Does emotional intelligence predict real-world performance?

John Reid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Do high Emotional Intelligence (EI) scores predict superior performers in academic or work environments, as Goleman (1995) and Cherniss (2000) assert? This chapter summarises three studies that examines this. Study one assessed 105 first-year students and found that EI explained significant incremental variance in first-year psychology results scores, even after controlling for IQ and personality. Studies two and three examined the predictive validity of EI within two companies. The first surveyed 75 industrial sales representatives from a power transmission company, and the second involved 110 insurance company employees in a major claims and renewals telephone call-centre. The participants in each organization were administered a diverse battery of EI scales, general intelligence markers, personality, and miscellaneous scales including motivation, empathy and impulse control. For an objective measurement of success, the managers in each organization rated the participants in terms of their relative performance on the job. Regression analysis indicated that the EI sub-factors explained significant incremental variance in the performance criterion in all studies. A noteworthy finding was that global EI scores explained very little of the variance in the performance criterion, in comparison with using the EI sub-factors as predictors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonality down under
Subtitle of host publicationperspectives from Australia
EditorsSimon Boag
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
ISBN (Print)9781604567946
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Emotional Intelligence
  • predictive validity
  • real-world performance

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