Send to

Choose Destination
J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997 Feb;72(2):305-19.

Stress, affiliation, and emotional contagion.

Author information

University of Pittsburgh, USA.


Female participants were exposed to high or low threat in the presence of another person believed to be facing either the same or a different situation. In Study 1, each dyad consisted of 2 actual participants, whereas in Study 2, each dyad consisted of 1 participant and 1 confederate, trained to convey either a calm or a nervous reaction to the situation. Affiliation patterns in both studies, defined in terms of the amount of time spent looking at the affiliate, were consistent with S. Schachter's (1959) "emotional similarity hypothesis"; threat increased affiliation and did so particularly with affiliates believed to be facing the same situation. The authors also found evidence of behavioral mimicry, in terms of facial expressions, and emotional contagion, in terms of self-reported anxiety. The behavioral mimicry and emotional contagion results are considered from both primitive emotional contagion and social comparison theory perspectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center