Guillory, J., Spiegel, J., Drislane, M., Weiss, B., Donner, W., & Hancock, J.T. (2011). Upset now?: Emotion contagion in distributed groups. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2011), 745-748. [Acceptance rate: 26%]


The importance of emotion to group outcomes in FtF highlights the need to understand emotion contagion in distributed groups. The present study examines the transfer of negative emotion in online groups. Negative emotion was induced in one of three group members completing a task in CMC. The data suggest that emotion contagion took place at the group level, with partners experiencing more negative emotion, more disagreement, higher verbosity, and use of more complex language in induced groups compared to control groups. Induced groups also performed better on the group task, raising questions about the effects of negative emotion contagion in online groups.