Multi-Modal-based Emotional Contagion from Tourists to Hosts: The Dual-Process Mechanism

Shiqin Zhang, Nan Chen, Cathy H.C. Hsu, Jin Xing Hao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Emotional reactions and transmissions are crucial to host-tourist interaction yet lacking in research, particularly from the host viewpoint. To deepen understanding of host-tourist interaction, this study took a host perspective to examine emotional contagion from tourists to hosts. By adopting video-vignette based interaction scenarios and cutting-edge techniques (e.g., FaceReader), a real-time multi-modal investigation was undertaken to reveal mechanism underlying emotional contagion of Hong Kong residents from Mainland Chinese tourists. Results theoretically consolidated the dual-process mechanism underpinning automatic emotional contagion and empirically verified an Emotional Contagion Model (ECM) from tourists to hosts. The compelling effects of mimicry, interaction context and stereotypes explained the emotional convergence and divergence between hosts and tourists. The study extended the knowledge boundary of host-tourist interaction to micro-level interpersonal emotional connection. Moreover, the verified ECM theoretically advances emotional contagion mechanism in the social psychology literature. Practical guidelines for host-tourist relation management and sustainable destination development were provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1328 - 1346
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • cognitive appraisal
  • emotional contagion
  • emotional mimicry
  • FaceReader
  • host-tourist interaction
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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