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Overview:Video-mediated communication is about to become a ubiquitous feature of everyday life. This chapter considers the differences between face-to-face and video-mediated communication in terms of co-presence and considers the implications for the communication of emotion, self-disclosure, and relationship rapport. Following initial consideration of the concepts of physical presence and social presence, we describe recent studies of the effect of presence on the facial communication of emotion. We then delve further into the different social psychological aspects of presence, and present a study that investigated how these various aspects independently impact upon self-disclosure and rapport. We conclude by considering how the absence of co-presence in video-mediated interaction can liberate the communicators from some of the social constraints normally associated with face-to-face interaction, while maintaining others and introducing new constraints specific to the medium.
Video-mediated interpersonal interactions are set to become a ubiquitous feature of everyday life. Recent advances in communication technologies, such as affordable broadband access to the internet and the appearance of third-generation mobile phones, mean that the much-heralded advent of the videophone is about to become reality. As video becomes ubiquitous, it places the face center-stage for the communication of emotion on the internet, much as it is in our normal “face-to-face” interactions. Of course the big difference between the face-to-face interactions that we take for granted today and the face-to-face interaction of the future is the absence of physical co-presence. In this new form of visual interaction, actors are separated by distance, communicating via webcams and computers or mobile phones.
Culture lies at the heart of emotion. Emotions are primarily relational processes that shape and are shaped by our relations with other people. Social life is the stage on which our emotions acquire significance and meaning. Cultures vary with respect to the relational, interpersonal themes that are promoted in social life. Some cultures emphasize the importance of maintaining one's independence and autonomy in social relations. Social interactions in other cultures are centered around the avoidance of conflict and the maintenance of harmony. Yet, other cultures promote the protection of reputation and face as a central interpersonal concern. This diversity in relational concerns across cultures should influence emotional processes in important ways, from the situations that most commonly are the object of emotional experiences to the ways in which emotions are communicated to others.
In this chapter, we address the question of how culture shapes emotion. We present a theoretical approach that aims to “unpackage” the role of culture in emotion. One of the major challenges that the rapidly developing field of culture and emotion faces is quite simply how best to explain cultural variation in emotion. “Unpackaging” here refers to the importance of including measures of culture-related variables in (cross-) cultural studies on emotion. We believe that cultural variation in relational concerns is central to understanding and explaining cultural variation in emotion.
When people in the Western World see pictures of children starving in the Third World, they may feel guilty about their own wealth and wonder about the causes of these differences. Indeed, the explanations for such social inequalities have been center stage in much social and political thought (Abernethy, 2001; Landes, 1999; Leach, Snider, & Iyer, 2002). For example, Daimond (1997) considered global differences in wealth in terms of people's natural environments. In addition to such natural causes, human behavior toward other humans has played an important role in the creation of worldwide differences in wealth (Brooks, 1999). Specifically, slavery and colonization practices have played a powerful role in increasing international inequality in wealth. Making salient such inequalities in wealth has the potential to trigger feelings of collective guilt in dominant group members. In this chapter, we are particularly interested in the consequences of ingroup identification for feelings of collective guilt.
Not all members of dominant groups experience collective guilt as a consequence of being confronted with ingroup-perpetrated immoral historical events. We argue that in order to understand why and when members of dominant groups experience collective guilt, the degree to which people identify with their national group needs to be taken into account. In this chapter, we focus mainly on the Dutch colonization of Indonesia and the resulting inequalities in wealth as a source of collective guilt among Dutch people.
Emotions are central to human behavior and experience. Yet scientific theory and research ignored emotions during most of the twentieth century. This situation changed dramatically during the last 30 years of that century, which witnessed an upsurge of interest in emotions in a number of disciplines. This book arises from the 24 keynote papers presented at a symposium held in June 2001 that had the same title as this volume. The aim of that meeting was to review the state of research on emotions from a multidisciplinary perspective. Each chapter is authored by an acknowledged authority in the field. Together they provide an overview of what is being studied and thought about emotions, in disciplines ranging from neurophysiology and experimental psychology to sociology and philosophy.
This book arose from the twenty-four keynote papers presented at a meeting that had the same title as this volume: “Feelings and Emotions: The Amsterdam Symposium.” It was held in June 2001, in Amsterdam, and was hosted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam.
Our purpose in organizing this symposium was to review the current state of the art of research on emotions from a multidisciplinary perspective. Stock-taking of this kind has been undertaken before. In 1927 a meeting was held under the title Feelings and Emotions: The Wittenberg Symposium (Reymert, 1928). In 1948 Feelings and Emotions: The Mooseheart Symposium was held in Chicago (Reymert, 1950); and in 1969 Feelings and Emotions: The Loyola Symposium took place at Loyola University, again in Chicago (Arnold, 1970). Those interested in knowing more about these earlier Feelings and Emotions symposia can find the title pages of all three of these books reproduced in the present volume, following p. 4.
The Amsterdam Symposium was inspired by these previous efforts and borrowed its title from them. The turn of the century seemed to be an appropriate moment to take stock of current scientific reflection on emotions. Emotions are central to human behavior and experience. This central role notwithstanding, theory and research had largely ignored emotions during most of the twentieth century. This situation changed rather dramatically during the last thirty years of that century, however.
Our main objective in organizing the symposium of which this book is the outcome was to provide an overview of current theory and findings in the study of emotion. As mentioned in the Introduction, the restrictions of our schedule meant that we could not accommodate all relevant viewpoints and findings. This resulted in our selection of twenty-four contributions, here twenty-four chapters.
Although the range and quality of the contributions are impressive, not all of the potentially relevant disciplines are represented. Missing disciplines include computer science, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and linguistics. Nevertheless, we believe that this volume provides a good reflection of the current state of the art, partly because of the broad range of the topics addressed, but also because many of the chapters refer to important work by others than their authors, both within and outside their own discipline.
For us, the organizers, the symposium was a great pleasure. It contained much that is highly fascinating in terms of new findings and novel insights, providing us with the joys of enhanced understanding and unsuspected implications. We were impressed by the multitude of levels at which emotions can be studied, described, and analyzed. It filled us with respect for the high quality of the presentations and of the reported research.