Emotional ties that bind: The roles of valence and consistency of group emotion in inferences of cohesiveness and common fate
In three studies, observers based inferences about the cohesiveness and common fate of groups on the emotions expressed by group members. The valence of expressions affected cohesiveness inferences, whereas the consistency of expressions affected inferences of whether members have common fate. These emotion composition effects were stronger than those due to the race or sex composition of the group. Furthermore, the authors show that emotion valence and consistency are differentially involved in judgments about the degree to which the group as a whole was responsible for group performance. Finally, it is demonstrated that valence-cohesiveness effects are mediated by inferences of interpersonal liking and that consistency-common fate effects are mediated by inferences of psychological similarity. These findings have implications for the literature on entitativity and regarding the function of emotions in social contexts.