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The Social Nature of Emotions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199099 Year: Pages: 220 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-909-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Abstract

Emotion is a defining aspect of the human condition. Emotions pervade our social and professional lives, they affect our thinking and behavior, and they profoundly shape our relationships and social interactions. Emotions have traditionally been conceptualized and studied as individual phenomena, with research focusing on cognitive and expressive components and on physiological and neurological processes underlying emotional reactions. Over the last two decades, however, an increasing scholarly awareness has emerged that emotions are inherently social – that is, they tend to be elicited by other people, expressed at other people, and regulated to influence other people or to comply with social norms (Fischer & Manstead, 2008; Keltner & Haidt, 1999; Parkinson, 1996; Van Kleef, 2009). Despite this increasing awareness, the inclusion of the social dimension as a fundamental element in emotion research is still in its infancy (Fischer & Van Kleef, 2010). We therefore organized this special Research Topic on the social nature of emotions to review the state of the art in research and methodology and to stimulate theorizing and future research. The emerging field of research into the social nature of emotions has focused on three broad sets of questions. The first set of questions pertains to how social-contextual factors shape the experience, regulation, and expression of emotions. Studies have shown, for instance, that the social context influences the emotions people feel and express (Clark, Fitness, & Brissette, 2004; Doosje, Branscombe, Spears, & Manstead, 2004; Fischer & Evers, 2011). The second set of questions concerns social-contextual influences on the recognition and interpretation of emotional expressions. Studies have shown that facial expressions are interpreted quite differently depending on the social context (e.g., in terms of status, culture, or gender) in which they are expressed (Elfenbein & Ambady, 2002; Hess & Fischer, 2013; Mesquita & Markus, 2004; Tiedens, 2001). The third set of questions has to do with the ways in which people respond to the emotional expressions of others, and how such responses are shaped by the social context. Studies have shown that emotional expressions can influence the behavior of others, for instance in group settings (Barsade, 2002; Cheshin, Rafaeli & Bos, 2011; Heerdink, Van Kleef, Homan, & Fischer, 2013), negotiations (Sinaceur & Tiedens, 2006; Van Kleef, De Dreu, & Manstead, 2004), and leadership (Sy, Côté, & Saavedra, 2005; Van Kleef, Homan, Beersma, & Van Knippenberg, 2010). This Research Topic centers around these and related questions regarding the social nature of emotions, thereby highlighting new research opportunities and guiding future directions in the field. We bring together a collection of papers to provide an encyclopedic, open-access snapshot of the current state of the art of theorizing and research on the social nature of emotion. The state of the art work that is presented in this e-book helps advance the understanding of the social nature of emotions. It brings together the latest cutting-edge findings and thoughts on this central topic in emotion science, as it heads toward the next frontier.

Inner Experiences: Theory, Measurement, Frequency, Content, and Functions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197712 Year: Pages: 163 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-771-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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One fundamental topic of scientific inquiry in psychology is the study of what William James called the 'stream of consciousness', our ongoing experience of the world and ourselves from within—our inner experiences. These internal states (aka "stimulus-independent thoughts") include inner speech, mental imagery, feelings, sensory awareness, internally produced sounds or music, unsymbolized thinking, and mentalizing (thinking about others' mental states). They may occur automatically during mind-wandering (daydreaming) and resting-state episodes, and may focus on one's past, present, or future ("mental time travel" - e.g., autonoetic consciousness). Inner experiences also may take the form of intrusive or ruminative thoughts. The types, characteristics, frequency, content, and functions of inner experiences have been studied using a variety of traditional methods, among which questionnaires, thought listing procedures (i.e., open-ended self-reports), thinking aloud techniques, and daily dairies. Another approach, articulatory suppression, consists in blocking participants' use of verbal thinking while completing a given task; deficits indicate that inner speech plays a causal role in normal task completion. Various thought sampling approaches have also been developed in an effort to gather more ecologically valid data. Previous thought sampling studies have relied on beepers that signal participants to report aspects of their inner experiences at random intervals. More recent studies are exploiting smartphone technology to easily and reliably probe randomly occurring inner experiences in large samples of participants. These various measures have allowed researchers to learn some fundamental facts about inner experiences. To illustrate, it is becoming increasingly clear that prospection (future-oriented thinking) greatly depends on access to autobiographical memory (past-oriented thinking), where recollection of past scenes is used as a template to formulate plausible future scenarios. The main goal of the present Research Topic was to offer a scientific platform for the dissemination of current high-quality research pertaining to inner experiences. Although data on all forms of inner experiences were welcome, reports on recent advances in inner speech research were particularly encouraged. Here are some examples of topics of interest: (1) description and validation of new scales, inventories, questionnaires measuring any form of inner experience; (2) novel uses or improvements of existing measures of inner experiences; (3) development of new smartphone technology facilitating or broadening the use of cell phones to sample inner experiences; (4) frequency, content, and functions of various inner experience; (5) correlations between personality or cognitive variables and any aspects of inner experiences; (6) philosophical or theoretical considerations pertaining to inner experiences; and (7) inner experience changes with age.

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