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Mixed models of emotional intelligence: Bar-On

Understanding Bar-On's mixed model of emotional intelligence
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Another mixed model of emotional intelligence is the Bar-On model (1997a), developed by Reuven Bar-On, which comprises 15 interrelated emotional and social competencies.

These determine how we understand ourselves, relate to others and cope with daily demands and challenges.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory

These competencies are grouped into five main factors and are measured by the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i). The EQ-i contains 133 items in the form of short sentences and uses a five-point Likert scale by which participants answer on a scale of ‘very seldom or not true of me’ (1) to ‘very often true of me or true of me’ (5). The results can be computed into an EQ score on each of the five factors and each of the 15 sub-factors.

The table below indicates the Bar-On EQ-i factors and sub-factors and what they assess.

INTRAPERSONAL Self-awareness and self-expression
Self-regard To accurately perceive, understand and accept oneself.
Emotional self-awareness To be aware of and understand one’s emotions.
Assertiveness To effectively and constructively express one’s feelings and oneself.
Independence To be self-reliant and free of emotional dependency on others.
Self-actualisation To strive to achieve personal goals and actualise one’s potential.
INTERPERSONAL Social awareness and interpersonal relationship
Empathy To be aware of and understand how others feel.
Social responsibility To identify with one’s social group and cooperate with others.
Interpersonal relationship To establish mutually satisfying relationships and relate well with others.
STRESS MANAGEMENT Emotional management and control
Stress tolerance To effectively and constructively manage emotions.
Impulse control To effectively and constructively control emotions.
ADAPTABILITY Change management
Reality-testing To objectively validate one’s feelings and thinking with external reality.
Flexibility To adapt and adjust one’s feelings and thinking to new situations.
Problem-solving To effectively solve problems of a personal and interpersonal nature.
GENERAL MOOD Self-motivation
Optimism To be positive and look at the brighter side of life.
Happiness To feel content with oneself, others and life in general.

Your task

Based on what you have learned about the different models of emotional intelligence, answer the following questions in the community of practice in the comments area.

What differences can you see between the three models (ability, trait and mixed)?
Which model do you think might measure emotional intelligence most effectively?


Bar-On, R., (1997a). The Bar–On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): A test of emotional intelligence. Toronto, Canada: Multi-Health Systems.

Further reading

Bharwaney G., Bar-On, R., and MacKinlay, A. (2007) ‘EQ and the Bottom Line: Emotional Intelligence Increases Individual Occupational Performance, Leadership and Organisational Productivity’ [online] available from [2 August 2018]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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