Special Issue "Advances in the Assessment of Social, Emotional, and Self-Regulatory Skills"

A special issue of Journal of Intelligence (ISSN 2079-3200).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Clemens Lechner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
GESIS—Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Survey Design and Methodology, P.O. Box 12 21 55, 68072 Mannheim, Germany
Interests: individual differences; personality; cognitive ability; assessment; psychometrics
Prof. Dr. Samuel Greiff
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Cognitive Science and Assessment, University of Luxembourg, L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Interests: educational psychology; assessment; problem solving; multivariate statistics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Patrick C. Kyllonen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Academic to Career Research Center, Research & Development, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541, USA
Interests: psychometrics; measurement; personality; cognitive psychology; response time; noncognitive skills
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social, emotional, and self-regulatory skills (SESS) – also known as non-cognitive skills, 21st-century skills, or soft skills – have gained currency among both researchers and policymakers. SESS cover a wide variety of skills outside those measured by traditional intelligence tests and usually emphasize emotional and motivational aspects. Examples comprise communication skills, leadership, collaboration, work ethic, self-control, and emotional resilience. SESS are considered important to select and pursue goals, build and maintain relationships, regulate one’s emotions, and related everyday tasks. Recent contributions suggest that SESS predict various measures of success (e.g., academic achievement, career success) above and beyond measures of intelligence, also in cases where intelligence is broadly conceptualized and measured. Moreover, evidence suggests that measures of SESS are largely independent of traditional measures of intelligence, somewhat reminiscent of “multiple intelligences”.

Despite recent advances, the assessment of SESS has long lagged behind that of cognitive abilities. There are a number of reasons for this. SESS are typically assessed through multi-item self-reports inventories using rating scales, mostly using agree–disagree response formats. Such inventories often follow the Big Five model of personality as an organizing framework. Many existing studies on SESS, in fact, use Big Five inventories as measures of SESS. Such inventories allow for a highly economical assessment of multiple SESS and often show at least moderate correlations with a range of relevant outcomes (e.g., for achievement, attainment, social participation, or health).

However, rating-scale based assessments have several downsides. For example, they are prone to bias from response styles (e.g., social desirability, acquiescence). Moreover, they almost invariably measure SESS as typical performance, rather than maximum performance. As a consequence, the objectivity and validity of current SESS assessments, the distinction between SESS and personality traits, and the theoretical status of SESS continue to be hotly debated.

In order to advance research on SESS, there is a need for novel assessment approaches as well as for further conceptual groundwork. The aim of this special issue is to promote such advances, both on a rather fundamental and on an applied level. We are looking for psychometric, theoretical, and empirical contributions including on (but not limited to) the following issues:

  • Fundamental conceptual questions regarding the definition of SESS, their relation to intelligence and personality, and their nature as psychological constructs;
  • The structure of SESS, their relation to intelligence and personality, and their incremental validity over intelligence and personality
  • Relations between rating-scale based measures of SESS and other types of measures (e.g., behavioral tasks, psychometric games);
  • Ways to improve traditional rating-scale based assessment approaches, such as multiple-informant approaches, situational judgement tests, or anchoring vignettes;
  • Innovative assessment approaches, such as technology-based assessments, psychometric games and behavioral tasks, or machine learning approaches using text, audio, or video data or even using multi-channel data;
  • Case studies and empirical applications of innovative assessment approaches for SESS in educational, vocational, and other settings

We explicitly welcome innovative and “risky” approaches, including reports of failed attempts to assess SESS or studies providing critical perspectives on the (often weak) relations between questionnaire-based and other SESS measures. Attempts to measure SESS from a maximum-performance perspective will be highly welcome.

Dr. Clemens Lechner
Prof. Dr. Samuel Greiff
Dr. Patrick C. Kyllonen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Intelligence is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • non-cognitive skills
  • socio-emotional skills
  • assessment
  • psychometric testing

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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