Does an Emotional Intelligence Test Correlate With Traditional Measures Used to Determine Medical School Admission?

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As medical school admission committees are giving increased consideration to noncognitive measures, this study sought to determine how emotional intelligence (EI) scores relate to other traditional measures used in the admissions process.


EI was measured using an ability-based test (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, or MSCEIT) in two consecutive cohorts of medical school applicants (2006 and 2007) qualifying for the admission interview. Pearson correlations between EI scores and traditional measures (i.e., weighted grade point average [wGPA], autobiographical sketch scores, and interview scores) were calculated.


Of 659 applicants, 68% participated. MSCEIT scores did not correlate with traditional measures (r = −0.06 to 0.09, P > .05), with the exception of a small correlation with wGPA in the 2007 cohort (r = −0.13, P < .05).


The lack of substantial relationships between EI scores and traditional medical school admission measures suggests that EI evaluates a construct fundamentally different from traits captured in our admission process.

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