Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test
EI Manager



Face Validity

Sample Items

Sample Report






Sample MSCEIT tm  Resource Report



- Resource Report -

Client: A SAMPLE

MSCEIT Developed By: John D. Mayer, Peter Salovey, David R. Caruso

MSCEIT is published by: Multi-Health Systems of Toronto.




Defining Emotional Intelligence


Emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).


This is an ability model of emotional intelligence.  Mayer and Salovey define emotional intelligence as the ability to reason with, and about, emotions.  For them, emotional intelligence combines feelings with thinking, and thinking with feeling.


This model describes four, related abilities:

Perceiving Emotions – the ability to correctly identify how people are feeling. 

Using Emotions to Facilitate Thought - the ability to create emotions and to integrate your feelings into the way you think.

Understanding Emotions - the ability to understand the causes of emotions.

Managing Emotions - the ability to figure out effective strategies that use your emotions to help you achieve a goal, rather than being used by your emotions.


A Closer Look At the Four Abilities


Perceiving Emotions


What Is Perceiving Emotions?  Other people, as well as yourself, feel a certain way.  Even the world around you communicates and sends emotional messages.  Emotions contain valuable information about relationships and the world.  This ability starts with being aware of these clues, and then, accurately identifying what these clues mean.


How is this ability used?  You need to be aware of your own feelings and emotions so that you have accurate data and information about the world around you.  Being aware of other's emotions is a key to working with people.


Using Emotions to Facilitate Thought 


What Is Using Emotions?  How we feel influences how we think. If you are feeling sad, you may view the world one way, while if you feel happy, you interpret the same events differently. People in a sad, or negative mood, tend to focus on details and search for errors.  Those in a more positive mood are better at generating new ideas and novel solutions to problems. Knowing which moods are best for which situations, and “getting in the right mood” is an ability.


How is this ability used? Creative ideas can come from your ability to generate a mood or an emotion.  Feeling for other people, having emotional empathy, may be based in part upon your ability to generate the same feeling that another person is experiencing.


Understanding Emotions  


What Is Understanding Emotions?  Emotions contain information, and our ability to understand this information and think about it plays an important role in our day to day life. This ability answers questions such as:  Why are we feeling happy; If I say this to my friend, how will he feel; What will happen if I say that to her?


How is this ability used?  Insight into ourselves, and others, may require emotional knowledge.  This knowledge helps us to understand people better.


Managing Emotions 


What Is Managing Emotions? If emotions contain information, then ignoring this information means that we can end up making a poor decision.  At times, we need to stay open to our feelings, learn from these feelings, and use this information to make decisions and to take appropriate action. At times, though, it may be best to disengage from an emotion and to return to it later in order to be effective.


How is this ability used?  If you stay aware of your emotions, which contain valuable information, and then use them to solve problems, the outcome may be more positive. 



How To Interpret Your MSCEIT Results


In developing the MSCEIT, we examined several different ways to score the answers.  We can compare your answers to those of experts on emotions, to other people's ratings and also to the person involved in the situation you read about.   Your scores are the result of comparing your test answers to those of emotions experts. 


You may wonder how we can score emotions.  You may also wonder if there is one best, or correct, way to feel.  The answer is that there is not a single way to feel. What this means is that, in general, there is no single, best answer for these test items.  Instead, your responses are compared to a range of possible answers.  In other words, you might get points towards a higher score whether you rated a face as a “5” or a “4” on happiness.


Once we have a score for each part of the MSCEIT, we need a way to indicate what your level of skill is in each area, compared to other people.  The MSCEIT was standardized on a very large sample of people (5,000), with the results being statistically weighted to be representative of the adult population of the United States (in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity).


Your MSCEIT scores are reported using the following scale:



Ability / Task



Consider Developing

Comp- etent











Develop Skill






Consider Developing






Competent Score






Highly Skilled






Expert Performance







We provide you with a score range in order to help you interpret your test results.  This score range is an estimate of your actual ability. In addition, it is critical to remember that every psychological test has error associated with their results.  Always remember: No test is perfect!  Test scores reflect the person’s ability as well as many other factors.


Emotional intelligence is one of hundreds of parts of our personality.  Is it the most important predictor of success in life or work?  No, it probably is part of “success” but it is not the sole ingredient, nor is it the most important one.  In addition, while the popular literature often claims that emotional intelligence, unless IQ, can be learned, research to date has not supported this contention.  However, we firmly believe that you can acquire new skills and new knowledge.  Therefore, if you want to improve one of your emotional intelligence abilities, you may be able to do so.





An overall MSCEIT score is a handy summary of your results.  Here is how you scored on the MSCEIT.







Emotional Intelligence






Your score was in the Competent range. Your score indicates that you are aware of emotions in yourself, and in others, and that your perception and understanding of emotion is often, but not always, accurate.

Remember that all test scores are approximations of your actual ability.  Let’s next take a closer look at your MSCEIT ability scores.




The most important and meaningful MSCEIT scores are the four ability scores.  Here is what your ability scores look like:





Consider Developing






Perceive Emotions






Use Emotions






Understand Emotions






Manage Emotions







Your score for Perceiving Emotions suggests that you might not read people accurately.


Your score for Using Emotions suggests that you may not accurately reflect the feelings of others, or to be able to generate and access emotions.


Your score for Understand Emotions suggests that you might want to find ways to employ this ability to understand the causes of people’s feelings and to be able to express your emotional thinking clearly.


Your score for Manage Emotions strongly suggests that you can stay open to your feelings and use them in combination with your thinking.



Perceiving Emotions





Consider Developing

Comp- etent





Perceive Emotions







Some possible interpretations of your score include:

  • You may, at times, overanalyze the faces and pictures.

  • You may not attend to non-verbal cues.

  • You may resist ascribing negative emotions to people.


Another way to help you further understand your results is to review the following questions:

  • Are you always aware of your emotions?

  • Do you pay attention to other’s moods?

  • Are you surprised when people say how they feel?

  • Do you over-analyze situations?  Do you sometimes read too much into people?

  • Do you sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt and not ascribe negative feelings to them?

  • Ever wonder how people feel?


To enhance this area, your first step is to monitor your awareness of the emotional environment.  Ask yourself whether you attend to emotions, or whether you consider this source of information to be extraneous.   You might need to simply become aware of the emotions around you, and remember that a great deal of the emotion is communicated through facial expression.


Train yourself to consciously remember this fact and think about it next time you are talking with someone.  Focus on the person's facial expression.  What is it conveying?  Is it positive, negative, or neutral?  Does it agree with the words the person is saying? Does it change in expression?  Is there more than one emotion being conveyed through the face?  The basic emotions typically conveyed through the face are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, disgust, contempt, and interest.  Often faces convey mixtures or blends of several of the above emotions.  The key here is to become an astute observer of the visual cues that people convey.  You may be surprised how much you learn about a person's emotional state when you consciously focus on such cues.


Using Emotions To Facilitate Thought


Understanding Emotions


Managing Emotions



Task scores sometimes are helpful in better understanding your test results.  This section of your report describes the nature of each of these tasks, the basis for designing the task items, and then lists your score.

As task scores are subject to much more variability than are the four ability scores, we report task scores using just three feedback levels.  A Possibly Develop score indicates that you might evidence lower ability in this area than others.  The next level of scores is a Competent Score, suggesting that you likely possess enough of this ability to perform the task.  Finally, a score in the Possible Strength range indicates that this might be an area of expertise for you. 

Possibly Develop




Competent Score




Possible Strength




Perceiving Emotions Task Score Results

Faces Task

About This Task:

In this task, you are asked to indicate how likely it is that each emotion listed is present in that photograph.  It measures your ability to accurately identify how people feel based upon facial expression alone.

Basis for Task:

Social communications requires accurate perception of content, as well as tone and non-verbal signals such as posture and facial expression.  This task measures a person’s ability to decode emotion when only facial expression information is available.  It is a very basic-level process. 

Your Faces Task Score

Faces Task Score




What Your Score Suggests

You scored in the Possibly Develop range on this task. You might not attend to emotions.  Perhaps you filter certain emotions out of your awareness. Another possibility is that you might have thought about whether it was possible for the person to feel a certain way.  We really are asking people how likely it is for the person to feel a certain way.  Did you construct scenarios where it was possible for each emotion to occur?  Do you read people well when you have some context, such as tone of voice, background information, or posture?  This task only gives you very limited visual information.

Using Emotions To Facilitate Thought Tasks


Understand Emotions Tasks


Manage Emotions Tasks





How To Use Your MSCEIT Results


Emotional intelligence is just one part of who you are, and it is probably not be the most important factor in your success in work, or life.  The MSCEIT provides you with an estimate of your emotional abilities.  Use these results to help you better understand yourself. 

Take Another Look at Your Emotion Perception Ability

Your overall Identifying Emotions score may not truly reflect your ability, or potential, in this area.  There is a chance that you simply over-analyzed the various MSCEIT faces and tried to read too much into them.  Or, maybe you found it hard to ascribe emotions to these faces since there just isn’t a whole lot of information in the faces, and certainly, no context. But your accuracy was much greater when you had more information available to analyze in the various designs and landscapes.  Your analytical approach paid off in this case. 

Therefore, you might want to go more with your gut regarding how a person feels when you don’t have a lot of other information and lack context.  Also consider whether you resist assigning emotions to people in general, or impose your own feelings onto others. Remember that you have potential in this area!

Manage Your Own Emotions

While you are able to help other people manage their feelings, and constructively leverage the power of emotion, it’s possible that you don’t do this for yourself.  You might feel overwhelmed at times.  There are a few ways to deal with this issue.  First, consider these strategies:

•           create routines for everything

•           prioritize activities each day

•           create backwards time lines for multi-step or multi-day assignments

Second, you might wish to learn about deep breathing and/or progressive muscle relaxation techniques. These are really easy-to-learn and practical techniques.

Thank You

We are excited about the MSCEIT and we hope that that it will provide you with useful information and insights. Thank you for taking the MSCEIT!

David Caruso  



For the Test Administrator Only

Please remove this page before giving the report to the client.

Client: A SAMPLE

Date of report: May 21, 2003

MSCEIT Component

Standard Score







MSCEIT Ability  


Perceive Emotions


Use Emotions


Understand Emotions


Manage Emotions


















Emotion Management


Emotional Relationships


Please see the MSCEIT User’s Manual for information regarding these scores. 

Note: MSCEIT is a trademark of Multi-Health Systems (MHS).  Website copyright © 2005, D. Caruso. All Rights Reserved.