Discriminant validity of self-reported emotional intelligence: A multitrait-multisource study

Dana L. Joseph, Daniel A. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A major stumbling block for emotional intelligence (EI) research has been the lack of adequate evidence for discriminant validity. In a sample of 280 dyads, self- and peer-reports of EI and Big Five personality traits were used to confirm an a priori four-factor model for the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS) and a five-factor model for Goldberg's International Personality Item Pool (IPIP). After demonstrating measurement equivalence between self-report and peer-report for both scales, the authors show discriminant validity between the four EI subfacets and Big Five personality traits. This is accomplished through a series of structural equation models fit to the mutitrait-multimethod matrix. Despite their conclusion of discriminant validity, the authors note strong latent correlations between Others' Emotion Appraisal and trait Agreeableness (Φ =. 87), between Use of Emotion and trait Conscientiousness (Φ =. 73), between Regulation of Emotion and trait Neuroticism (Φ = -.66), and between Self Emotion Appraisal and trait Neuroticism (Φ = -.66). There is also post hoc evidence of potential leniency in self-reported emotion regulation. Results point to the utility of peer-report methods as well as the relative construct validity of various subfacets of self-reported emotional competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-694
Number of pages23
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Big Five personality
  • Cognitive ability
  • Discriminant validity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Interrater agreement
  • Measurement equivalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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