An Incremental Validity Analysis of Two Trait Emotional Intelligence Scales (TEIQue-SF and WLEIS)
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Emotional intelligence (EI) is divided into two constructs, namely ability and trait EI, for theoretical and methodological concerns. Trait emotional intelligence (EI) is termed under the hierarchical construction of personality (Petrides, Pita, & Kokkinaki, 2007), and is mainly measured via self-report inventories. The trait EI measuring tools developed by this school of scholar, TEIQue-SF (Petrides & Furnham, 2006) in this context, is often scrutinized for obtaining overlapping results with that of personality trait. But various studies evidence trait EI’s incremental predictive power and this overlap only indicates neat association between the two constructs (trait EI and personality trait). In comparison, WLEIS (Wong and Law, 2002) represents trait EI scales developed under the influence of Mayer and Salovey’s (1997) conceptualization of EI, which comprises measurement of an aggregation of items on trait EI as well as cognition-related perceptions. WLEIS is therefore possible to obtain greater incremental predictability than TEIQue-SF, over and above personality trait scales. The fact that WLEIS is shorter (16 items) and predicts scores on four subcomponents also makes it a strong competitor to TEIQue-SF (30 items). With such structural differences in mind, our study selected autism spectrum quotient (AQ), empathy quotient (EQ), and satisfaction of life (Life Satisfaction) as criterion variables, and carried out six two-step hierarchical regressions to study the explanative power of the two trait EI measures, over and above the Five Factors constructed in mini-IPIP (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Intellect: Donnellan et al., 2006). Overall they both displayed satisfactory incremental validity while, opponent to our prediction, results suggest that TEIQue-SF outscored WLEIS in all cases. Both TEIQue-SF and WLEIS were highly correlated with all personality traits. Autism tendency can be predicted by Extraversion and Agreeableness, and incrementally predicted by TEIQue-SF; trait EI and Agreeableness was significantly predictive of empathy; Life Satisfaction was negatively related to Neuroticism but positively related to trait EI. Results suggest that it is difference in construction of each trait EI measure that accounts for their differentiated predictive power, and suggest that further study should select variables that equally benefit from WLEIS’s construction, and might yield different results.