Importance of the Alternative Five and Trait Emotional Intelligence for Agentic and Communal Domains of Satisfaction


  • Andreja Avsec Department of Psychology, University of Ljubljana
  • Tina Kavčič Faculty of Education Koper, University of Primorska


alternative five personality traits, personality traits, emotional intelligence, life satisfaction, domains of life satisfaction


Many studies supported the importance of trait emotional intelligence (EI) for subjective well-being but specific domains of life-satisfaction were rarely of interest. Our study investigated whether emotional intelligence is more important for interpersonal or communal-related domains (e.g. satisfaction with friends, intimate partners) than for agentic domains of satisfaction (e.g. satisfaction with finances, work). Due to the problematic differential validity of trait EI from personality, the relationship between trait EI and domains of satisfaction was controlled for by personality. Slovene students and young adults (N=442) completed the Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire and the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, and rated their satisfaction with 12 aspects of life. Principal component analysis of these domains revealed three components, explaining 62% of total variance. The communal domains included self-reported satisfaction with popularity, respect, influence on others, family relationships, and intimate relationship. The agentic domains included satisfaction with professional carrier, financial situation, academic education, and achieved goals. The physical domains component was comprised of satisfaction with appearance, fitness, and health. After accounting for personality, trait EI explained 16% of variance in communal domain and 10% of variance in agentic domain, thus suggesting greater importance of trait EI for interpersonal domains. However, trait EI seems to play an important role for satisfaction in the agentic domains also, as successful management of our emotions can help us reach our goals and thus be more satisfied.