Trait Model of EI

Trait Model is the most recent model of EI given by Petrides. This model marks a break from the idea that EI is ability-based and proposes that people have, as part of their personalities, a number of emotional self-perceptions and emotional traits.

Simply put, Trait EI concerns people’s perceptions of their own emotional abilities. Trait EI is defined as “a constellation of emotional self – perceptions located at the lower levels of personality hierarchies. Petrides terms this as trait emotional self- efficacy. This means that emotions are subjective and emotional intelligence is quite simply, an individual’s own perception of his own ability to work with emotions.

Petrides asserts that there is no standard profile of an emotionally intelligent person because certain traits are adaptive, functional and useful in some situations while the same traits may hamper individuals in other contexts. For example, being reserved would be useful in a job role that demands research in isolation (e.g. job of a scientist) but may not be suited to a job role that expects social interaction and agreeableness (e.g. job of a public servant)

Thus the trait model of EI focuses on particular personality traits helpful in perceiving and regulating emotions. It emphasizes the emotional self-perceptions and emotional traits in one’s personality plays a significant role in one’s emotional intelligence.