Affect and the Expression of Emotions on the Internet: An Overview of Current Research

  • Javier Serrano-PucheEmail author
Living reference work entry


The Internet has become an everyday space for social interaction. On it, users not only access and exchange information but also find a place for the expression of the affective dimension, which is part of human nature. In keeping with the “affective turn” found in the social sciences in the last decade, the Internet has also been studied in the academic world from the prism of emotions. This chapter maps out the research field in which the Internet and emotions converge and presents an overview of relevant literature. It brings together very different approaches, both at the disciplinary level (with contributions from computer science, psychology, and communication studies, e.g.) and at the methodological level with a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques for measuring digital emotions. All in all, the result is a vibrant, complex, and interdisciplinary area of study. It includes, among other topics, the affordances of social networks for emotional expression, the role of the emotions in the act of sharing news and in content going viral, and the importance of emotional activation for digital users organizing and participating in social movements.


Emotions News sharing Virality Social movements Affordances Social networking sites Facebook Twitter 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Culture and SocietyUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain

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