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PART V
New Directions

Chapters 10 and 11 present findings from two relatively new fields in the area of human performance. In Chapter 10 we consider socially induced affect: it has been the subject of many experimental studies, but its implications for performance have not been developed. Some of these implications are discussed in the chapter. As a part of the more general question of the relationship between affect and performance, socially induced affect has special relevance for performing the kinds of cooperative learning and team training tasks discussed in Chapters 5 and 7.

Thought suppression is a mental-control strategy that has been discussed in the clinical literature for over a century. However, only recently have its implications been subjected to the scrutiny of laboratory research. Chapter 11 considers those implications, both for research and performance.



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OCR for page 249
Page 249 PART V New Directions Chapters 10 and 11 present findings from two relatively new fields in the area of human performance. In Chapter 10 we consider socially induced affect: it has been the subject of many experimental studies, but its implications for performance have not been developed. Some of these implications are discussed in the chapter. As a part of the more general question of the relationship between affect and performance, socially induced affect has special relevance for performing the kinds of cooperative learning and team training tasks discussed in Chapters 5 and 7. Thought suppression is a mental-control strategy that has been discussed in the clinical literature for over a century. However, only recently have its implications been subjected to the scrutiny of laboratory research. Chapter 11 considers those implications, both for research and performance.

OCR for page 249

OCR for page 249
Page 251 10 Socially Induced Affect Socially induced affect refers to an emotional experience in one person that is induced by someone else's affect, that person's observable emotions or feelings. This definition implies two parties—a person directly showing affect (the model) and a person observing the model and experiencing emotion as a consequence of the affect of the model. For example, a soldier's distress due to the loss of a loved one induces feelings of distress in his or her team unit members.1 In this case, the soldier is the model and the team members are the observers. The transfer of feelings from model to observer is incidental in the sense that it is caused not by an intended action of a person, but only by the presence of the other.2Identified originally by researchers working on problems of social facilitation (e.g., Zajonc, 1965), this transmission of affect from one person to another does not depend on the relationship that may exist between them; it occurs between strangers as well as between friends. Results from a large number of experiments document the phenomenon of socially induced affect.3 Socially induced affect has long been an important topic in psychology. (For historical accounts see Gladstein, 1984; Deutsch and Madle, 1975; Wispé, 1986; for extended discussions see Gladstein, 1983; Goldstein and Michaels, 1985; Hatfield et al., 1992; Hoffman, 1977; Stotland 1969.) Interest continues today in clinical, developmental, and social psychology (Demos, 1984; Gladstein, 1984; Hatfield et al., 1992). It has been used to explain processes in social learning (Bandura, 1971), helping behavior (Batson and Coke, 1983), the avoidance of people in distress (Berger, 1962), the patient-therapist relation (Freud, 1921/1957), and crowd behavior (Le Bon,