Social sharing of emotions

The social sharing of emotions is a phenomenon in the field of psychology that concerns the tendency to recount and share emotional experiences with others. According to this area of research, emotional experiences are not uniquely fleeting and internal. Scientific studies of catastrophes and important life events demonstrate the propensity of victims to talk about their experiences and express their emotions. At the onset of these empirical studies, Rimé et al. coined the term “social sharing of emotions” in 1991 to name the observed phenomenon. This research was a significant development in social psychology because it questioned the accepted view of emotions—that emotions are short-lived and intrapersonal episodes—that was prevalent in the literature. Yet, the first set of experiments revealed that 88–96% of emotional experiences are shared and discussed to some degree. Therefore, the studies concerning the social sharing of emotions contribute a substantial new perspective to the understanding of emotions and their underlying processes.


The social sharing of emotions is a phenomenon in the field of psychology that concerns the tendency to recount and share emotional experiences with others. According to this area of research, emotional experiences are not uniquely fleeting and internal. Scientific studies of catastrophes and important life events demonstrate the propensity of victims to talk about their experiences and express their emotions. At the onset of these empirical studies, Rimé et al. coined the term “social sharing of emotions” in 1991 to name the observed phenomenon. This research was a significant development in social psychology because it questioned the accepted view of emotions—that emotions are short-lived and intrapersonal episodes—that was prevalent in the literature. Yet, the first set of experiments revealed that 88–96% of emotional experiences are shared and discussed to some degree. Therefore, the studies concerning the social sharing of emotions contribute a substantial new perspective to the understanding of emotions and their underlying processes.
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