Emotional intelligence relates to the abilities of knowing one's emotions, managing them, motivating oneself, recognizing emotions in others and handling relationships. There are now thought to be quite strong links between how people manage their emotions and eating disorders but little is known about the relationship between emotional intelligence and eating problems. Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry in London and King's College London studied this issue in 40 women; 20 of them had eating disorders and 20 of them formed an unaffected control group. The women were presented with 36 photos showing only people's eyes and had to pick, from four words, one which matched what the person was thinking or feeling. The women also filled out a questionnaire designed to measure how well they were able to regulate their emotions. The women with anorexia were significantly worse at working out what people were thinking from their eyes and at regulating their emotions. The worse people were at recognising others' moods the worse they were at regulating their own emotions and vice versa.
Harrison, Amy ... [et al] - Emotion recognition and regulation in anorexia nervosa Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy July-August 2009, 16(4), 348-356