- Anger and happiness in virtual teams: emotional influences of text and behavior on others' affect in the absence of non-verbal cues
- Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
- Volume | Issue number
- 116 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Emotions carry social influence, as evident by emotion contagion - an unconscious process attributed to mimicking of non-verbal cues. We investigate whether emotion contagion can occur in virtual teams; specifically, the emotional influence of text-based and behavior-based cues on participants’ emotion in 4-person virtual teams. In a 2 × 2 design a confederate textually communicated anger or happiness, while behaving in a resolute or flexible pattern. The team task required negotiation offering a performance based reward. We demonstrate that emotion contagion occurs in teams even when communication is only text-based. We show that behaviors are perceived as emotionally charged, resolute behavior interpreted as a display of anger, and flexibility as a display of happiness. Moreover, we demonstrate that incongruence between text-based communication of emotion and emotionally charged behaviors elicits negative emotion in fellow teammates. Our findings extend the boundaries of emotion contagion and carry implications for understanding emotion dynamics in virtual teams.
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