Aug. 31, 2023

A recent lab paper has been selected as the Editor's Choice Paper for the journal Emotion. The paper analyzed language used by children and their mothers while they were trying to complete difficult puzzles. Interestingly, aspects of affective language (e.g., use of positive affect words, negative affect words, and words that indicate increased psychological distance) seem to "spread" from one person to the other: If a child or their parent used one of these types of language when they spoke, the other person was then more likely to use that language on their next turn. This offers linguistic evidence that emotions may spread between conversation dyads or that parents and children align the affective words they use during conversation.