Saturday, December 27, 2014

End-year special: Why emotions can drive a second emotional response(2)

A child sees his mother smoking and is soon found with a twig in his mouth, copying the way she holds and inhales from a cigarette. A sociable imitation of another person’s behavior is termed mimicry. A woman crying on the streets sometimes makes one shed a tear. The sensation of crying was carried to the brain and fed back to your senses as pity that you’d want to share with.

The two examples above demonstrate that emotions can influence others. Emotions can spread like gangrene. Happiness spreads faster than anger. Patriotism is contagious. Anger makes others to like you less and to feel dissatisfied with your company.

The contagious effect of the emotions is particularly noticeable in group settings. We all love inviting gregarious and charming Sandra to our parties but allow introverted Alex to his lonely musings. An angry member of a group can spoil the group climate and create an atmosphere of negativity. Teams that were coached by a leader in a positive mood developed one.

When anger is directed at you, you can use the tools of effective listening to defuse the anger or fuel it by responding in kind.

All these are a second emotional response which are reactions to an observed emotion.

As humans, we register emotions in the brain, process them and decide to react emotionally or make other interpretations of these registers.

The next blog article,Series 3: How emotions play a part in decision making, describes emotions role in shaping decisions.

The rest of the series:

  1. How to use emotions to Human Advantage (Introduction).
  2. Series 1: How emotions can function as message bearers.
  3. Series 2: Why emotions can drive a second emotional response.
  4. Series 3: How emotions play a part in decision making.
  5. Series 4: Information processing of emotional signals.
  6. Series 5: The social context in responding and interpreting emotions.
  7. Series 6: Implications of using emotions as social information tokens.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments here!