How do you feel when you look at this picture? Happy? Sad? Melancholy? Hopeful? Tired?

To develop tests that measure emotional states is no easy task!

Two of the very few EQ tests that live up to rigorous scientific standards are the MSCEIT and the EQ-i.

While the MSCEIT and the EQ-i are both Emotional Intelligence assessments that aim to provide feedback on an individuals overall emotional intelligence they are quite different in nature. The MSCEIT is an abilities based EI assessment that measures the respondent’s ability to perceive, use, understand, and regulate emotions. The answers are judged as being correct or incorrect. Based on pictures and scenarios typical of everyday life, the MSCEIT measures how well people perform tasks and solve emotional problems, rather than having them provide their own subjective assessment of their emotional skills.

The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i®) is the first scientifically validated and most widely used Emotional Intelligence assessment in the world. Based on more than 20 years of research worldwide, the EQ-i examines an individual’s social and emotional strengths and weaknesses. 

Respondents self-report on their life and workplace performance in 15 key areas of emotional skills that have been proven to contribute to proficiency in complex business activities such as conflict resolution and planning. By identifying the areas that need improvement, the client can immediately begin developing those areas. At the same time, areas where the client excels can be leveraged to their full potential to maximize effectiveness in daily tasks.

While both the MSCEIT and the EQ-i are applicable and widely used in professional, educational, research and clinical settings, I would suggest that the MSCEIT is best suited in a research or clinical capacity where definite correct/incorrect answers are required. The whole idea of emotions being judged as correct or incorrect goes against the very core of my training and experience as a psychotherapist. I have also observed by working with people from many different countries and cultures, that there are vast cultural differences in how we interpret facial expression and pictures of nature. That makes the MSCEIT less useful in international contexts.

The EQ-i has a foundation and is based on a model that lends itself very well to professional applications. The EQ-i is used by top organizations and consulting firms for: employee development, employee selection, leadership development, team building, organizational development, etc.