Emotions can often be transferred from one person to another. It has been assumed that the strength and impact of contagious emotions can depend largely on the susceptibility of the individual. This concept has led to the idea of emotional contagion, or “the tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize facial expressions, vocalizations, postures and movements with those of another person, and consequently, to converge emotionally”, as defined by Hatfield, Cacioppo & Rapson (1992). The present study will examine the influence of certain emotions and the increased probability for contagion to occur. Specifically, this study will explore the emotional strengths of happiness and sadness viewed in others as catalysts for changes in individual mood states. Participants (n=60) solicited from Dominican University and different social networks will be sent an email containing the link to a survey via Surveymonkey.com, containing the Emotional Contagion Scale (ECS; Doherty, 1997), one of six randomly selected video clips from youtube.com, and two subscales from the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Expanded Form (PANAS-X; Watson & Clark, 1994). Participants will also be asked common demographic questions. The ECS measures individual susceptibility to emotional contagion. Participants will then watch one of six video clips (either a male or female) that depict an elderly person expressing either a happy, sad, or neutral emotion. Finally, participants will be asked a total of 12 questions about their mood state using two subscales from the PANAS-X (joviality and sadness). This study furthers current research to extend findings that establish a relationship between individual differences in emotional susceptibility and the potential for mood change. It is hypothesized that 1) emotionally susceptible people should score high on a mood scale after watching an emotionally charged video clip, 2) sadness will have a more contagious effect, and 3) females will score higher than males in emotional contagion. Data collection for this study will take place February/March of 2015.
Derry E. Gutierrez
Social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook provide several social comparison opportunities. College students use several methods of social media to communicate and stay in touch with friends and family around the world. Although Facebook allows its users to post pictures, plan social events, meet new people, sustain relationships, and observe others’ lives, it also traps its users into a world where they (consciously and unconsciously) compare their lives to those of others. Facebook users self-evaluate and self-enhance their lives by socially comparing themselves with the detailed information they receive from other users. This frequent comparison indicates that social network sites are an important venue where people can evaluate themselves (e.g., opinions, abilities, and emotions), develop their own identities, and where people can also feel happy/unhappy or satisfied/dissatisfied with themselves from comparison with others (Lee, 2014). Shaw and Grant’s (2002) study indicated that internet use decreased depression and loneliness and increased both self-esteem and social support; however, Kraut et al. (1998) found internet use to be positively associated with depression, loneliness, and stress. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the correlation between the use of Facebook and students’ level of self-esteem. Specifically looking at the amount of time college students’ spend on Facebook and how it makes them feel lonely or unhappy with themselves, ultimately affecting their self-esteem.
Forty participants were sent an email link with one online survey on surveymonkey.com to complete. They responded to a combined 33 questions from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), the Facebook Usage and Experience Measure (derived from Rouis, Limayem, & Salehi-Sangari, 2011), and the Demographics questionnaire regarding age, ethnicity, marital status, and gender. This study predicts that students with intense use of Facebook are affected negatively and have a lower self-esteem than those who do not.