A new study purports that strong emotions are very contagious. The research shows that if all members in a group share the same emotional state, then their brains will follow suit. Not only will our emotions link up, so will our brain activity.
The study conducted by researchers from Aalto University and Turku PET Centre delineates that experiencing strong emotions synchronizes brain activity across individuals. This reported by Medical News Today.
The article goes on to note that the research shows that observers who share other people’s emotional states become a part of a somatoensory and neural framework. This enables them to understand other people’s intentions and actions, allowing them to “Tune In” with them.
Professor Lauri Nemmenmaa from Aalto University says this synchronization enables social interaction and group processes.
That raises the question, how long is necessary to constitute a group setting that connects our brain waves and emotions?
A related article by PHYS.ORG comments on how the above idea might function in the real world. It focuses on the training teachers receive in helping young children deal with their emotions such as frustration, anger and excitement.
“Everyday moments are golden opportunities for children to learn how to manage their emotions. Too often, teachers want to make negative emotions go away. Instead we need to use them as learning opportunities,” says Rebecca Swartz, a doctoral candidate and the study’s first author.
Student teachers who reported more effective strategies for regulating their own emotions and who also reported more accepting beliefs about children’s emotions were more supportive of children when they had emotional outbursts.
Swartz hopes that teachers will learn emotional regulation strategies as part of their professional development so they can model them for children and manage challenging emotional moments in the classroom.
“It might be effective to bring in a mentor who could coach, consult, and reflect with teachers as occasions arise,” she said.