Why do some people ruminate more or less than others? The role of Emotional Intelligence ability


  • Tiziana Lanciano
  • Antonietta Curci
  • Edvige Zatton


Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been defined as an ability to evaluate, perceive and express emotions, use emotions to facilitate thought, analyse and understand emotions, and manage and regulate emotions. The emotional elaboration ability is considered a crucial skill for EI, because of its role on the individual well-being. Individuals differ in adopting more or less successful emotion elaboration strategies. Among the many strategies, mental rumination is conceptualized as being characterized by persistent thoughts which intrude into the consciousness in a repetitive way. As a consequence, individual differences in mental rumination may be related to differences in EI abilities. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between mental rumination and EI abilities. More specifically, Study 1 (N = 150) investigated this association with respect to the emotional valence of an emotionally inducing event (positive vs. negative). Study 2 (N = 88) explored the impact of EI on the mental rumination processes both immediately after an emotional event and over time. Results, jointly considered, supported the idea that people with a higher level of managing emotions ability had reduced frequency of mental rumination, independent of the valence of the emotional event and retention delay.