Psychology Grand Rounds

Echoing Emotions: reactions to emotional displays of others

The questions that are central to my research are: how do people respond to emotions of others, and how is our behaviour influenced by emotions of others? I will present two projects that investigated these issues. The first project investigated emotional mimicry and contagion in intergroup context. The results showed that emotional convergence is stronger in response to emotional displays of ingroup than outgroup members, and that reactions to emotional displays of outgroup may even be divergent. The second project investigated the influence of others' emotions on fairness. The results showed that others’ emotions about fair behaviour influenced fairness of subsequent divisions of resources. The results also showed that self-reported anticipated pride and regret can both increase and decrease fairness, and that anticipated emotions are an important predictor of fair behaviour. The findings are discussed in terms of the social functions of emotions.