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Is Your Mood More Contagious If You Are Likeable? The Role Of Liking In The Social Induction Of Affect

Monika Wróbel, Klara Królewiak

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Abstract In the present study, we explored the role of liking in the social induction of affect. Dispositional likeability was manipulated by written reports describing a sender as a likeable or dislikeable character. Afterwards participants watched short videos presenting the sender displaying happy or sad emotional expressions. We expected that exposure to the likeable sender would lead to reactions concordant with his emotional expression (assimilation), whereas exposure to the dislikeable sender would result in discordant reactions (contrast). The results indicated that dispositional likeability influenced the social induction of affect when the sender expressed positive emotions. Moreover, liking mediated the effects of the happy sender’s dispositional likeability on participants’ affective state. Exposure to the sad sender, however, led to assimilation regardless of the sender’s dispositional likeability.