Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) measures emotional intelligence through an individual's abilities to perceive, comprehend, act on, and manage emotional information.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Ages 17 to adult

Publication year for the most recent version 2003
Year originally developed 2002
Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration

Paper/Pencil, Digital

Number of items


Item format

Likert-type scale

Administration time

Approximately 30-45 minutes

Available languages

Over 20 languages, including German, English, Dutch, French, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish

Fee for use Fee charged by developer
Credentials required for administration

Qualification Level B

Overall score reporting

An overall emotional intelligence score is reported.

Subscore reporting

Several subscores are reported. These are organized hierarchically as area scores, branch scores, and individual task scores:

  • Experiential Emotional Intelligence
    • Perceiving Emotion
      • Faces
      • Pictures
    • Facilitating Thought
      • Sensations
      • Facilitation
  • Strategic Emotional Intelligence
    • Understanding Emotion
      • Blends
      • Changes
    • Managing Emotion
      • Emotion Management
      • Emotional Relations
Scoring procedures

MSCEIT is scored using a scoring service.

Interpretive information

Scores are normed and scaled for comparison.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

2,112 adult respondents (18+)

Reliability evidence

Overall score reliabilities (split half coefficients) reported to be greater than 0.90. The internal consistency reliability of the four branch scores ranged from 0.76 to 0.91 (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso & Sitarenios, 2003).

Test-retest reliability for the overall score was reported as 0.86 (Brackett & Mayer, 2001).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Items were designed to align with a four-branch ability theory of emotional intelligence. The MSCEIT has been developed and refined based on more than a decade of study and research on emotional intelligence (Mayer, Salovery, & Caruso, 2004).
Evidence based on response processes
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Factor analysis supports one, two, and four factor solutions (corresponding to the overall score, area score, and branch scores) (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso & Sitarenios, 2003).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
The relationship between MSCEIT scores and scores on the Big Five personality test showed that people who scored high on the MSCEIT also scored were more likely to be agreeable (r = 0.21), open (r = 0.17), and conscientious (r = 0.11). People who scored higher on the branch of using emotions of the MSCEIT were more likely to choose jobs to help others. People who were good at understanding emotions were more likely to choose adaptive defense mechanism, such as sublimation, instead of less adaptive mechanism, such as denial (Mayer, Salovery, & Caruso, 2004).
In terms of how well MSCEIT scores predict students’ academic performance, the correlation between MSCEIT scores and college students' grades ranged between 0.20 and 0.25. However, this correlation became trivial after the general intelligence was controlled in the analysis.
In addition, MSCEIT scores showed a consistent negative relationship and deviancy and problem behaviors such as bullying, violence, tobacco use, and drug problem, even after the effects of general intelligence and personality were statistically controlled for. MSCEIT scores on emotional management were also positively significantly related with the quality of relationship with friends. However, results on the relationship between MSCEIT scores and leadership were mixed, for which Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2004) attributed to differences in the demand for the ability to maintain a good relationship with colleagues and customers among different careers examined.
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Brackett, M., & Mayer, J. D. , "Comparing measures of emotional intelligence," Third Positive Psychology Summit, Washington, D.C. 2001.

Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. "Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test: MSCEIT," Item booklet, MHS, 2002.

Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. "Emotional intelligence: Theory, findings, and implication," Psychological Inquiry, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2004, pp. 197–215.

Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R., & Sitarenios, G. , "Measuring emotional intelligence with the MSCEIT V 2.0," Emotion, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2003, pp. 97.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.