Z/EQ-i & Stress – JUN 05
© 2005 Henry L. Thompson, Ph.D.
The Impact of Stress on the BarOn EQ-i® Reported Scores
and A Proposed Model of Inquiry1
High Performing Systems, Inc.
Technical Report #15-5
Henry L. Thompson, Ph.D.
June 20, 2005
This study looked at the impact of a “normal” mindset versus a “stressed” mindset on the reported scores of the BarOn EQ-i instrument,
a self-report instrument that purports to measure emotional intelligence. The results indicated that with a simple set of instructions
asking respondents to assume a very stressed mindset, significant downward changes in the total emotional intelligence and all 15
subscale scores were observed. The significant main effect for mindset has numerous implications, the most obvious being that
individuals should not complete the instrument while in a stressed mindset. A second implication is that the relationship between
emotional intelligence and stress might be such that stress actually reduces an individual’s ability to use his/her full emotional
intelligence capacity. The dynamic relationship among emotional intelligence, stress and leader performance might also be visualized
and predicted through the use of a catastrophe theory model.
Stress is one of the major factors leaders must contend with in today's workplace. Tangri (2003) states:
Stress costs American business more than $300 Billion annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, accidents,
employee turnover, and medical, legal and insurance fees, and workers’ compensation awards. This is more
than 15 times the cost of all strikes combined. In Canada, the annual cost to business is $16 Billion, which is
equivalent to 14% of total net profits. Total costs to employers for accidents and work-related ill health in the
United Kingdom is £7.3 Billion.
Stress in the workplace is not expected to become any less problematic in the near future. Leaders will