BA PhD in Psychology, Manchester University
Professor of Social Psychology
- Senior Censor, Christ Church
- Chair of Examiners, MSc in Psychological Research
My research focuses on how our emotions affect other people (and how they affect other people’s emotions). The guiding idea is that emotions align and configure our relations with other people and regulate their orientations towards objects and events in the environment. For example, I may express worry to a friend as a way of getting them to consider a previously underestimated threat, or get angry with someone to indicate that they should feel guilty and make reparations. Attention to the interpersonal context for emotion expression may permit us to understand some of the maladaptive effects of certain otherwise functionally useful emotions, and to improve emotional communication in close relationships. My current research uses experimental, observational, and diary-based methods. For example, recent studies have focused on how expressed worry or anxiety affects other people. My experiments show that expressed anxiety leads other people to moderate their risk-taking when losses are not their central focus. Further, a recent observational study of romantic partners discussing shared concerns indicates that people use worry and calm expression to regulate their partners’ emotions, and that the way they do this depends on the characteristic level of expressiveness and emotional engagement of their partners. Individuals who show less emotion tend to elicit greater worry presentation from their partners. These processes also operate differently in men and women.
Worry spreads: interpersonal transfer of problem-related anxiety.
Parkinson B. and Simons G., (2012), Cogn Emot, 26, 462 - 479
Bursting with anxiety: adult social referencing in an interpersonal balloon analogue risk task (BART).
Parkinson B. et al, (2012), Emotion, 12, 817 - 826
How social is the social psychology of emotion?
Parkinson B., (2011), Br J Soc Psychol, 50, 405 - 413
What holds emotions together? Meaning and response coordination
Parkinson B., (2009), Cognitive Systems Research, 10, 31 - 47
Emotions in direct and remote social interaction: Getting through the spaces between us
Parkinson B., (2008), Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 1510 - 1529
Comment: Respecifying Emotional Influence.
Parkinson B., (2017), Emot Rev, 9, 263 - 265
Bilingual comparison of Mandarin and English cognitive bias tasks.
Smith L. et al, (2017), Behav Res Methods
Sharing concerns: Interpersonal worry regulation in romantic couples.
Parkinson B. et al, (2016), Emotion, 16, 449 - 458
Pushing (and Pulling) the Boundaries of Emotion Regulation
Parkinson B., (2015), PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY, 26, 93 - 98
Current Emotion Research in Social Psychology: Thinking about Emotions and Other People
Parkinson B. and Manstead ASR., (2015), Emotion Review, 7, 371 - 380