Lane, A., Meyer, B., Devonport, T., Davies, K., Thelwell, R., Gill, G., Diehl, C., Wilson, M. and Weston, N. (2009) ‘Validity of the emotional intelligence scale for use in sport’,  Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 8, 289-295


The Abstract says it all really:



This study investigated the factorial validity of the 33-item selfrated Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS: Schutte et al., 1998) for use with athletes. In stage 1, content validity of the EIS was assessed by a panel of experts (n = 9). Items were evaluated in terms of whether they assessed EI related to oneself and EI focused on others. Content validity further examined items interms of awareness, regulation, and utilization of emotions. Content validity results indicated items describe 6-factors: appraisal of own emotions, regulation of own emotions, utilization of own emotions, optimism, social skills, and appraisal of others emotions. Results highlighted 13-items which make no direct reference to emotional experiences, and therefore, it is questionable whether such items should be retained. Stage 2 tested two competing models: a single factor model, which is the typical way researchers use the EIS and the 5-factor model (optimism was discarded as it become a single-item scale fiolliwng stage 1) identified in stage 1. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) results on EIS data from 1,681 athletes demonstrated unacceptable fit indices for the 33-item single factor model and acceptable fit indices for the 6-factor model. Data were re-analyzed after removing the 13-items lacking emotional content, and CFA results indicate partial support for single factor model, and further support for a five-factor model (optimism was discarded as a factor during item removal). Despite encouraging results for a reduced item version of the EIS, we suggest further validation work is needed.


‘ Emotional intelligence can be defined as “the ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought”’ (289). It has been connected with performance and with response to coaching. The EIS scale is a better predictor than self-report measures. EIS has 33 items on perceptions, reduced by comparative factor analyses ( CFA) to a number of smaller factors -- 1, 4, and in this case 6 ( the latter splits stuff on emotions in oneself 4 items and emotions in others 2) It has not been tested on athletes until this study.

 At Stage 1, 9 experts were invited to assess ‘content validity’. This led to the 6 factor model. Some items were rejected as not apparently about emotions (eg I find it hard to read non-verbal messages – seen here as cognitive not emotional. Could be rephrased to refer to emotions aroused by not being able to read non-verbals they say [so why not rephrase them? Because this is a standard scale and they want parsimony?].

 The full model and the reduced one were to be tested though at Stage 2 (and another variant), on 1681 student athletes. CFA used a definite method (never heard of it) and a statistical corrective procedure designed to overcome any unwanted variability in the sample – the 6 factor jobbie had higher levels of fit than the 1 factor version.

 [What does ‘fit’ measure exactly? Fit with the distribution of scores? Could be fit with the scores of other studies – this is a technique with validation studies they say]

 An alternative is discussed –exploratory factor analysis where the data themselves yield factors. This is criticised because it can misleadingly conflate items – in this case a mood regulation item and an optimism item. [Implies some non-empirical purpose for the items -=- to yield theory as we see below]. The criticism arises in this case because an extreme optimist could simply not realise the need to regulate moods [A very weird discussion – this is a purely speculative possibility? No --  extrapolated from some study – but they admit this is ‘purely speculative’. Great example of tactical argument defending their content validity stage ultimately].

 The general argument is that any factors must relate to conceptual elements. This is why they are testing the validity of the EIS – so it can be used in future theoretical study, but only if it is valid, of course. They conclude they were right to use experts to bin some of the more dubious items from the original list.

 Full table of items on p. 292 with measures of fit. NB found reverse -scored items did not fit well, [despite usual advice to include them to check for guessing – this team chose to regard some odd answers on those reverse-scored items as errors arising from respondent carelessness] – seems to be common for athletes.

 [This whole thing must be pretty well impossible to judge. A huge literature is selectively cited. Some items and measures are used and others rejected. The statistical techniques and issue are just uncontrollable and the argument can only be one from authority, although even here the articles cited are so obscure that the status of the supported must be unclear and the validity of the test unknown. There seems to be an acceptance that published articles must be authoritative – and also a sneaky attempt to snow readers under with so many references that they could not possible check them all – readerly texts! One journal seems to have been extensively cited – so it is the authority? Tactical choices of the items and the content validity procedure are also clear – here the team even resort to speculative possibilities about respondents and their carelessness, or the opinions of experts and their theoretical status].

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Besharat, M.A. (2007) Psychometric properties of Farsi version of the Emotional Intelligence Scale-41 (FEIS-41). Personality and Individual Differences 43, 991–1000.

Brackett, M.A. and Mayer, J.D. (2003) Convergent, discriminant, and incremental validity of competing measures of emotional intelligence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, 1147-1158.

Colvin, C.R., Block, J. and Funder, D.C. (1995) Overly positive evaluations and personality: Negative implications for mental health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 1152-1162.

Engelberg, E. and Sjöberg, L. (2004) Emotional intelligence, affect intensity, and social adjustment. Personality and Individual Differences 37, 533-542.

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