Emotional intelligence (EI) has been found to generally predict subjective wellbeing (SWB) indicators such as life satisfaction and happiness. Concerning the specific abilities of trait EI, i.e., mood attention, emotional clarity and mood repair, research has largely demonstrated that emotional clarity and mood repair are the strongest predictors of SWB indicators, whereas mood attention has been relegated to a secondary role. To clarify previous inconsistencies, we tested EI by means of the bifactor model because it allows for a better comprehension of the complex nature of EI. The current paper was composed of two studies: Study 1 examined the prediction of SWB indicators by EI and its dimensions in the bifactor model; and Study 2 analysed the differences in EI and SWB indicators across university students and employees. Results of Study 1 demonstrated that the structure of EI is best represented by the bifactor model with a general e(motional)-factor and three specific emotional abilities. Mood attention was a negative predictor of SWB indicators, whereas mood repair was a positive predictor, and emotional clarity was non-significant. Study 2 showed that employees and university students did not differed in how EI predicted SWB indicators. These findings evidenced a shift in the study and measurement of EI. Further implications of this paper are discussed.
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Measurement part of the structural equation models presented on Figs. 1 and 2. The estimates from Study 1 and Study 2 are separated by brackets. Following tables present standardised factor loadings obtained from: the Trait Meta-Mood Scale-24 (Table 5); Satisfaction with Life Scale (Table 6); and Subjective Happiness Scale (Table 7).
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Blasco-Belled, A., Rogoza, R., Torrelles-Nadal, C. et al. Emotional Intelligence Structure and Its Relationship with Life Satisfaction and Happiness: New Findings from the Bifactor Model. J Happiness Stud 21, 2031–2049 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00167-x
- Emotional intelligence
- Subjective wellbeing
- Life satisfaction
- Bifactor model