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

Roni Porat, Eran Halperin, Ittay Mannheim, Maya Tamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 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 languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-79
Number of pages14
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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