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Heart to Heart: A Relation-Alignment Approach to Emotion’s Social Effects
Emotion Review  (IF7.345),  Pub Date : 2021-02-21, DOI: 10.1177/1754073921990733
Brian Parkinson

This article integrates arguments and evidence from my 2019 monograph Heart to Heart: How Your Emotions Affect Other People. The central claim is that emotions operate as processes of relation alignment that produce convergence, complementarity, or conflict between two or more people’s orientations to objects. In some cases, relation alignment involves strategic presentation of emotional information for the purpose of regulating other people’s behaviour. In other cases, emotions consolidate from socially distributed reciprocal adjustments of cues, signals, and emerging actions without any explicit registration or communication of emotional meaning by parties to the exchange. The relation-alignment approach provides a fresh perspective on issues relating to emotion’s interpersonal, intragroup, and organizational functions and clarifies how emotions are regulated for social purposes.