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Schlegel, Katja; Scherer, Klaus R. (2018): The nomological network of emotion knowledge and emotion understanding in adults: evidence from two new performance-based tests. In: Cognition & Emotion, Vol. 32, No. 8: pp. 1514-1530
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Emotion understanding, which can broadly be defined as expertise in the meaning of emotion, is a core component of emotional intelligence and facilitates better intra- and interpersonal outcomes. However, to date only very few standard tests to measure emotion understanding in healthy adults exist. Here, we present two new performance-based tests that were developed and are scored based on componential emotion theory and large-scale cross-cultural empirical findings. These instruments intend to measure facets of emotion understanding that are not included in existing tests. The first test (Geneva EMOtion Knowledge test - Blends;GEMOK-Blends) measures the ability to understand and label emotional experiences of a target person from a description of emotion features covering five emotion components (appraisal, feeling, action tendencies, expression, and physiology) embedded in a written vignette. The second test (GEMOK-Features) measures semantic knowledge about which features from each component are characteristic of emotion episodes described by a specific emotion label. In four studies, we found evidence for the good internal consistency and construct validity of these tests. Both tests were positively correlated with other emotional abilities and cognitive ability and showed meaningful associations with a variety of personality and demographic variables.