The theory of trait emotional intelligence underpins the international research program that, as a first step, sought to provide a comprehensive operationalization of emotion-related individual differences and examine their impact across the life-span.  The bulk of this work has now been completed and the focus of the program has shifted to translational research aiming to improve people’s everyday lives.  

The ultimate aim of the research program is to utilize trait EI theory in order to help people realize their infinite – totally limitless – potential.  This aim concerns any and all individuals who are willing to put the necessary time and effort in order to shed their limited identity and discover their true nature.

  γνῶθι σεαυτόν – Know thyself 


Trait emotional intelligence can be formally defined as a constellation of emotional perceptions assessed through questionnaires and rating scales (Petrides, Pita, & Kokkinaki, 2007).  Trait EI essentially concerns our perceptions of our inner world.  An alternative label for the same construct is trait emotional self-efficacy.

Sampling domain

Below is a list of the 15 trait emotional intelligence facets, along with a brief description of each.  These facets comprise the current sampling domain of trait emotional intelligence in adults and adolescents.  

The Sampling Domain of Trait Emotional Intelligence in Adults and Adolescents

Facets High scorers perceive themselves as…   
Adaptability …flexible and willing to adapt to new conditions.
Assertiveness …forthright, frank, and willing to stand up for their rights.
Emotion perception (self and others) …clear about their own and other people’s feelings. 
Emotion expression …capable of communicating their feelings to others.
Emotion management (others) …capable of influencing other people’s feelings. 
Emotion regulation …capable of controlling their emotions. 
Impulse control …reflective and less likely to give in to their urges. 
Relationships …capable of having fulfilling personal relationships.
Self-esteem …successful and self-confident. 
Self-motivation …driven and unlikely to give up in the face of adversity. 
Social awareness …accomplished networkers with excellent social skills. 
Stress management …capable of withstanding pressure and regulating stress. 
Trait empathy …capable of taking someone else’s perspective. 
Trait happiness …cheerful and satisfied with their lives. 
Trait optimism …confident and likely to “look on the bright side” of life.