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Abstract

This article outlines the many different ways that emotional intelligence (EI) has been conceptualized, measured, and used from the early antecedents of emotional abilities such as facial expression research to the recent multimedia assessment paradigms. The divide between models describing EI as a character trait versus modeling EI as a form of information processing or knowledge is described, with both kinds of models evaluated based on theory and empirical evidence. It is concluded that the latter type of model, exemplified by the four-branch hierarchical model of EI, is the only logical construct to bear the label ‘EI’. Potential emendations to the way EI is currently conceptualized and measured are discussed, with this review covering emotion recognition assessments, situational judgment tests, and multimedia assessments such as the empathic agent paradigm. The article concludes with a suggested agenda for future research in the EI field.