Modeling Emotional Contagion


Jason Tsai, Emma Bowring, Stacy Marsella, and Milind Tambe. 2011. “Modeling Emotional Contagion .” In MABS Multiagent-based Simulation Workshop at AAMAS 2011 .


In social psychology, emotional contagion describes the widely observed phenomenon of one person’s emotions being influenced by surrounding people’s emotions. While the overall effect is agreed upon, the underlying mechanism of the spread of emotions has seen little quantification and application to computational agents. In this paper, we explore computational models of emotional contagion by implementing two models (Bosse et al., Durupinar et al.) and augmenting them to better model real world observations. Our additions include examining the impact of physical proximity and authority figures. We show that these additions provide substantial improvements to the qualitative trends of emotion spreading, more in line with expectations than either of the two previous models. We also evaluate their impact on evacuation safety in an evacuation simulation, ESCAPES, showing substantial differences in predicted safety based on the contagion model.
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