Affective resonance and social interaction

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Interactive social cognition theory and approaches of developmental psychology widely agree that central aspects of emotional and social experience arise in the unfolding of processes of embodied social interaction. Bi-directional dynamical couplings of bodily displays such as facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations have repeatedly been described in terms of coordination, synchrony, mimesis, or attunement. In this paper, I propose conceptualizing such dynamics rather as processes of affective resonance. Starting from the immediate phenomenal experience of being immersed in interaction, I develop the philosophical notion of affective resonance to refer to a dynamic entanglement of moving and being-moved in relation. The concept of affective resonance makes visible that the interaction dynamic itself creates an affective experience rather than transmitting internal feeling states between pre-existent individuals. This leads to a philosophical framework in which relationality and ontogeny are primary over separate individuals, and in which the naturalistic distinction of a fundamental physical level versus an emerging level of social processes has to be given up
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Archival date: 2014-10-18
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