Agneta H Fischer

Agneta H Fischer
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

254
Publications
157,403
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Introduction
Agneta Fischer is currently dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences and professor of Emotions and Affective Processes at the Department of Psychology, Social Psychology group, University of Amsterdam. She does research on emotions and their social functions, more specifically facial expressions and mimicry of emotions. She also studies negative emotions, such as hate and contempt, in intergroup contexts. One other current project is 'Training Emotion Recognition through an app.' For this project, we are working on a white label that enables other researchers to adapt this app according to their research aims.

Publications

Publications (254)
Article
Full-text available
Including data from 3006 in-service primary and secondary public-school teachers in New South Wales, we investigated the effects of professional development in multicultural education on teachers' beliefs about the effectiveness of multicultural strategies in fostering a culturally inclusive environment, the importance of these strategies in provid...
Article
When people are in emotional distress, they often seek support. Virtual humans may provide unique and complementary benefits to human support provision, given that virtual humans are readily available and help sharers overcome socio-evaluative threats, thereby increasing willingness to disclose. Here, we examined whether talking to a virtual human...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research suggests that group membership impacts behavioral and self-reported responses to others’ facial expressions of emotion. In this paper, we examine how the mere labelling of a face as an ingroup or outgroup member affects facial mimicry (Study 1) and judgments of genuineness (Study 2). In addition, we test whether the effects of group...
Article
People do not always show how they feel; norms often dictate when to display emotions and to whom. Norms about emotional expressions-known as display rules-are weaker for happiness than for negative emotions, suggesting that expressing positive emotions is generally seen as acceptable. But does it follow that all positive emotions can always be sho...
Preprint
Full-text available
When people are in emotional distress, they often seek support. Virtual humans may provide unique and complementary benefits to human support provision, given that virtual humans are readily available and help sharers overcome socio-evaluative threats, thereby increasing willingness to disclose. Here, we examined whether talking to a virtual human...
Article
Envy shapes social hierarchies. To protect their rank, envied persons react to the threat posed by enviers. Doing so requires that envied persons initially perceive who envies them. However, a common perspective is that envy lacks a unique expression and that enviers disguise their experience, preventing the social perception of envy. In contrast t...
Article
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Teachers play an important role in students’ educational trajectories. As a consequence, their approach to diversity in the classroom might contribute to an unfavorable educational position for ethnic minority students. The current study tested whether teachers in Dutch primary schools differed in their interventions towards ethnic minority student...
Article
Full-text available
While much is known about how negative emotions are expressed in different modalities, our understanding of the nonverbal expressions of positive emotions remains limited. In the present research, we draw upon disparate lines of theoretical and empirical work on positive emotions, and systematically examine which channels are thought to be used for...
Preprint
Full-text available
Envy shapes social hierarchies. To protect their rank, envied persons react to the threat posed by enviers. Doing so requires that envied persons initially perceive who envies them. However, a common perspective is that envy lacks a unique expression and that enviers disguise their experience, preventing the social perception of envy. In contrast t...
Article
Full-text available
The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic elicits a vast amount of anxiety. In the current study, we investigated how anxiety related to COVID-19 is associated with support for and compliance with governmental hygiene measures, and how these are influenced by populist attitudes, anger at the government, and conspiracy mentalities. We...
Article
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Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism?
Article
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Individual differences in understanding other people’s emotions have typically been studied with recognition tests using prototypical emotional expressions. These tests have been criticized for the use of posed, prototypical displays, raising the question of whether such tests tell us anything about the ability to understand spontaneous, non-protot...
Article
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While new regulations obligate or recommend people to wear medical masks at public places to prevent further spread of the Covid-19 virus, there are still open questions as to what face coverage does to social emotional communication. Previous research on the effects of wearing veils or face-covering niqabs showed that covering of the mouth led to...
Article
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Research on individual differences in the occurrence of relatively frequent facial displays is scarce. We examined whether (1) individuals’ spontaneous facial expressions show a relatively frequent pattern of AUs (referred to as Personal Nonverbal Repertoires or PNRs), and (2) whether these patterns are associated with self-reported social and emot...
Preprint
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Computational modelling of political discourse tasks has become an increasingly important area of research in natural language processing. Populist rhetoric has risen across the political sphere in recent years; however, computational approaches to it have been scarce due to its complex nature. In this paper, we present the new Us vs. Them dataset,...
Preprint
When it comes to political communication on social media, Facebook has arisen as one of the most important platforms. Recent research on populist discourses provides evidence for populist ideology fragments emerging across Facebook posts. Moreover, the level of populist language styles and the adoption of typical populist rhetoric appears to be ‘en...
Preprint
When it comes to political communication on social media, Facebook has arisen as one of the most important platforms. Recent research on populist discourses provides evidence for populist ideology fragments emerging across Facebook posts. Moreover, the level of populist language styles and the adoption of typical populist rhetoric appears to be ‘en...
Preprint
Full-text available
The current COVID-19 pandemic elicits a vast amount of collective anxiety, which may also have broader societal and political implications. In the current study, we investigate the individual and social impact of this anxiety. We conducted an online survey in four different countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK; N=2031), examining w...
Preprint
Previous research on predictors of populism has predominantly focused on socio-economic (e.g., education, employment, social status), and socio-cultural factors (e.g., social identity and social status). However, during the last years, the role of negative emotions has become increasingly prominent in the study of populism. We conducted a cross-nat...
Preprint
While much is known about how negative emotions are expressed in different modalities, our understanding of the nonverbal expressions of positive emotions remains limited. In the present research, we draw upon disparate lines of theoretical and empirical work on positive emotions, and systematically examine which channels are thought to be used for...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Culturallyresponsiveteaching(CRT)hasbeenassociatedwithincreased student engagement and achievement. Its practice in classrooms, however, has been shown to be less than optimal. Nonetheless, certain teacher qualities have been suggested to facilitate its practice. Aims. Thecurrentstudysoughtquantitativeevidenceinsupportoftwooftheseteache...
Preprint
Full-text available
People do not always show how they feel; norms dictate when to display emotions and to whom. Norms about emotional expressions – known as display rules – are weaker for happiness than for negative emotions (Matsumoto, 2005), suggesting that expressing positive emotions is generally seen as acceptable. But does it follow that all positive emotions c...
Article
Full-text available
Theories on empathy have argued that feeling empathy for others is related to accurate recognition of their emotions. Previous research that tested this assumption, however, has reported inconsistent findings. We suggest that this inconsistency may be due to a lack of consideration of the fact that empathy has two facets: empathic concern, namely t...
Article
Full-text available
Emotions are part and parcel of the human condition, but their nature is debated. Three broad classes of theories about the nature of emotions can be distinguished: affect-program theories, constructionist theories, and appraisal theories. Integrating these broad classes of theories into a unifying theory is challenging. An integrative psychometric...
Preprint
Full-text available
Emotional mimicry refers to the tendency to mimic other's emotions in order to share minds. We present new evidence that supports our Contextual Model of Emotional Mimicry, showing that emotional mimicry serves affiliative goals that vary across social contexts. This also implies the opposite, namely that we (unconsciously) refrain from mimicking o...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers examining nonverbal communication of emotions are becoming increasingly interested in differentiations between different positive emotional states like interest, relief, and pride. But despite the importance of the voice in communicating emotion in general and positive emotion in particular, there is to date no systematic review of what...
Chapter
There is abundant evidence both from the scientific literature as well as from everyday experiences that people are generally quite capable of inferring emotions from the face. But what does it mean that people are able to recognize others’ emotions? We first reflect on the question of how we can determine what is ‘accurate’. We distinguish between...
Chapter
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Foundations of Affective Social Learning - edited by Daniel Dukes August 2019
Article
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Empathizing with others is widely presumed to increase our understanding of their emotions. Little is known, however, about which empathic process actually help people recognize others' feelings more accurately. Here, we probed the relationship between emotion recognition and two empathic processes: spontaneously felt similarity (having had a simil...
Article
Full-text available
People vary in their beliefs about their tendency to engage in perspective taking and to understand other’s feelings. Often, however, those beliefs are suggested to be poor indicators of actual skills and thus provide an inaccurate reflection of performance. Few studies, however, have examined whether people’s beliefs accurately predict their perfo...
Preprint
Full-text available
The current research focuses on a bias in intensity perception and tests the hypothesis that individuals perceive facial expressions of emotions in ethnic outgroup members as less intense than those of ingroup members’ expressions. In addition to nine previously conducted and reported studies (focussing only on embarrassment, Kommattam, Jonas, & Fi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Emotions are part and parcel of the human condition, but their nature is debated. Three broad classes of theories about the nature of emotions can be distinguished: affect program theories, constructionist theories, and appraisal theories. Integrating them in a unifying theory is challenging. An integrative psychometric model of emotions can inform...
Preprint
Researchers examining nonverbal communication of emotions are becoming increasingly interested in differentiations between different positive emotional states like interest, relief, and pride. But despite the importance of the voice in communicating emotion in general, and positive emotion in particular, there is to date no systematic review of wha...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to (1) investigate the variation in self ascription to gender roles and attitudes toward gender roles across countries and its associations with crying behaviors, emotion change, and beliefs about crying and (2) understand how the presence of others affects our evaluations of emotion following crying. This was a large international...
Article
Full-text available
The quality of interactions between individuals from different ethnic groups partly depends on how emotions of individual ethnic group members are interpreted. Previous research has found that facial expressions of emotions of a different ethnic group are recognized less accurately than facial expressions of members of the same ethnic group. The cu...
Poster
Full-text available
-We used multilevel modeling to examine the relationship between teachers’ prejudice reduction practices & students’ engagement -Teachers’ explicit multicultural attitudes and implicit attitudes towards ethnic minorities were examined as possible moderators -For teachers with above-average positive explicit attitudes, prejudice reduction can increa...
Article
h i g h l i g h t s Using multilevel models, we examined the relationship between teachers' prejudice reduction practices and students' engagement. Prejudice reduction practices focused on engaging in dialogue about diversity and confronting intergroup bias. Teachers' explicit multicultural attitudes and implicit attitudes towards ethnic minorities...
Article
The present paper builds upon a growing body of work documenting oxytocin’s role in social functioning, to test whether this hormone facilitates spontaneous mimicry of others’ emotional expressions. In a double-blind, randomized trial, adult Caucasian males (n = 145) received a nasal spray of either oxytocin or placebo before completing a facial mi...
Article
The present paper builds upon a growing body of work documenting oxytocin's role in social functioning, to test whether this hormone facilitates spontaneous mimicry of others' emotional expressions. In a double-blind, randomized trial, adult Caucasian males (n = 145) received a nasal spray of either oxytocin or placebo before completing a facial mi...
Preprint
Abstract Empathizing with others is widely presumed to increase our understanding of their emotions. Little is known, however, about which empathic process actually help people recognize others’ feelings more accurately. Here, we probed the relationship between emotion recognition and two empathic processes: spontaneously felt similarity (having ha...
Article
Full-text available
Crying is a common response to emotional distress that elicits support from the environment. People may regulate another’s crying in several ways, such as by providing socio-affective support (e.g. comforting) or cognitive support (e.g. reappraisal), or by trying to emotionally disengage the other by suppression or distraction. We examined whether...
Article
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Previous research has found that individuals vary greatly in emotion differentiation, that is, the extent to which they distinguish between different emotions when reporting on their own feelings. Building on previous work that has shown that emotion differentiation is associated with individual differences in intrapersonal functions, the current s...
Article
Full-text available
When in emotional distress, people often turn to others for support. Paradoxically, even when people perceive social support to be beneficial, it often does not result in emotional recovery. This paradox may be explained by the fact that the sharing process disproportionately centres on support that is not helpful in the long run. A distinction has...
Article
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In this reply, I discuss some important issues raised in two commentaries. One relates to the distinction between hate and revenge, which also touches upon the more general problem of the usefulness of distinguishing between various related emotions. I argue that emotion researchers need to define specific emotions carefully in order to be able to...
Article
We offer a functional perspective on hate, showing that hate has a unique pattern of appraisals and action tendencies. Hate is based on perceptions of a stable, negative disposition of persons or groups. We hate persons and groups more because of who they are, than because of what they do. Hate has the goal to eliminate its target. Hate is especial...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous research has found that individuals vary greatly in emotion differentiation, that is, the extent to which they distinguish between different emotions when reporting on their own feelings in different situations. Building on previous work that has shown that emotion differentiation is associated with individual differences in intrapersonal...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion differentiation, the ability to describe and label our own emotions in a differentiated and specific manner, has been repeatedly associated with well-being. However, it is unclear exactly what type of differentiation is most strongly related to well-being: the ability to make fine-grained distinctions between emotions that are relatively cl...
Article
Full-text available
Socially anxiety may be related to a different pattern of facial mimicry and contagion of others’ emotions. We report two studies in which participants with different levels of social anxiety reacted to others’ emotional displays, either shown on a computer screen (Study 1) or in an actual social interaction (Study 2). Study 1 examined facial mimic...
Article
Full-text available
Previous meta-analyses and reviews on gender differences in emotion recognition have shown a small to moderate female advantage. However, inconsistent evidence from recent studies has raised questions regarding the implications of different methodologies, stimuli, and samples. In the present research based on a community sample of more than 5000 pa...
Article
Full-text available
I focus on some differences between negative emotional states and how they are coped with in explaining different cardiac risks. The different cognitive, motivational, and physiological characteristics of emotions imply different appraisals of the negative event, and different resources to cope with the event. Cardiovascular activity depends on the...
Article
Full-text available
When in emotional distress, people often turn to others for social support. A general distinction has been made between two types of support that are differentially effective: Whereas socio-affective support temporarily alleviates emotional distress, cognitive support may contribute to better long-term recovery. In the current studies, we examine w...
Article
Gervais & Fessler assert that contempt is (a) not an emotion (or an attitude) but (b) a sentiment. Here, we challenge the validity and empirical basis of these two assertions, arguing that contempt, like many other emotions, can be both an emotion and a sentiment.
Preprint
We outline an array of journal policies that JPSP:ASC could adopt to further promote transparent and responsible research practices; in turn, these practices will increase the reliability of research findings published in JPSP:ASC.
Chapter
All over the world, the participation of women in the labor force is increasing (United Nations Development Report 1996). Although the economic and social status of women's work is still lower than that of men in all countries, there is also a worldwide increase in the number of female managers. However, despite these changes, the proportion of fem...
Poster
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Ethnicity is a key element of school segregation in many European countries, hindering society’s goals of social integration and equality in educational achievement. In order to investigate determinants of integration in schools, we investigated how teachers respond to misbehaviors of children with different ethnic backgrounds. The current study ex...
Article
We comment on two articles on social referencing and social appraisal. We agree with Walle, Reschke, and Knothe’s (XXXX) argument that at one level of analysis, social referencing and social appraisal are functionally equivalent: In both cases, another person’s emotional expression is observed and this expression informs the observer’s own emotiona...
Article
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Recognising emotions from faces that are partly covered is more difficult than from fully visible faces. The focus of the present study is on the role of an Islamic versus non-Islamic context, i.e. Islamic versus non-Islamic headdress in perceiving emotions. We report an experiment that investigates whether briefly presented (40 ms) facial expressi...
Article
Full-text available
Research into emotional mimicry has found that the extent to which we mimic others depends on group membership and the emotion at hand. Particularly, negative emotions are mimicked more when expressed by the perceiver’s ingroup. It is, however, still debated what process underlies emotional mimicry and whether previous findings of enhanced mimicry...
Article
Full-text available
Posed stimuli dominate the study of nonverbal communication of emotion, but concerns have been raised that the use of posed stimuli may inflate recognition accuracy relative to spontaneous expressions. Here, we compare recognition of emotions from spontaneous expressions with that of matched posed stimuli. Participants made forced-choice judgments...
Article
Full-text available
In personal accounts, humiliation is often reported as a very intense, painful, negative emotion. We report two scenario studies in which we explored two factors that may contribute to the intense character of humiliation: (1) unwanted, negative public exposure, and (2) a threat to central aspects of one's identity. Study 1 (N = 115) assessed emoti...
Article
Full-text available
Embarrassment displays show others that one is aware of one's own misbehavior and willing to make up for it. The facial actions of embarrassment, however, are partly similar to those of disinterest, which has an opposite function, signaling that one is not concerned about one's self in relation to others. In the context of negative intergroup relat...
Article
According to the facial feedback hypothesis, people’s affective responses can be influenced by their own facial expression (e.g., smiling, pouting), even when their expression did not result from their emotional experiences. For example, Strack, Martin, and Stepper (1988) instructed participants to rate the funniness of cartoons using a pen that th...
Article
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Emotions are an elemental part of human social existence – they pervade our private and professional lives and profoundly shape our relationships and social interactions. Despite their intrinsically social nature, emotions have long been conceptualized and studied as individual phenomena, as if they occurred in a social vacuum. In the past two deca...
Article
Full-text available
Paying attention to others’ emotions is essential to successful social interactions. Integrating social-functional approaches to emotion with theorizing on the reciprocal nature of power, we propose that attention to others’ emotions depends on concerns over one’s power position and the social signal conveyed by the emotion. Others’ anger signals a...