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Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. It was confirmed that EI is important psychological characteristics needed in everyday life.
The aim of this research is to evaluate the EI construct in three groups of adolescents: students of medicine, psychology and special education and rehabilitation, representing groups of young intellectual population. In addition, groups of examinees containing health workers (doctors and nurses), as well as non-medical professionals are evaluated as an example of adult intellectual people. The purpose was to compare the obtained EI scores between young and adult population both related to actual or future work with patients. Non-medical professionals serve as a control.
Obtained results for students in this study showed that the group of special education and rehabilitation are the most extrovert and have the highest self-confidence, while the most optimist are students of medicine. We did not obtained significant differences between groups for the level of anxiety as well as for the level of empathy.
Concerning adult population, anxiety is the lowest while the optimism is the highest in non-medical group. Similar scores of extroversion, self-confidence and empathy are obtained in all groups of adults.
Having in mind the importance of emotional intelligence we suggest introduction of teaching EI skills in educational curricula.