- How emotions regulate social life: the emotions as social information (EASI) model
- Current Directions in Psychological Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The idea that emotions regulate social interaction is increasingly popular. But exactly how do emotions do this? To address this question, I draw on research on the interpersonal effects of emotions on behavior in personal relationships, parent-child interactions, conflict, negotiation, and leadership, and propose a new framework that can account for existing findings and guide future research: the emotions as social information (EASI) model. I demonstrate that emotional expressions affect observers' behavior by triggering inferential processes and/or affective reactions in them. The predictive strength of these two processes—which may inspire different behaviors—depends on the observer's information processing and on social-relational factors. Examples of moderators that determine the relative predictive strength of inferences and affective reactions include power, need for cognitive closure, time pressure, display rules, and the appropriateness and target of the emotional expression, which are all discussed.
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