The Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence: Principles and Updates (2016)


I did my Psychology degree dissertation on the perception of emotions in music back in 2007. As part of this I researched Emotional Intelligence and the work of Salovey and Mayer – the more academic and better researched ideas around emotional intelligence than pop-psych book by Goleman. Having rekindled my interest in Emotional Intelligence as part of the FeelSchool project, it’s been interesting seeing how Salovey and Mayer have updated their model in this 2016 journal article.

The overall model seems generally solid in light of more recent research, and has been updated to put it in context of persona and social intelligences.

The value of emotional intelligence is core to the FeelSchool project – helping us to recognise, manage and work with our emotions to result in more positive outcomes for ourselves and others.

This article presents seven principles that have guided our thinking about emotional intelligence, some of them new. We have reformulated our original ability model here guided by these principles, clarified earlier statements of the model that were unclear, and revised portions of it in response to current research. In this revision, we also positioned emotional intelligence amidst other hot intelligences including personal and social intelligences, and examined the implications of the changes to the model. We discuss the present and future of the concept of emotional intelligence as a mental ability.

Full PDF available at