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Emotion information processing as a new component of emotional intelligence Theoretical framework and empirical evidence

Fiori, Marina; Udayar, Shagini; Vesely Maillefer, Ashley


The relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and emotion information processing (EIP) has received surprisingly little attention in the literature. The present research addresses these gaps in the literature by introducing a conceptualization of emotional intelligence as composed of two distinct components: (1) EIK or emotion Knowledge component, captured by current ability emotional intelligence tests, related to top-down, higher order reasoning about emotions, and which depends more strongly on acquired and culture-bound knowledge about emotions; (2) EIP or emotion information Processing component, measured with emotion information processing tasks, requires faster processing and is based on bottom-up attention- related responses to emotion information. In Study 1 (N = 349) we tested the factorial structure of this new EIP component within the nomological network of intelligence and current ability emotional intelligence. In Study 2 (N =111) we tested the incremental validity of EIP in predicting both overall performance and the charisma of a presenter while presenting in a stressful situation. Results support the importance of acknowledging the role of emotion information processing in the emotional intelligence literature and point to the utility of introducing a new EI measure that would capture stable individual differences in how individuals process emotion information.

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