EQ test

The EQ test and the IQ test are sometimes confused. Wrongfully so, because according to the strict definitions they are two completely separate things. Emotional intelligence usually is not expressed in one number, although there are EQ tests that try to accomplish that.

Whether or not you are emotionally intelligent and will score high in an EQ test, is typically determined by five personality traits which have been proposed by Reuven Bar-On. These are:

  1. Interpersonal intelligence (social responsibility / empathy)
  2. Intrapersonal intelligence (emotional self-awareness)
  3. Adaptability (flexibility / reality testing)
  4. Stress management (stress tolerance / impulse control)
  5. General mood (cheerful / somber / optimism)

There are many theories on EQ that are closer to a personality theory than to a measurement of abilities, as is the case with an IQ test. Two influential models which can be considered to be personality measurements, are the ones developed by Bar-On (1997) and Goleman (1995). Both also talk about an EQ test.

Of course, the overlap between the scales is not 100 percent, but both theories outline clear 'EQ test' profiles. As a whole, these profiles may provide a useful EQ measurement. Such an EQ measurement can be calculated by combining into a total score, the scores that are considered to be relevant according to a certain theory.

It also shows that both models in fact consist of personality traits that have been known for a while and therefore cannot be called genuinely original.

An EQ test therefore is the same as a personality test.

There are differences between the two models, meaning there is always a real chance that EQ measurements constructed in this way also differ. Keep in mind that Bar-On's theory is closer to the framework of a general personality theory and therefore may provide the better measurements (and EQ test) in this context.

On the other hand, the complete Goleman model is more clearly oriented towards better performance in the workplace. Thus the Goleman model seems to be a better fit for predicting work performance, provided several other abilities Goleman assumes are also taken into consideration. These abilities in an EQ test suggest a closer parallel with IQ.

Below you will find the two profiles related to the scales applied by Bar-On and Goleman and a comparison of these scales with the Dutch personality test of 123test. This test measures concepts similar to that of the NEO-Pi-r. An (R) following the scale, indicates a reversed scale. Where the scales below overlap, in essence they constitute a kind of general EQ test


Dutch pers. testBar-On (1997)Goleman (1995)
Anxiety Ability to shake off anxiety (R)
DepressionHappiness (R) 
Self-ConsciousnessSelf-Regard (R) 
ImpulsivenessImpulse control (R)Stifling impulsiveness
VulnerabilityStress Tolerance (R) 
CompetenceProblem solving 
DutifulnessSocial Responsibility 
Achievement striving Zeal and persistence
Self-discipline Ability to motivate oneself
TrustInterpersonal Relationships 
Altruism Attunement to what others need or want
Compliance Interacting smoothly with others
Tender-mindednessEmpathyEmpathic awareness
FeelingsEmotional self-awarenessMonitoring Feelings
IntellectReality Testing 


Read on for information on the importance of a high IQ, or take our free IQ test.