Intrapersonal emotional responses to the inquiry and advocacy modes of interaction: a psychophysiological study

In negotiations and group decision making we can use two characteristically different interaction modes: inquiry and advocacy. Inquiry refers to an interested and explorative interaction mode, and advocacy to an assertive and narrow mode. Although these modes have been studied in organizational behavior literature, the intrapersonal emotional responses to the inquiry and advocacy modes remain yet unexplored. We explored intrapersonal emotions by facial electromyography and skin conductance responses and by emotional empathy self-reports. The subjects were prompted to adopt the two modes in hypothetical encounters with another person. We found that Duchenne smiles were specific to the inquiry mode, that emotional arousal showed specificity to the expressions, and that emotional empathy predicts expressiveness in the inquiry treatment. We discuss the implications of these results to the use of the interaction modes and the related possibilities of influencing group interaction by influencing one’s own internal emotional state in group decisions.