A meta-analysis of the relationship between emotion recognition ability and intelligence

Schlegel, Katja; Palese, Tristan; Schmid Mast, Marianne; Rammsayer, Thomas H.; Hall, Judith A.; Murphy, Nora A. (2020). A meta-analysis of the relationship between emotion recognition ability and intelligence. Cognition and emotion, 34(2), pp. 329-351. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 10.1080/02699931.2019.1632801

[img] Text
A_meta_analysis_of_the_relationship_between_emotion_recognition_ability_and_intelligence.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

The ability to recognise others’ emotions from nonverbal cues (emotion recognition ability, ERA) is measured with performance-based tests and has many positive correlates. Although researchers have long proposed that ERA is related to general mental ability or intelligence, a comprehensive analysis of this relationship is lacking. For instance, it remains unknown whether the magnitude of the association varies by intelligence type, ERA test features, as well as demographic variables. The present meta-analysis examined the relationship between ERA and intelligence based on 471 effect sizes from 133 samples and found a significant mean effect size (controlled for nesting within samples) of r = .19. Different intelligence types (crystallized, fluid, spatial, memory, information processing speed and efficiency) yielded similar effect sizes, whereas academic achievement measures (e.g. SAT scores) were unrelated to ERA. Effect sizes were higher for ERA tests that simultaneously present facial, vocal, and bodily cues (as compared to tests using static pictures) and for tests with higher reliability and more emotions. Results were unaffected by most study and sample characteristics, but effect size increased with higher mean age of the sample. These findings establish ERA as sensory-cognitive ability that is distinct from, yet related to, intelligence.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics

UniBE Contributor:

Schlegel, Katja, Rammsayer, Thomas


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group




Karin Dubler

Date Deposited:

12 Apr 2021 16:46

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:48

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback