In my research, I focus primarily on the intersection between emotions and teams in contexts such as sport, performing arts, and high-pressured work-settings (e.g., restaurant kitchens). Employing a variety of designs (e.g., longitudinal field studies; field, lab, and online experiments) and methods (e.g., questionnaires, video observation, interviews), my work centers on two main themes, (1) collective emotions and (2) ambivalent group influences on cognition, emotion, and motivation.
Under this theme, my first focus lies on collective emotions in sport. Here, I work to provide evidence for the existence of collective emotions in sport (e.g., statistical agreement of member responses, convergent non-verbal behaviors), their task-related and social consequences (e.g., team performance, member adherence), relevant boundary factors (e.g., member personality, emotion norms, task interdependence), and the underlying mechanisms that cause emotional congruence and convergence (e.g., team identification, emotional mimicry, socialization).
As a second focus, I pursue the idea of emotional conformity as a cause of emotional convergence in teams. Based on established conformity theory, I postulate, that individuals can also attend to and match their teammates' emotions (or at least their expressions) out of strategic, underlying motives, namely to gain an accurate understanding of reality, to form and maintain social relationships, and to uphold intrapersonal consonance. These motives then determine, for example, through which mechanisms emotional convergence will primarily operate and which situational properties will trigger it.
Under this theme, I investigate group properties that are usually regarded as either adaptive and maladaptive, for example, to team performance or member well-being, but that can, infact, also have the opposite effect. As such, I explore social responsibility as a cause of both enhanced collective motivation and members' choking under pressure, group cohesion as both a buffer against external threats to members' self-esteem and a source of internal self-esteem threats, and, as part of a collaboration, subgroups as both a danger to teams' social relationships and a facilitator of optimal task functioning.