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Emotional Contagion

Definition

Emotional contagion is the phenomenon that individuals tend to express and feel emotions that are similar to those of others. When someone tells you with a big smile that she passed an important test, you smile as well. If, on the other hand, your friend tells you his father passed away last week, you feel depressed, not so much because of the recollection of your friend's father, whom you don't know, but mainly because your friend is so sad. In other words, you do not only observe your friend's emotions, but they also affect your own emotional expressions and emotional state. Thus, emotional contagion is a form of social influence.

Context and Function

Emotional contagion may occur between two persons but also in larger groups. Think of ...

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