- Echoing emotions: reactions to emotional displays in intergroup context
- Award date
- 2 July 2010
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The findings of the current dissertation show that emotional displays in particular negative emotional displays bring individuals together when they share group membership, but drive individuals apart when they do not share group membership. Intergroup interactions can be emotional, and if members of different groups do not respond empathically to the emotional signals of the other person, the interaction will not run smoothly and the relationship with the other person may suffer. This conclusion may appear to suggest that emotions only have a negative effect on intergroup relations. Not all emotions have this effect, however. Happiness displays can overcome group boundaries, and individuals converge to outgroup happiness to the same extent as they do to ingroup happiness sometimes even more so. This shows that while some emotions can signal distancing, other emotions can signal affiliation, even if there is an initial distance or dissimilarity with the other person. If people become aware of the different effects of their emotions, they may respond to the emotional displays of strangers more appropriately.
- Kurt Lewin Institute dissertation series no. 2010-9
Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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