Parameters as trait indicators: Exploring a complementary neurocomputational approach to conceptualizing and measuring trait differences in emotional intelligence

Ryan Smith, Anna Alkozei, William D.S. Killgore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current assessments of trait emotional intelligence (EI) rely on self-report inventories. While this approach has seen considerable success, a complementary approach allowing objective assessment of EI-relevant traits would provide some potential advantages. Among others, one potential advantage is that it would aid in emerging efforts to assess the brain basis of trait EI, where self-reported competency levels do not always match real-world behavior. In this paper, we review recent experimental paradigms in computational cognitive neuroscience (CCN), which allow behavioral estimates of individual differences in range of parameter values within computational models of neurocognitive processes. Based on this review, we illustrate how several of these parameters appear to correspond well to EI-relevant traits (i.e., differences in mood stability, stress vulnerability, self-control, and flexibility, among others). In contrast, although estimated objectively, these parameters do not correspond well to the optimal performance abilities assessed within competing "ability models" of EI. We suggest that adapting this approach from CCN-by treating parameter value estimates as objective trait EI measures-could (1) provide novel research directions, (2) aid in characterizing the neural basis of trait EI, and (3) offer a promising complementary assessment method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number848
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
Issue numberAPR
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Bayesian brain
  • Computational modeling
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Trait emotional intelligence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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