Starting from the modern understanding of giftedness as a domain-specific quality, which is not reflected only in the development of certain types of abilities, but also in various combinations of non-intellectual characteristics, an empirical study was conducted and aimed to complete the knowledge of the emotional sphere of gifted students in different domains. The aim of the research is to determine the distinctive characteristics of students gifted at music, art, sports and mathematics within the following aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness and relationship management. A scale of emotional competences had been constructed for the needs of this research and was applied on a sample of 473 respondents, who attend specialized high schools for gifted students from Novi Sad, Belgrade and Kraljevo.
After examining the differences between the four groups of subjects, two distinctive features were found in a set of specific aspects of emotional intelligence, which are self-regulation and self-awareness. Self-regulation is most prominent among students gifted in sports and, accordingly, this group of respondents differs in a statistically significant way from the respondents gifted in art and mathematics. Such findings are explained by the specifics of given domains, i.e. by the fact that the domain of sport is characterized by a greater focus on external reality, while the domains of art and mathematics encourage introspectivity and an intrapsychic plan, causing differences in their emotional sphere. When it comes to self awareness, it was noticed that artistically gifted students differ significantly from the remaining three groups of respondents, and that this feature is least pronounced in them. It is most prominent with musicians, followed by athletes and mathematicians. These findings have been linked to previous studies of similar issues that have shown that artistically gifted students show much more problems in the aspect of social adaptation, most likely because wider society, and consequently the school system, are less valued in this domain, which probably has a negative effect on their self-esteem. On the other hand, the expression of this characteristic in musically gifted students clearly indicates that the high evaluation of one's own abilities is crucially important for mastering the domain of music.
Overall, the results of the research indicate the importance of the domains of giftedness for the emergence of a specific constellation of the emotional competences that manifests itself within it. It is, therefore, concluded that the emotional functioning of gifted students can be accurately considered only if it is located within the frames of individual domains.