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Emotional assimilation: how we are influenced by others' emotions

Fischer, Agneta H., Rotteveel, Mark, Evers, Catharine and Manstead, Antony Stephen Reid 2004. Emotional assimilation: how we are influenced by others' emotions. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive/ Current Psychology of Cognition 22 (2) , pp. 223-245.

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Emotions are the building blocks of social relations. This implies not only that our own emotional behavior affects others, but also that others’ emotions have an impact on how we feel. In this paper, we report two studies that examine the impact of others’ emotional reactions on one’s own emotions. We argue that individuals who are exposed to the same emotional event will emotionally assimilate to each other, that is, they tend to experience and express similar emotions, especially when an interdependent self is made salient. In both studies we manipulated interpersonal orientation (independent versus interdependent selves) and the emotional reactions of other persons present in the situation (angry versus sad). After the manipulation of interpersonal orientation, participants were presented with a vignette about a classroom situation in which students are treated unfairly. Both studies generally provide support for the emotional assimilation hypothesis, but also show that the extent of emotional assimilation depends on one’s interpersonal orientation and type of emotion.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emotional assimilation; emotional contagion; anger; sadness
ISSN: 0249-9185
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:12

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