ESCON 2022 – Keynote speakers
We are happy to welcome Jan De Houwer (Ghent University) and Ursula Hess (Humboldt University) as keynote speakers.
Jan De Houwer
Building bridges between impression formation and learning: The related entities of entities principle as a guide for research on feature transformation
Both impression formation effects such as the halo-effect and learning effects such as evaluative conditioning can be seen as instances of feature transformation, that is, as revealing the impact of a known source feature of a source object on judgments about an unknown target feature of a target object (De Houwer et al., 2019). The shared features principle (Hughes et al., 2020) specifies when and how feature transformation takes place in situations with a different source and target object (e.g., a CS and US) and an identical source and target feature (e.g., valence): if the two objects share a bridge feature (e.g., they are presented together in space and time or the have the same color), then people will assume that those objects are also similar with regard to the source and target feature (i.e., that the CS has the same valence as the US). When the shared features principle is extended to relations other than similarity (e.g., if two objects are opposite with regard to location, people will assume that they are also opposite in valence), it can be referred to as the related features principle.
When the related features principle is extended to situations with source and target entities other than objects and bridge entities other than features (e.g., regularities that share objects), it can be referred to as the related entities of entities principle. For instance, effects of intersecting regularities (Hughes et al., 2016) can be seen as instances of shared objects of regularities effect. Because this analysis relates a wide range of phenomena at the descriptive level (i.e., by using the concepts of feature transformation) and functional level (i.e., by referring to the related entities of entities principle), it provides bridges between effects in as-of-yet isolated research domains such as learning and impression formation research and thereby inspires new research.
Facial mimicry as a communicative act
Emotional mimicry – the imitation of the emotional expressions of others – plays an important role in social interaction. Classic views of mimicry have described a phenomenon that is perception driven and largely independent of social context (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). More recent work has shown that mimicry is better conceptualized as a communicative act that serves the goal of regulating interactions. This notion is based on the mimicry in social context model (Hess & Fischer, 2013) that emphasizes that we do not mimic the specific muscle movements we observe, but rather we mimic what we infer from these movements based on the context of the interaction. In this, the mimicker is not a passive observer who reflexively imitates, but rather an active perceiver who appraises the expression as a signal of the expresser’s character, motives and goals. These appraisals – together with social context — impact on the mimicker’s intention to affiliate with the mimickee. As such, mimicry is heavily shaped by top-down processes. As a communicative act, mimicry also depends on the signal value of the emotion that is mimicked. In this presentation, I will present data from recent studies on the influence of person perception, social norms and the presumed motives of the expresser on mimicry as well as research showing that both the elicitation of mimicry and the outcome depend on the specific emotion that is shown by the mimickee as different emotions have different appeal functions.