1932

Abstract

We review the burgeoning literature on the social effects of emotions, documenting the impact of emotional expressions on observers’ affect, cognition, and behavior. We find convergent evidence that emotional expressions influence observers’ affective reactions, inferential processes, and behaviors across various domains, including close relationships, group decision making, customer service, negotiation, and leadership. Affective reactions and inferential processes mediate the effects of emotional expressions on observers’ behaviors, and the relative potency of these mediators depends on the observers’ information processing and the perceived appropriateness of the emotional expressions. The social effects of emotions are similar across expressive modalities (face, voice, body, text, symbols). We discuss the findings in relation to emotional contagion, emotional intelligence, emotion regulation, emotions as social information (EASI) theory, and the functionality of emotions in engendering social influence. Finally, we identify gaps in our current understanding of the topic and call for interdisciplinary collaboration and methodological diversification.

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2022-01-04
2024-06-23
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