- Withstand temptations, and instead settle for the fulfilment of delayed gratification
- Resolve conflicts.
- Communicate with nuance, timeliness, and overall effectiveness.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Just as IQ has its implications on one’s life in several ways, research has also shown that EQ is just as much of an influential factor on the outcome of how one’s life culminates in numerous areas. This includes:
Performance at school and work
Emotional intelligence helps one navigate the social complexities involved in school and work settings, and helps one lead and motivate others and ultimately excel in their career. Many companies in contemporary times rate emotional intelligence to be as important as technical abilities, and most companies now incorporate EQ testing in their hiring processes.
Physical and mental health
Emotional intelligence is also important in the managing of stress, where a lack of EQ could lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, higher risks of heart attacks and strokes, infertility, and overtly quick ageing.
Unregulated emotions and stress can also significantly affect one’s mental health, where a lack of EQ can lead to higher vulnerabilities to anxiety and depression.
Emotional intelligence also allows one to better express and understand emotions, leading to more effective communication and stronger, healthier relations in one’s social life.
Lastly, emotional intelligence also allows you to better connect with those around you, and enables ease in recognizing friend from foe and the measurement of another’s interest in you, resulting in more effective reduction of stress, balancing of nervous systems, and favorable social communication
EQ (or EI, as in emotional intelligence) is often measured in three distinct ways: self-report, other-report, and ability measures. There are numerous scales, tests, and questionnaires developed for each of these three mentioned methods, and they can be generalized into four test categories: Abilities-based tests; trait-based tests; competency-based tests; and behavior-based tests.
Of the four test categories, a specific test from the foremost group of abilities-based test is recognized by most researchers and scholars to be the most accurate and illustrative of one’s true level of EQ: the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).
The MSCEIT is a scale that measures four branches of EI: perceiving emotions, using emotions as a facilitator for thought, understanding emotions, and the management of emotions.
Perceiving emotions is tested using face and picture tasks, while facilitating thought is tested through facilitation and sensation tasks. Understanding emotion is tested via change and blend tasks, and the management of emotions is tested via emotion relationship tasks.
Altogether, with each test task entailing multiple items, the MSCEIT is a comprehensive test consisting of 141 items which require a total of 705 responses. For a better understanding of how an EQ test or questionnaire may look like, below are certain questions that one can commonly find in such tests, that are answered based on a scale of agreeability/disagreeability:
- When my mood changes, I find it easy to spot new opportunities.
- I often arrange events that others enjoy.
- I know why emotions change.
- I can tell what others feel just by looking at them.
- I tend to help others feel better whenever they are down.
The average EQ score ranges from 90-100, and a perfect score is 160.
If you wish to learn more about intelligence as a whole, or on certain aspects or implications that the concept of intelligence entails, you can read up on What is Intelligence? And What About IQ?, or on the Importance of a High IQ & How to Raise Yours. Alternatively, you can also click here for a full list of related topics.