Professor Brian Parkinson publishes new book on the role of emotions in the social world

Professor Brian Parkinson, Tutor in Experimental Psychology at Christ Church, has recently published a monograph with Cambridge University Press on the power and role of emotion in social interactions.

This book is the latest title in the Cambridge Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction series, of which Professor Parkinson is the Series Editor, which draws together innovative research on emotion and its impact on self and interpersonal communication.

Heart to Heart: How your Emotions Affect Other People is a pioneering work of social psychology, emerging from Professor Parkinson’s extensive career in critiquing cognitive theories of emotion and developing more socially oriented models, and marks a consolidation and integration of his whole approach. The book draws on experimental and observational research, interviews and anecdotal examples to richly explore emotion regulation and development, the establishment of the aesthetics of emotion, and consequently how these factors calibrate social interactions. Parkinson’s research considers an ambitious range of social subtleties, examining individual, interpersonal, group and organizational dynamics.

Of note is the book’s approach to areas of recently increased interest and attention, including emotion contagion, empathy and emotional labour. The book analyses emotion in the loaded social fields of medical professionalism and therapeutic encounters, and seeks out examples of organizational psychology in surprisingly emotional-labour intensive professions including airline travel and hairdressing.

Alan Fridlund of the University of California, praised how ‘Parkinson brings reason to emotion in a tour de force of patient and deeply analytical scholarship’, while Andrea Scarantino of Georgia State University commended the monograph’s ability to ‘(put) flesh around the slogan of the social constructionist movement, making a powerful case that emotions are strategies of relationship realignment.’ The book offers a compelling, interactive and dynamic overview of timely developments in the field, that engages with the most pressing theoretical debates.

Professor Parkinson’s book can be bought online and is featured on our list of recently published books.