ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (5): 791-801.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00791

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Primitive Emotional Contagion and the Challenge of Current Research

ZUO Shijiang;WANG Fang;SHI Xiafei;ZHANG Xiao   

  1. (School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2013-05-30 Online:2014-05-15 Published:2014-05-15
  • Contact: WANG Fang


Emotional contagion refers to the emotional convergence between individuals result from social interaction. Specifically, the unconscious tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize other people’s movements, expressions, postures and behaviors is called primitive emotion contagion. Lots of empirical evidences have been provided recently to uncover the mechanism of primitive emotion contagion. However, challenges in this field still remains due to definition ambiguity and its “unconscious” “synchronical” “automatical” occurrence. Based on the review of past studies, we conclude the interference factors of social situations and clarify the dilemma on aspects of concept definition, measuring method and depended cues. Moreover, we suggest that future researchers should apply more advanced techniques and paradigm to conduct the experiments. And theories about the underlying mechanism should be undated with recent findings.

Key words: emotional contagion, emotional convergence, mimicry, empathy