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Dev Psychol. 2016 Sep;52(9):1486-92. doi: 10.1037/dev0000191.

Age and gender differences in ability emotional intelligence in adults: A cross-sectional study.

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Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Granada.
Department of Social Psychology and Methodology, Autonomous University of Madrid.
TEA Ediciones.
Department of Social Psychology, University of Málaga.
Department of Basic Psychology, University of Málaga.


The goal of the current investigation was to analyze ability emotional intelligence (EI) in a large cross-sectional sample of Spanish adults (N = 12,198; males, 56.56%) aged from 17 to 76 years (M = 37.71, SD = 12.66). Using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), which measures ability EI according to the 4 branches of the Mayer and Salovey EI model. The authors examined effects of gender on ability EI, as well as the linear and quadratic effects of age. Results suggest that gender affects the total ability EI score as well as scores on the 4 EI branches. Ability EI was greater in women than men. Ability EI varied with age according to an inverted-U curve: Younger and older adults scored lower on ability EI than middle-aged adults, except for the branch of understanding emotions. These findings strongly support the idea that both gender and age significantly influence ability EI during aging. (PsycINFO Database Record.

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