Mimicking and sharing emotions: a re-examination of the link between facial mimicry and emotional contagion

Michał Olszanowski , Monika Wróbel , Ursula Hess


Facial mimicry has long been considered a main mechanism underlying emotional contagion (i.e. the transfer of emotions between people). A closer look at the empirical evidence, however, reveals that although these two phenomena often co-occur, the changes in emotional expressions may not necessarily be causally linked to the changes in subjective emotional experience. Here, we directly investigate this link, by testing a model in which facial activity served as a mediator between the observed emotional displays and subsequently felt emotions (i.e. emotional contagion). Participants watched videos of different senders displaying happiness, anger, or sadness, while their facial activity was recorded. After each video, participants rated their own emotions and assessed the senders’ likeability and competence. Participants both mimicked and reported feeling the emotions displayed by the senders. Moreover, their facial activity partially explained the association between the senders’ emotional displays and self-reported emotions, thereby supporting the notion that facial mimicry may be involved in emotional contagion
Author Michał Olszanowski (Wydział Psychologii)
Michał Olszanowski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Monika Wróbel
Monika Wróbel,,
, Ursula Hess
Ursula Hess,,
Journal seriesCognition and Emotion, ISSN 0269-9931, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishFacial mimicry; facial EMG; facial feedback; emotional contagion; emotional mimicry
Keywords in original languageFacial mimicry; facial EMG; facial feedback; emotional contagion; emotional mimicry
ASJC Classification1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); 3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology; 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2019.1611543
Languageen angielski
Mimicking and sharing emotion_A re_examination of the link between facial mimicry and emotional contagion.pdf 1.31 MB
Olszanowski, M., Wróbel, M., & Hess, U. (2020). Mimicking and sharing emotions_ a re-examination of the link between facial mimicry and emotional contagion. Cognition and Emotion.pdf 1.4 MB
Additional file
Oswiadczenie_M.Olszanowski_Mimicking and sharing.pdf 18.1 KB
Oświadczenie_1_osiagniecia_naukowe_C&E.pdf 89.04 KB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.056; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.563 (2) - 2017=2.912 (5)
Citation count*5 (2020-06-14)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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