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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Travel Grant Report by Julia Sasse

03.04.2016, by Sibylle Classen in grant report

University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Visit to IDC Herzliya, Israel, with Prof Eran Halperin

During my PhD project at the University of Groningen under the supervision of Prof Russell Spears and Prof Ernestine Gordijn the EASP grant provided me the valuable opportunity to spend three months at the IDC Herzliya, Israel. At the IDC, I worked with Prof Eran Halperin and benefited from interaction and exchange with other researchers. This visit was supported by the EASP postgraduate travel grant.

My PhD project focuses on the function of emotion expression in intergroup conflicts. More specifically, I am interested in whether emotions are expressed strategically in order to pursue goals beneficial for the own group. Prof. Halperin is an expert in the field of conflict and conflict resolution research and much of his work focuses on the role of emotion and emotion regulation in conflicts and I was excited to have the opportunity to work with him.

One of the assumptions of strategic emotion expression is that it is intended to influence an audience so that the audience responds in a desired manner. An important part of this assumption is that people have knowledge or rather (lay) beliefs about reactions to emotion expression from the audience. Prof Halperin and I decided to investigate such lay beliefs. The goal of this collaboration is to identify lay beliefs about cognitive and emotional reactions associated with the expression of different emotions and to test how and under which conditions those lay beliefs influence emotion expression. We started the collaboration together with my supervisors in Groningen, Liat Netzer, one of Prof Halperin’s PhD students, and Prof Maya Tamir from the Hebrew University who is an expert on (instrumental) emotion regulation. Also Liat Netzer is interested in instrumental emotion regulation and most importantly for this project in how a group wants an out-group to feel. Liat Netzer and I developed a first study for this project in close collaboration.

Apart from my work on this new project I participated in weekly lab-meetings and the bi-weekly journal club of Prof Halperin’s lab group. I also got the opportunity to present my own work to the group and met with various lab members to discuss our work and the links between our research interests.

I am grateful for the opportunity to visit Prof Halperin and his group, their warm welcome and interest in knowledge exchange. My time at the IDC undoubtedly made a significant contribution to my development as a psychological researcher and I would like to thank Prof Halperin for his invitation and also Prof Tamir and Liat Netzer for the time they dedicated to our research. Last but not least I would like to thank the EASP for making this experience possible by supporting it financially.