The bidirectional influence of emotion expressions and context: emotion expressions, situational information and real-world knowledge combine to inform observers’ judgments of both the emotion expressions and the situation

Ursula Hess, Jonas Dietrich, Konstantinos Kafetsios, Shimon Elkabetz, Shlomo Hareli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We proposed and tested the notion of a bidirectional influence of emotion expressions and context. In two studies (N = 215, N = 222), we found that the expressions shown by supporters and opponents of a player in a ball game were used by observers to correctly deduce the eliciting situation–i.e. the outcome of the game. Conversely, knowledge of the outcome of the game (as well as real world knowledge of the negative interdependence of opponents in a competitive game) influenced the perception of both the emotions shown (Study 1) and the perceived bias/emotional control exhibited by the expressers (Study 2). This research contributes to a growing body of research that shows that both situations and emotion expressions contain intrinsic meaningful information and that both sources of information are used by observers in a social appraisal process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-552
Number of pages14
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • context effects
  • perspective taking
  • reverse engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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