Researchers have long been interested in traditional forms of intelligence for predicting personal and profession life successes, however such dimensions have not been largely successful as they oftentimes miss the social component of human interaction. To capture this absence, researchers have proposed a new type of intelligence, which has been coined emotional intelligence. The purpose of this article was to provide a brief review how concepts of emotional intelligence have emerged in the previous 30 years, and to discuss the potential application emotional intelligence has in public health research and practice. This article will review three proposed models of emotional intelligence (ability, personality, and mixed), with corresponding measurements. In addition, the current state of research on how emotional intelligence has been related with risk factors related to the most prevalent chronic diseases will be summarized. Suggestions for future research and practice are presented.
Keywords: Emotional intelligence, public health, health promotion, social intelligence