403 Emotion & Group’s Influence

Research by Goldenberg, A., et al., (2019)

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, M.S.

Have you ever noticed that when people around you are happy, you are happy? How do others around us influence our emotions and beliefs?

Psychologists examined how Stanford American college students knowing the group’s emotions influenced their own feelings. They compared differences in laboratory and real-life situations on Twitter between a person’s emotional response in groups shown low threat photos (of protests against the U.S.) to high threat (of Americans committing immoral acts).

Results? No differences between laboratory or natural settings. Only when knowing the group’s emotions (weak or strong), did participants evidently check other’s reactions and adjust their emotions accordingly. In weaker emotional situations they expressed less emotion. When they knew the group supported their strong emotions, they felt even stronger.

Then,do other’s emotions influence our support for political candidates, action, and policies?Other’s strongor even weak emotions influence us! Beware of your tendency to change your emotions to be like others around you. We have a choice: allow ourselves to be unduly influenced or purposely search out and examine facts to make up our own minds based on our own values, not our emotions. Vote!

Reference: Goldenberg, A., Garcia, D., Halperin, E., Zaki, J., Kong, D., Golarai, G. & Gross, J. J. (2019). Beyond emotional similarity: The role of situation-specific motives. Journal of Experimental; Psychology: General

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