Project Information

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Project Information

Project Title
"A Dynamic Approach to the Social Effects of Emotions: Interpersonal Effects of Emotional Change"

University of Amsterdam - Social Psychology

PhD Student
Xia Fang

Prof.dr. Gerben van Kleef (University of Amsterdam), dr. Disa Sauter (University of Amsterdam)

1 October 2013 - 1 October 2017

Chinese government


In real life, we often find ourselves confronted with other people’s changing emotions, and need to figure out how to make sense of and respond to these changes. Emotional change refers to movement between two or more affective or emotional states, a ubiquitous phenomenon that is poorly understood. The present research is about the interpersonal effects of such emotional changes. Despite much past research has explored the effects of dynamic emotions on basic cognitive processes such as perception (Krumhuber, Kappas, & Manstead, 2013; Niedenthal, Brauer, Halberstadt, & Innes-Ker, 2001; Jack, Garrod, & Schyns, 2014), we are still in dark with regard to the effects of emotional change on more social cognitive processes such as attribution and impression formation. Moreover, prior research has only considered emotional changes from neutral to some emotional state (Ambadar, Schooler, & Cohen, 2005; Yoshikawa, Sato, 2008). It is unclear how people make sense of and respond to dynamic changes from one emotion to another. Our aim is to remedy this state of affairs by developing a comprehensive research program on the social effects of emotional change.

In the present research, we will focus on the interpersonal effects of emotional change on basic cognitive processing in the first part, such as perception, attention, and memory. In the second part, we will focus on the interpersonal effects of emotional change on more social phenomena, for instance, impression formation and attribution. In the third part, based on the findings revealed by the above studies, we will examine the interpersonal effects of emotional change on perceivers’ attitudes and behavior. In the fourth part, the interpersonal effects of emotional change will be compared between different countries, for instance, China and the Netherlands.

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