Gerben A. van Kleef

Gerben A. van Kleef
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

189
Publications
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Introduction
My research aims to illuminate how people influence one another in social and organizational life. Underneath this broader theme, more specific research programs address the social effects of emotions, power and social hierarchy, norms and norm violations, morality, group processes, leadership, and conflict and negotiation, among other topics.

Publications

Publications (189)
Book
Full-text available
Emotions are an elemental part of life - they imbue our existence with meaning and purpose, and influence how we engage with the world around us. But we do not just feel our own emotions; we typically express them in the presence of other people. How do our emotional expressions affect others? Moving beyond the traditional intrapersonal perspective...
Article
Inspiration is a source of admirable creation—but where do people get it from? We propose that power allows individuals to draw inspiration from the self. Four studies involving different social settings and operationalizations support this idea. Study 1 revealed that greater power is associated with more self-derived inspiration and less other-der...
Article
Groups are a natural breeding ground for emotions. Group life affords unique opportunities but also poses critical challenges that may arouse emotional reactions in group members. Social-functional approaches hold that these emotions in turn contribute to group functioning by prompting group members to address concerns that are relevant to the grou...
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Conflicts are inherently emotional, yet parties in conflict may choose to explicitly express indifference. It is unclear, however, whether this represents an effective strategy. Drawing on emotions as social information (EASI) theory, we examined the interpersonal effects of indifference expressions in conflict and the processes that underlie these...
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
There is a growing consensus that culture influences the perception of facial expressions of emotion. However, relatively few studies have examined whether and how culture shapes the production of emotional facial expressions. Drawing on prior work on cultural differences in communication styles, we tested the prediction that people from the Nether...
Article
Since humanity's first steps, individuals have used nonverbal cues to communicate and infer leadership, such as walking ahead of others. Menon et al., (2010) showed that the use of spatial ordering as cue to leadership differs across cultures: Singaporeans were more likely than Americans to represent leaders behind rather than in front of groups. F...
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
Understanding when people behave prosocially is integral to solving many challenges in groups and society. Gossip – the exchange of information about absent others – has been proposed to increase prosocial behavior, but findings are mixed. In this review, we illuminate the relationship between gossip and prosocial behavior, reconcile disparate find...
Article
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Team members may vary in the degree to which they are self-motivating, diligent, and organized, but effects of such conscientiousness diversity are poorly understood. We propose that conscientiousness diversity effects depend on the team leader’s knowledge about managing negative affective responses—that is emotion regulation knowledge. Data of two...
Article
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The functioning of social collectives hinges on the willingness of their members to cooperate with one another and to help those who are in need. Here we consider how such prosocial behavior is shaped by emotions. We offer an integrative review of theoretical arguments and empirical findings concerning how the experience of emotions influences peop...
Article
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Norm violators demonstrate that they can behave as they wish, which makes them appear powerful. Potentially, this is the beginning of a self-reinforcing loop, in which greater perceived power invites further norm violations. Here we investigate the possibility that sanctions can break this loop by reducing the power that observers attribute to norm...
Article
We review the burgeoning literature on the social effects of emotions, documenting the impact of emotional expressions on observers’ affect, cognition, and behavior. We find convergent evidence that emotional expressions influence observers’ affective reactions, inferential processes, and behaviors across various domains, including close relationsh...
Article
Past research suggests that East Asians (Easterners) are more likely than North Americans and Western Europeans (Westerners) to incorporate information from concurrent affective contexts when judging facial expressions. The present research extends this literature by investigating the impact of temporal affective contexts on emotion perception. Spe...
Article
Emotional expressions play an important role in coordinating social interaction. We review research on two critical processes that underlie such coordination: (1) perceiving emotions from emotion expressions and (2) drawing inferences from perceived emotions. Broad evidence indicates that (a) observers can accurately perceive emotions from a person...
Article
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Narcissists have a relatively higher proclivity for displaying antisocial rather than prosocial behaviors, suggesting a comparatively higher tendency for unfavorably impacting societies. However, maintenance of social order also depends on appropriate responses to others’ social behavior. Once we focus on narcissists as observers rather than actors...
Preprint
There is a growing consensus that culture influences the perception of facial expressions of emotion. However, little is known about whether and how culture shapes the production of emotional facial expressions, and even less so about whether culture differentially shapes the production of posed versus spontaneous expressions. Drawing on prior work...
Article
Full-text available
Emotions have traditionally been viewed as intrapersonal phenomena. Over the past decades, theory and research have shifted toward a more social perspective that emphasizes the role of emotional expressions in coordinating social interaction. I provide a brief history of this ongoing paradigm shift, which reveals two critical developments. The firs...
Article
Risk-taking can fuel innovation and growth, but it can also have devastating consequences for individuals and organizations. Here we examine whether risk-taking affords social-hierarchical benefits to risk-takers. Specifically, we investigate how risk-taking influences perceived dominance, prestige, and the willingness to endorse risk-takers' leade...
Article
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A smile can communicate many things: happiness, affiliative intent, or a person’s social status. This means that perceivers need to interpret what a given smile might mean. In the current study, we hypothesized that the interpretation of smiles is influenced by the culture of both the person smiling and of the perceiver, as well as by the intensity...
Article
Face threat sensitivity (FTS) is defined as reactive sensitivity to threats to one's social self-worth. In negotiations, such threats may come from a counterpart's competitive behavior. We developed and tested the argument that individuals high in face threat sensitivity, when negotiating with a competitive (vs. cooperative) counterpart, exhibit ps...
Article
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For job applicants to achieve their goal of making a favourable impression on recruiters, they need to be responsive to the social norms that a personnel selection setting prescribes. One clear social norm in selection contexts is professional dress. Here we explore the consequences that follow from failing to conform to this normative dress code....
Article
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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...
Article
The importance of leaders as diversity managers is widely acknowledged. However, a dynamic and comprehensive theory on the interplay between team diversity and team leadership is missing. We provide a review of the extant (scattered) research on the interplay between team diversity and team leadership, which reveals critical shortcomings in the cur...
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...
Article
This article utilizes a motivational perspective on emotions to reconceptualize the impact of negative emotions on relationship dynamics between alliance partners. Alliance failure is endemic and yet we know little about how alliance partners manage the interface between them. We draw upon the alliance discrepancy model, self-discrepancy theory, ap...
Article
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Prejudiced attitudes and political nationalism vary widely around the world, but there has been little research on what predicts this variation. Here we examine the ecological and cultural factors underlying the worldwide distribution of prejudice. We suggest that cultures grow more prejudiced when they tighten cultural norms in response to destabi...
Preprint
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We examine framing effects in nudging honesty in the spirit of the growing norm-nudge literature by utilizing a high-powered and pre-registered study. Across four treatments, participants received one random truthful norm-nudge that emphasized 'moral suasion' based on either what other participants previously did (empirical message) or approved of...
Article
Hierarchy is a defining characteristic of social life that profoundly shapes human psychology. Here, we draw attention to the pervasive impact of social rank on emotional processes. We review the effects of rank (power and status) on emotional experience, expression, and responsiveness. Our review indicates that (1) lower-ranking individuals experi...
Article
'Social norms keep anarchy at bay, yet norm violations are omnipresent. Although norm violators are generally rejected from higher-ranking positions, they sometimes rise up the ranks. We advance a threat-opportunity framework to understand how contextual factors shape norm violators' downward or upward mobility in social hierarchies. The contextual...
Article
Social norms are a key feature of human sociality. By clarifying expectations and facilitating coordination, social norms serve as the cornerstones of well-functioning collectives. Reflecting their pivotal role in sustaining the smooth operation of groups and communities, research on social norms in psychology and adjacent disciplines is flourishin...
Article
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Gossip is condemned but also ubiquitous and thought to be essential for groups. This triggers the question of which motives explain gossip behavior. Hitherto, negative influence, social enjoyment, group protection, and information gathering and validation are established as motives to gossip. However, venting emotions-discussed as a potentially imp...
Article
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Gossip is condemned but also ubiquitous and thought to be essential for groups. This triggers the question of which motives explain gossip behavior. Hitherto, negative influence, social enjoyment, group protection, and information gathering and validation are established as motives to gossip. However, venting emotions—discussed as a potentially imp...
Article
It is well established that East Asians (Easterners) are poorer at categorizing some emotional facial expressions than are North Americans and West Europeans (Westerners). We hypothesized that rather than Easterners failing to identify the intended emotions, they are more likely than Westerners to perceive multiple concurrent emotions. To test this...
Article
The emotion of hope has been found to play a pivotal role in intergroup conflict resolution processes. As a positive and motivating emotion, prominent group members, such as group leaders or representatives may wish to instill hope among ingroup members. One method that can be employed to instill hope is to express hope as confirmation for a specif...
Article
Social norms regulate group processes and ensure group survival. Despite the pivotal role of norms in social life, norm violations are widespread. It is therefore crucial to understand what motivates people to reinforce norms and prevent norm violators from gaining influence. Here we examine how psychological entitlement modulates observers' tenden...
Article
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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 found inconsistent associations between individuals’ emotion recognition ability and their work-related outcomes. This research project focuses on client satisfaction as a core work-related outcome. We argue that service settings differentially affect clients’ emotional goals, activating either socio-affective goals or goals targe...
Article
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Responses to norm violators are poorly understood. On one hand, norm violators are perceived as powerful, which may help them to get ahead. On the other hand, norm violators evoke moral outrage, which may frustrate their upward social mobility. We addressed this paradox by considering the role of culture. Collectivistic cultures value group harmony...
Article
Objectives: Sports games are inherently emotional situations. Although a plethora of research has investigated how athletes’ emotions influence their own performance, scant attention has been paid to how one person's emotional expressions influence others in the sports context. In particular, it remains unclear whether and how sports coaches’ emoti...
Article
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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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Some artists rise to fame, while others sink into oblivion. What determines whether artists make an impact? Considering deviance in its sociohistorical context, we propose that artists whose work deviates from their own previous style (intrapersonal deviance) and other artists' styles (interpersonal deviance) gain greater impact than nondeviant art...
Article
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We suggest three additional improvements to replication practices. First, original research should include concrete checks on validity, encouraged by editorial standards. Second, the reasons for replicating a particular study should be more transparent and balance systematic positive reasons with selective negative ones. Third, methodological valid...
Article
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Expressing anger can engender desired change, but it can also backfire. In the present research we examined how power shapes the expression of anger. In Study 1, we found that powerless individuals were less inclined to express their anger directly but more inclined to express it indirectly by sharing it with others. Powerless participants’ relucta...
Article
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Other people’s emotional reactions to a third person’s behaviour are potentially informative about what is appropriate within a given situation. We investigated whether and how observers’ inferences of such injunctive norms are shaped by expressions of anger and disgust. Building on the moral emotions literature, we hypothesised that angry and disg...
Article
Conflict is an emotional enterprise. We provide an integrative synthesis of theory and research on emotional dynamics in conflict and negotiation at three levels of analysis: the individual, the dyad, and the group. At the individual level, experienced moods and emotions shape negotiators’ cognition and behavior. At the dyadic level, emotional expr...
Article
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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
Emotional expressions can have a pervasive impact on bargaining behavior and outcomes. This widely documented phenomenon implies that in their communications, bargainers may adjust their apparent emotions. In the current paper, we developed a paradigm to study the communication of anger and disappointment, two of the most commonly experienced emoti...
Article
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Dynamic changes in emotional expressions are a valuable source of information in social interactions. As the expressive behaviour of a person changes, the inferences drawn from the behaviour may also change. Here, we test the possibility that dynamic changes in emotional expressions affect person perception in terms of stable trait attributions. Ac...
Article
In intergroup settings, humans often contribute to their in-group at a personal cost. Such parochial cooperation benefits the in-group and creates and fuels intergroup conflict when it simultaneously hurts out-groups. Here, we introduce a new game paradigm in which individuals can display universal cooperation (which benefits both in- and out-group...
Article
Emotional expressions have a pervasive impact on organizational behavior. However, it is unclear how such effects are modulated by the intensity of emotional displays. We investigated in online, laboratory, and field experiments how varying intensities of service providers' emotional displays (expressed through text, intonation, or physical display...
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
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Although perceivers often agree about the primary emotion that is conveyed by a particular expression, observers may concurrently perceive several additional emotions from a given facial expression. In the present research, we compared the perception of two types of nonintended emotions in Chinese and Dutch observers viewing facial expressions: emo...
Article
People may express a variety of emotions after committing a transgression. Through 6 empirical studies and a meta-analysis, we investigate how the perceived authenticity of such emotional displays and resulting levels of trust are shaped by the transgressor’s power. Past findings suggest that individuals with power tend to be more authentic because...
Chapter
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Emotion is part and parcel of social influence. The emotions people feel shape the ways in which they respond to persuasion attempts, and the emotions people express influence other individuals who observe those expressions. This chapter is concerned with the latter type of emotional influence. Such interpersonal effects of emotional expressions ar...
Article
First impressions are heavily influenced by emotional expressions such as smiles. In face-to-face contact, smiling individuals are perceived as warmer and as more competent than nonsmiling individuals. In computer-mediated communication, which is primarily text-based, the “smiley” (☺) constitutes the digital representation of a smile. But is a smil...
Article
The question of how leaders' expressions of anger influence their effectiveness has long intrigued researchers and practitioners. Drawing on emotions as social information theory, we suggest the effects of leaders' expressions of anger depend on both the type of violation about which anger is expressed and the type of leader who expresses it. We te...
Article
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Fake displays of emotions are common in social and organizational settings. It is therefore important to understand their consequences. To reconcile mixed previous findings, we develop a model in which the consequences of expressing fake emotions depend on the observers' level of dialectical thinking, a cognitive style characterized by acceptance o...
Article
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Intuition is associated with a global processing style, whereas deliberation is associated with a local processing style. Drawing on previous research on the effects of decisional fit on the subjective value attached to chosen alternatives, we examined the possibility that a fit between processing style and decision mode results in greater subjecti...
Article
In dit artikel bespreken we recent onderzoek waaruit blijkt wanneer mensen geneigd zijn om parochiale of universele coöperatie te tonen. Hierbij kijken we met name naar iemands persoonlijke sociale waarde oriëntatie. Daarnaast wordt onderzoek naar vertegenwoordigend onderhandelen uitgebreid besproken, waarin wordt gekeken wat voor invloed een achte...
Article
Full-text available
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
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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...
Article
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Norm violations engender both negative reactions and perceptions of power from observers. We addressed this paradox by examining whether observers’ tendency to grant power to norm followers versus norm violators is moderated by the observer’s position in the hierarchy. Because norm violations threaten the status quo, we hypothesized that individual...
Article
We provide an integrative review of the empirical literature on leadership and affect (emotion, mood, and affective dispositions), which is first and foremost a literature on leader displays of affect. We conclude that the influence of leader affective displays can be understood through the mediation paths of emotional contagion and cognitive inter...
Article
Although many scholars and practitioners articulate the importance of managing employee emotions in service-based organizations, research related to the intricacies surrounding human resource (HR) practices targeted at employee emotional performance has failed to keep up. This is surprising, given the strong links established between employee emoti...
Article
Full-text available
Sports games are inherently emotional situations, but surprisingly little is known about the social consequences of these emotions. We examined the interpersonal effects of emotional expressions in professional baseball. Specifically, we investigated whether pitchers’ facial displays influence how pitches are assessed and responded to. Using footag...
Article
Full-text available
Emotions are inherent to team life, yet it is unclear how observers use team members’ emotional expressions to make sense of team processes. Drawing on Emotions as Social Information theory, we propose that observers use team members’ emotional displays as a source of information to predict the team’s trajectory. We argue and show that displays of...
Article
Full-text available
Group settings are epicentres of emotional activity. Yet, the role of emotions in groups is poorly understood. How do group-level phenomena shape group members' emotional experience and expression? How are emotional expressions recognised, interpreted and shared in group settings? And how do such expressions influence the emotions, cognitions and b...