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Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Study

The Review of the Mechanism of Emotional Contagion

  • Open or CloseZhang Qi yong*

    The college of educational science, Yangzhou university, China

    *Corresponding author: Zhang Qi yong, The college of educational science, Yangzhou university, China

Submission: July 24, 2019;Published: September 23, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/PPRS.2019.02.000544

ISSN: 2639-0612
Volume2 Issue4


According to the theory of primitive emotional contagion, emotional contagion is a psychological process of physiology eliciting emotion, which consists of the following courses: emotional awareness → unconscious mimicry→ physiological feedback→ emotional experience. As early as 1884, William James and Carl Lange put forward a same periphery-feedback theory of emotion, which depicted a close relationship between physiological change and emotional change. Unfortunately, it described neither the mechanism from stimuli events to peripheral physiological change, nor the internal link between physiological feedback and emotional arousal. The above two issues could be resolved by research on the mechanism of emotional contagion. Emotional contagion begins with a perceiver mimicking the other’s expression, which elicits the mimic’s physiological reaction in the specific circumstances. If the perceiver’s peripheral physiological change was cut off from the specific circumstances, his/her emotional experience would not come up. In a word, only when an individual is exposed under certain circumstances will physiological reaction arouse emotional experience.

Keywords: Emotional contagion; James-lange theory; Mechanism

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