Exposure to negative emotions in their professional roles puts relationship experts, such as social workers, psychologists, and psychoeducators, at a heightened risk of experiencing “emotional contagion” – an involuntary and unconscious transmission of emotions from one individual to another.
This contagion can result in significant stress and distress, as emotional challenges play a pivotal role in causing burnout and even depression, as highlighted by Pierrich Plusquellec, a distinguished professor at Université de Montréal’s School of Psychoeducation.
To effectively gauge the strength of this “emotional contagion” and consequently assess the risk faced by these professionals who encounter it on a daily basis, artificial intelligence emerges as a valuable solution, as discovered by Plusquellec.
In a recent study published in the esteemed journal Psychological Reports, Plusquellec and his master’s student, Vincent Denault, utilized AI software to automatically assess individuals’ facial expressions as they viewed clips from popular films. Their findings revealed a strong correlation between participants’ facial reactions to the emotions depicted in the film clips and their susceptibility to depression, while also impacting their ability to exhibit compassion.
Additionally, Plusquellec aims to make the FACET tool, developed through this research, freely accessible online to extend support to those who are dedicated to helping others.