Previous research has highlighted theoretical and empirical links between measures of both personality and trait emotional intelligence (EI), and the ability to decode facial expressions of emotion. Research has also found that the posed, static characteristics of the photographic stimuli used to explore these links affects the decoding process and differentiates them from the natural expressions they represent. This undermines the ecological validity of established trait-emotion decoding relationships. This study addresses these methodological shortcomings by testing relationships between the reliability of participant ratings of dynamic, spontaneously elicited expressions of emotion with personality and trait EI. Fifty participants completed personality and self-report EI questionnaires, and used a computer-logging program to continuously rate change in emotional intensity expressed in video clips. Each clip was rated twice to obtain an intra-rater reliability score. The results provide limited support for links between both trait EI and personality variables and how reliably we decode natural expressions of emotion. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
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