Is Emotional Intelligence Worthwhile? Assessing Incremental Validity And Adverse Impact

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Executive Summary

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive emotion, understand emotion, facilitate thought with emotion, and regulate emotion. Considerable debate exists as to whether emotional intelligence adds incremental validity above more well known predictors of performance, namely the Big Five personality traits and cognitive ability. This paper offers several contributions: (a) a summary of theoretical links between EI and job performance, (b) meta-analytic incremental validity estimation for two different conceptualizations of emotional intelligence - labeled ability EI and mixed EI - over and above cognitive ability and Big Five personality composites, (c) estimation of Black-White and female-male adverse impact attributable to the use of EI for selection purposes, and (d) a theoretical model of EI sub dimensions, demonstrating that emotion regulation mediates the effects of emotion perception and emotion understanding on job performance.

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