Emotion and Social Influence

We are interested in the role of emotions as agents of social influence. How do one person’s emotional expressions shape other people’s cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors? Among other things, we study how expressions of anger or disappointment influence compliance with requests, and how such emotional influence is shaped by social norms. We also investigate when and how emotions displayed by a majority faction in a group may lead a deviant group member to conform to the majority’s position. In the sports domain we are investigating how emotional crowds influence referee decisions. Finally, we are currently studying how the emotions of service providers influence customers’ perceptions of service quality and product satisfaction, and how such influence is modulated by the intensity of the emotional expressions.

Sample publications:

Van Kleef, G. A., Van den Berg, H., & Heerdink, M. W. (2015). The persuasive power of emotions: Effects of emotional expressions on attitude formation and change. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, 1124-1142.

Van Doorn, E. A., Van Kleef, G. A., & Van der Pligt, J. (2015). How emotional expressions shape prosocial behavior: Interpersonal effects of anger and disappointment on compliance with requests. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 128-141.

Van Kleef, G. A., Homan, A. C., & Cheshin, A. (2012). Emotional influence at work: Take it EASI. Organizational Psychology Review, 2, 311-339.

Heerdink, M. W., Van Kleef, G. A., Homan, A. C., & Fischer, A. H. (2013). On the social influence of emotions in groups: Interpersonal effects of anger and happiness on conformity versus deviance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 262-284.

Van Doorn, E. A., Van Kleef, G. A., & Van der Pligt, J. (2014). How instructors’ emotional expressions shape students’ learning performance: The roles of anger, happiness, and regulatory focus. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 980-984.