Social Perception of Emotions
In recent years my main research focus was on the role of social emotions and social inferences in social and organizational contexts. This line of inquiry represents a continuing interest that I have followed throughout my research career with regard to both theory development and empirical research (e.g., Hareli, 1999; Hareli & Weiner, 2000; 2002). I study emotions and social inferences within the theoretical framework of social psychology and hence my work is mostly guided by theories and methodologies derived from this domain. For example, using attribution theory as a guiding framework I've analyzed the conditions under which specific emotions are elicited in response to organizational downsizing and the likely consequences of each specific emotion (Hareli & Tzafrir, 2006). In other theoretical work I contributed significantly to a conceptual characterization of social emotions and their function. For example, in two books, one in psychology and the other in organizational behavior, and in a paper I've contributed entries offering a defining framework of social emotions (Hareli and Parkinson, 2008; in press; Hareli, Rafaeli, & Parkinson, 2008). Additionally, in a recent paper with Anat Rafaeli, I developed the notion of emotion cycles. This notion stresses the on-going and cyclical nature of emotional interactions; an outlook that has been previously neglected in both psychology and organizational behavior (Hareli & Rafaeli, 2008). Finally, in a paper with Ursula Hess I presented a framework depicting the social signal value of emotions (Hareli & Hess, 2012).
My empirical work is closely aligned with my theoretical interests. Thus, among other things, I explored how social emotions such as shame and guilt affect failing employees' choice of how to explain what brought about the failure (Hareli, Shomrat & Biger, 2005) and the likelihood that apologies following social transgressions will be accepted when they are driven by emotions such as shame and guilt (Hareli & Eisikovits, 2006). In other work I explored the antecedent conditions that increase the likelihood that doctors will experience hurt feelings when left by their patients (Hareli, Karnieli-Miller, Hermoni, & Eidelman, 2007) and the conditions under which performance feedback is emotionally hurtful (Hareli & Hess, 2007; 2008). Other theoretical and empirical work was conducted as a direct derivative of my interest in the social processes linked to emotions. For example, my critical analysis of present research on accounts (Hareli, 2005) was derived from work on social emotions and accounts. Work on selection decisions and gender stereotypes (Hareli, Klang, & Hess, 2008) stemmed from my interest in the link between gender, social status and emotions (e.g., Hareli, Shomrat, & Hess, 2009).
Thus, overall, my recent work extends the field of inquiry on social emotions by studying emotions and emotional processes which are common in everyday life and may often have considerable impact on human relationships but which have not been studied before. By doing this I have pushed the field forward and in particular worked towards the understanding of everyday emotional interactions. Some of this work has already had an impact on the field and has been cited in top journals and books in psychology (e.g., Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), sociology (Annual Review of Sociology), and business (European Journal of Marketing; a book entitled "Attribution Theory in the Organizational Sciences"). For example, my work on the social inferences of modesty and arrogance is one of the few on this issue and is cited in most other writings.
My work in process continues this line of theoretical and empirical exploration by focusing on the way observing others’ emotional reactions affects social judgments (papers in collaboration with Ursula Hess). In recent years I have established a research group that works under the laboratory for the study of emotions that I head as part of my role as the scientific director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Research on Emotion. Research conducted by my laboratory members focuses on the research topics described above as well as other lines of research recently developed and which focus on the study of the effect of environmental factors on social perception (Hareli, Gryc and Hess, 2013; and GIF founded project). My plans for the future are to continue to lead this research group and to extend my research on social emotions and their impact on the development of human interactions in the work place and in other social settings.