Emotional intelligence is a well-established indicator of performance and the ability to maintain successful social relationships. Moreover, it is potentially an important factor in social dynamics occurring on large digital platforms, e.g., opinion polarization, social conflict, and social influence. Users publicly exchange enormous amounts of text on digital platforms, which can potentially be used to extract real-life insights. Yet, currently, the prevalent approach to measuring emotional intelligence uses mainly self-report surveys and tasks—considerably limiting the feasibility of real-life large-scale studies. We analyze the online public texts of users, who also completed emotional intelligence measures, to find that characteristics of online public texts can be used to predict emotional intelligence at a level like that of commonly used psychometric indicators (e.g., SATs) to predict real-life outcomes. For example, we find that high emotional intelligence individuals consistently use more positive-affect language, less negative-affect language and use more social-oriented language than low emotional intelligence individuals. Our findings provide insight into the role of personality on digital platforms and open the possibility of studying emotional intelligence in large and diverse real-life data. To support the use of online public text as a tool to research emotional intelligence, we provide an anonymized version of the data.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).