In the unremitting complexity of social life, emotions play a key role in defining and regulating our
relationships with others and, more generally, with the environment surrounding us. Our emotional reactions to other people influence how those others react to us, and to a certain extent how future encounters will develop. At the same time, our own emotional behaviour is shaped by others’ thoughts and deeds. Although emotions undeniably have personal and subjective aspects, they are usually experienced in a social context and acquire their significance in relation to this context (see also the “Socially situated affective systems” chapter, WP7, in this handbook).
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