Emotion in Influence: A Connectionist Model

Leigh Anne Liu, Ingrid Smithey Fulmer, Bruce Barry

Research output: Working paper


The role of emotional messages in interpersonal influence is powerful but under-explored in the social influence literatures. In this extended abstract, we propose a connectionist approach and argue that the exchange of emotional messages in social influence encompasses dual processes of internal activation and external congruence. Specifically, we describe how the internal activation process instigates elements of the individual's previous affective network to compose responses that are congruent with the current external context of the influence episode. These responses then trigger the other party's cycle of internal activation and congruence-seeking response. Effectively, emotional exchange is a spiral of mutual influence. This connectionist approach contributes to the literature of emotion and influence by considering the emotional dimension of dynamic interpersonal influence processes. We consider implications of an individual's awareness of the use of emotional appeals for behavior in contexts involving dyadic influence.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages25
StatePublished - Oct 10 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • emotion
  • influence
  • connectionism


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