Human abilities: emotional intelligence

Annu Rev Psychol. 2008;59:507-36. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093646.


Emotional intelligence (EI) involves the ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought. We discuss the origins of the EI concept, define EI, and describe the scope of the field today. We review three approaches taken to date from both a theoretical and methodological perspective. We find that Specific-Ability and Integrative-Model approaches adequately conceptualize and measure EI. Pivotal in this review are those studies that address the relation between EI measures and meaningful criteria including social outcomes, performance, and psychological and physical well-being. The Discussion section is followed by a list of summary points and recommended issues for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Aptitude*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Perception