Together we cry: Social motives and preferences for group-based sadness

Roni Porat*, Eran Halperin, Ittay Mannheim, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Group-based emotions play an important role in helping people feel that they belong to their group. People are motivated to belong, but does this mean that they actively try to experience group-based emotions to increase their sense of belonging? In this investigation, we propose that people may be motivated to experience even group-based emotions that are typically considered unpleasant to satisfy their need to belong. To test this hypothesis, we examined people's preferences for group-based sadness in the context of the Israeli National Memorial Day. In two correlational (Studies 1a and 1b) and two experimental (Studies 2 and 3) studies, we demonstrate that people with a stronger need to belong have a stronger preference to experience group-based sadness. This effect was mediated by the expectation that experiencing sadness would be socially beneficial (Studies 1 and 2). We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding motivated emotion regulation and intergroup relations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)66-79
Number of pages14
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • Emotion regulation
  • Group-based emotions
  • Motivation
  • Social belonging


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