Description of the EQ-i™, EQ-360™ and EQ-i:YV™

Description of the Bar-On EQ-i, EQ-360 and EQ-i:YV

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i)

The EQ-i is a self-report measure of emotionally and socially intelligent behavior that provides an estimate of emotional-social intelligence. The EQ-i is the first measure of its kind to be published by a psychological test publisher, the first such measure to be peer-reviewed in the Buros Mental Measurement Yearbook, and the most widely used measure of emotional-social intelligence since it was first published in 1996.

A detailed description of the EQ-i™ and how it was developed is found in the 1997 Bar-On EQ-i™ Technical Manual, the 1999 edition of Buros Mental Measurement Yearbook and in Geher’s edited book titled Measuring Emotional Intelligence published in 2004 and elsewhere in the literature.

The original version of the EQ-i comprises 133 items in the form of short sentences and employs a 5-point response scale with a textual response format ranging from “very seldom or not true of me” (1) to “very often true of me or true of me” (5). The EQ-i is suitable for individuals 17 years of age and older. Based on the Flesch formula of readability, the reading level in English has been assessed at the North American sixth grade level. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the inventory; and it typically takes less time to complete the online version than the paper-and-pencil version of the instrument. A list of the inventory’s items is found in the Bar-On EQ-i™ Technical Manual.

The individual’s responses render a total EQ score as well as scores on the following 15 scales in addition to the validity indicators, which is described in detail below:

  • Self-Regard
  • Emotional Self-Awareness
  • Assertiveness / Emotional Self-Expression
  • Independence
  • Empathy
  • Social Responsibility
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Impulse Control
  • Reality Testing
  • Flexibility
  • Problem Solving
  • Self-Actualization
  • Optimism
  • Happiness / Well-Being

The EI competencies, skills and behaviors measured by the above scales were previously defined. The EQ-i™ includes the following four validity indicators:

  • Omission Rate (number of omitted responses) when it is completed offline
  • Inconsistency Index (degree of response inconsistency)
  • Positive Impression (tendency toward exaggerated positive responding)
  • Negative Impression (tendency toward exaggerated negative responding)

The original version of this psychometric instrument had a built-in correction factor that automatically adjusts the scale scores based on the Positive Impression and Negative Impression scale scores. This is an important feature for self-report measures in that it reduces the distorting effects of social response bias (such as “faking good” and “faking bad”), thereby, increasing the accuracy of the results obtained. The effectiveness of this feature has been confirmed by the fairly high degree of overall correlation (R=.69) between observer ratings of the behavior assessed by the EQ-i and the scores of 185 individuals who completed this instrument. The findings of this study are summarized in the Bar-On EQ-360: Technical Manual and will be briefly discussed below when describing the EQ-360. Moreover, findings from the same study empirically demonstrate that the difference between the self-report and other-observer (360 degree multi-rator) assessment of EI is negligible when using the EQ-i.

Raw scores on the EQ-i are automatically tabulated and converted into standard scores based on a mean of 100 and standard deviations of 15. This scoring system resembles that which is used by cognitive intelligence tests that generate an IQ (or Intelligence Quotient), which is what I had in mind when I coined the term “EQ” (“Emotional Quotient”) during my doctoral studies in1985. Average to above average scores on the EQ-i suggest that the respondent is effective in emotional and social functioning, meaning that he or she is most likely emotionally and socially intelligent. The higher the scores, the more positive the prediction for effective functioning in meeting environmental demands and pressures. On the other hand, an inability to be effective in performing well and the possible existence of emotional, social and/or behavioral problems are suggested by low scores. Significantly low scores on the following scales indicate the potential for serious difficulties in coping on a daily basis: Stress Tolerance, Impulse Control, Social Responsibility, Reality-Testing, and Problem-Solving.

In addition to the 133-item version, I developed a 125-item and 51-item versions of the EQ-i™. The 125-item version (Bar-On EQ-i:125) generates all of the above-mentioned scale scores generated by the 133-item version except for Negative Impression scale scores, while the 51-item version (Bar-On EQ-i:S) renders only the total EQ score, 5 composite scale scores (based on statistically justified clusters of the 15 primary factors), the Positive Impression scale score and Inconsistency Index.

In 2011, a mildly revised version of the Bar-On EQ-i™ – referred to as the “EQ-i 2.0™” – was renormed. Although some of the items were re-worded and others were added, the 15 factorial structure of the Bar-On model was re-confirmed, for the most part, in spite of the cosmetic changes that were introduced by the publisher (Multi-Health Systems, Inc.). As such, the revised version will need to be re-normed and re-validated across cultures around the world. As with the original version of the Bar-On EQ-i™, this will be a very long process to assure that it is standardized for use in other countries and that it predicts what it was designed to measure. And this, of course, will have to be documented in the literature. For more information about the EQ-i™ 2.0, contact Multi-Health Systems.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory – 360(EQ-360)

The EQ-360™ is a 360o multi-rater version of the EQ-i. In brief, the EQ-360™ comprises 88 items in the form of short sentences and employs a 5-point response format ranging from “very seldom or not true of him/her” (1) to “very often true or true of him/her” (5). It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and can be done online as well as in the paper-and-pencil format. This measure is used to assess individuals over 16 years of age. The EQ-360 possesses a factor structure identical to the EQ-i, which is based on the Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence. The raters’ responses are averaged to create a total EQ score and 15 scale scores:

  • Self-Regard
  • Emotional Self-Awareness
  • Assertiveness / Emotional Self-Expression
  • Independence
  • Empathy
  • Social Responsibility
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Impulse Control
  • Reality Testing
  • Flexibility
  • Problem-Solving
  • Self-Actualization
  • Optimism
  • Happiness / Well-Being

The emotional-social intelligence competencies, skills and behaviors measured by the EQ-360™ were previously described and defined when discussing the EQ-i™ scales.

Raw scores are computer-tabulated and automatically converted into standard scores based on a mean of 100 and standard deviations of 15 identical with the EQ-i™.

It is important to point out that the EQ-i™, upon which the EQ-360™ was developed, is considered to be a valid and reliable measure of emotional intelligence based on independent review, as was previously mentioned, and as can be gleaned from the numerous studies that have examined the EQ-i™ to date. More succinctly, it is thought to be the most validated test of its kind based on numerous validity studies that have been conducted in a variety of settings worldwide from 1983 to the present. Moreover, the Bar-On EQ-i™ is significantly correlated with other measures that were designed to assess various aspects of this construct, meaning that this instrument is reliably measuring what it was designed to measure (i.e., various aspects of emotional-social intelligence). Additionally, the EQ-360™ is highly correlated with the EQ-i™ (R=.69) suggesting that both instruments are measuring the same content domain for the most part. It was found, moreover, that when the self-report and other-observer versions of the EQ-i™ were compared, 89% of the comparisons examined failed to demonstrate significant differences. This means that there is nearly no significant difference between the self- and observer-ratings of EI based on the Bar-On model of this construct. This study is described in the Bar-On Emotional Quotient – 360 Technical Manual (pp. 28-30).

Ratings are typically made by supervisors, co-workers and direct reports at work, as well as by friends and family members. When these averaged ratings are then combined with the person’s own EQ-i™ scores, the results are able to fairly effectively assess EI and accurately identify both personal strengths and weaknesses to be addressed in coaching or counseling to facilitate a valuable growth experience.

For more detailed information about the EQ-360™, refer to the 2003 Bar-On Emotional Quotient – 360™ Technical Manual. This manual as well as copies of the measure can be purchased from Multi-Health Systems.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Youth Version (EQ-i:YV)

The EQ-i:YV™ is a self-report psychometric instrument designed to measure emotionally and socially intelligent behavior in children and adolescents from 7 to 17 year of age. It is based on the Bar-On conceptual model of emotional-social intelligence. A detailed description of EQ-i:YV™ and how it was developed, normed and validated is found in the 2000 Bar-On EQ-i:YV™ Technical Manual and in the 2001 edition of Buros Mental Measurement Yearbook.

As a result of factor analysis conducted on a sample of nearly 10,000 children and adolescents, 4 clearly-defined factors surfaced upon which loaded most of the items from the 15 original EQ-i™ scales. They were labeled Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Stress Management and Adaptability based on the composition of the items that loaded on them. The final version of the EQ-i:YV™ consists of 60 items that are distributed across the following 7 scales:

1. Total EQ (including the following 4 scales)

2. Intrapersonal (comprising primarily Self-Regard, Emotional Self- Awareness and Assertiveness items)

3. Interpersonal (comprising primarily Interpersonal Relationship, Empathy and Social Responsibility items)

4. Stress Management (comprising primarily Stress Tolerance and Impulse Control items)

5. Adaptability (comprising primarily Reality-Testing, Flexibility and Problem-Solving items)

6. General Mood (comprising Self-Actualization, Optimism and Happiness items that did not load on the above 4 factors for the most part)

7. Positive Impression (validity items that did not load on the other scales)

The total EQ scale (which describes overall emotional-social intelligence) comprises the following four factorial components: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Stress Management, and Adaptability. The EI domain measured by these scales was previously described. Although factor analysis did not confirm the existence of clearly defined Self-Actualization, Optimism and Happiness factors as was the case with the EQ-i™, a decision was made to retain a “General Mood” scale that contained items from all three of these scales which appeared to load on this relatively weak factor more than on other items. This decision was make to provide the end-user with additional information regarding this contributor to self-motivation and facilitator of emotionally and socially intelligent behavior.

Like the adult version of the EQ-i™, the EQ-i:YV™ contains a Positive Impression scale designed to identify individuals who may be attempting to create an exaggerated positive impression of themselves (“faking good”). Based on input from the Positive Impression scale, the EQ-i:YV™ has a correction factor that is used to adjust scores in order to correct for social response bias. This instrument also includes an additional validity scale that assesses item response inconsistency, the Inconsistency Index, designed to identify random and haphazard responding.

Based on the large normative sample (N=9,172), 4 separate age groupings were created for males and 4 for females; these 8 different age/gender groupings are used to convert raw scores into standard scores according to the gender and age of the respondent.

In addition to the 60-item version of the EQ-i:YV™, there is a 30-item short version [the Bar-On EQ-i:YV(S)] that provides all of the above-mentioned scale scores except for the General Mood scale score and the Inconsistency Index. The shorter 30-item version is more applicable for younger children as well as for children with reading difficulties and attention span deficiency. Both the 60- and 30-item versions have a 4-point response format. While the 60-item version’s response format ranges from “very seldom true of me” (1) to “very often true of me” (4), the 30-item version’s response format ranges from “not true of me” (1) to “very much true of me” (4). Most respondents are able to complete the long form in 20 minutes and the short form in 10 minutes.

For more detailed information about the EQ-i:YV™, refer to the 2000 Bar-On Emotional Quotient Youth Version Technical Manual. This manual as well as copies of the measure can be purchased from Multi-Health Systems.

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