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Is there a correlation, positive or negative, between emotional intelligence and IQ?

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Whoever down-voted my question, could you explain why? – Philip Seyfi Sep 15 '12 at 18:09
I downvoted your question because it showed absolutely no initial research effort. I was also going to vote to close, but decided not to since you are a new user. In general, if you want good answers then you need to put effort into your questions. – Artem Kaznatcheev Sep 16 '12 at 1:05
Just my opinion, but I like the question. I agree there's no prior research indicated, but I find the question interesting and answerable. And I think that the question-answer combo would be a useful contribution to the Internet. I'd welcome more such questions. – Jeromy Anglim Sep 16 '12 at 8:20
up vote 9 down vote accepted

My understanding is that self-report measures of emotional intelligence tend to have very weak correlations with traditional measures of cognitive ability, and ability-based measures of emotional intelligence have low to moderate correlations with traditional measures of cognitive ability. The following provides relevant extracts from Conte (2005) that directly relates to these points. For a more complete picture you may wish to read the article.

Self-report measures of emotional intelligence

The EQ-i is a 133-item self-report measure that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete (Bar-On, 2000) ... With respect to discriminant validity, the EQ-i correlated 0.12 with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (Bar-On, 2000), and the average correlation between the EQ-i and the Big Five personality measures was approximately 0.50 (Dawda & Hart, 2000)

Ability based measures of emotional intelligence

The MEIS and MSCEIT are both ability based measures of emotional intelligence.

Data from several studies indicate that the MEIS correlates between 0.30 and 0.40 with traditional measures of cognitive ability (Roberts et al., 2001; Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004)

Relation between ability and personality based measures

It also appears that self-report and ability based measures of emotional intelligence are measuring relatively distinct variables.

Mayer et al. (2000) found that the MSCEIT and Bar-On scales correlated 0.36, indicating that they share approximately 13 percent of their variance. In a more recent study, Brackett and Mayer (2003) found that the MSCEIT and Bar-On scales correlated 0.21, indicating that they share approximately 4 percent of their variance.


  • Bar-On, R. (2000). Emotional and social intelligence: insights from the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i). In R. Bar-On, & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 363–388). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Brackett, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2003). Convergent, discriminant, and incremental validity of competing measures of emotional intelligence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1147–1158
  • Conte, J.M. (2005). A review and critique of emotional intelligence measures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 433-440. PDF
  • Dawda, D., & Hart, S. D. (2000). Assessing emotional intelligence: reliability and validity of the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) in university students. Personality and Individual Differences, 28, 797–812.
  • Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D., & Salovey, P. (2000). Selecting a measure of emotional intelligence: the case for ability scales. In R. Bar-On, & J. D. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 320–342). New York: Jossey-Bass.
  • Roberts, R. D., Zeidner, M., & Matthews, G. (2001). Does emotional intelligence meet traditional standards for an intelligence? Some new data and conclusions. Emotion, 1, 196–231.
  • Van Rooy, D. L., & Viswesvaran, C. (2004). Emotional intelligence: a meta-analytic investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65, 71–95.
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