Emotions: Functions and significance for attitudes, behaviour and communication

Dennison, James (2023) Emotions: Functions and significance for attitudes, behaviour and communication. Migration Studies. ISSN 2049-5838

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Emotions are regularly cited as vital components of effective strategic communication. However, there is relatively little guidance about how emotions should be used. Eliciting emotions is key to persuasion because attitudes have a cognitive and emotive component, with predictable physiological outcomes that make messages more resonant and impactful on behaviour, supporting policy objectives. This article shows that communicators—in the field of migration and beyond—should choose their campaign’s emotional frame according to their desired physiological and behavioural reaction. This article applies the emotion schema of Plutchik to offer 32 separate emotions and their theorised physiological reactions, examples of stimuli, and behavioural societal effects. Furthermore, emotional outcomes can be altered via narratives, frames, personal-based messages, facial expressions and body language, aesthetics, ordering (‘emotional flow’), intensities, and combinations. Finally, the limits of emotion-based communication—not least the ‘appeal to emotion’ logical fallacy—and how to overcome those limits—grounding emotion-based communication in facts, values, identities, and efficacy—are considered. Emotion-based communication in the field of migration, although widely used, is largely untested so communicators should test different approaches but also can take lessons from fields such as corporate, health, and climate change communication.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by the EUROMED Migration V Programme, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Leverhulme Trust [grant number ECF-2021–342].
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2023 15:31
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2023 01:12
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92959
DOI: 10.1093/migration/mnad018

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