Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 826024-M-6
Miscommunication and Emotion
Course info
Course module826024-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Commun. and Inform. Sciences; TSH: Department Communication and Cognition;
Is part of
M Communication and Information Sciences
M Language and Culture Education
Contact persondr. M.M.H. Pollmann
dr. M.M.H. Pollmann
Other course modules lecturer
Coordinator course
dr. M.M.H. Pollmann
Other course modules lecturer
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 29/03/2019 up to and including 31/07/2019
Students will gain knowledge about the processes underlying human communication and emotion. At the end of the course...

-The student is able to process and reproduce relevant ideas and details from important scientific articles in the areas of emotion and communication science.
-The student is able to describe factors that influence successful communication and the influence of emotions on communication.
-The student is able to describe the most common pitfalls in communication (e.g., linguistic biases, restrictions of CMC) and to formulate strategies to reduce the risk of miscommunication.
-The student can describe the different modalities in which emotions can be communicated (e.g., facial, vocal, textual) and their communicative consequences, in particular with respect to valence (positive versus negative emotion). In addition, the student is able to assess the usefulness of this information for several applications (e.g., persuasion, life satisfaction, social signal processing).
-The student is able to critically review scientific articles on the topic of miscommunication and emotion and to relate different articles and topics to each other.
-The student is able to apply the knowledge from the course to a practical question and present concrete ideas on how to improve communication.
This course consists of two parts. The first part of the course is about miscommunication. The main questions that are discussed are: When does communication go wrong? Which theories can predict miscommunication? What are the processes that influence successful and unsuccessful communication? What can we do to avoid miscommunication? These questions are answered for different kinds of communication (e.g. inter-group communication, electronic communication, male-female communication).

The second part of the course centers around the following questions: How do we communicate our emotions to others? What role do emotions play in successful and unsuccessful communication? Emotional communication will be studied in the verbal, facial, and linguistic domain. Positive (laughing, smiling, and happiness) and negative emotions (crying and tears) will receive special attention. From a practical perspective, the student will learn to assess the role of emotion in areas such as design, marketing, and social signal processing.


The course relies heavily on group discussions about the literature. The student needs to prepare each lecture by reading the according articles (about 40 pages). There will be a knowledge quiz about the articles at the beginning of each lecture. Students need to hand in discussion points relating to the articles for each lecture. This approach leads to a high work load but also a very deep understanding of the topics.

The final grade will consist of the average of the grades for the knowledge quizzes (35%), the grade for a group presentation held at the end of the course (15%), the grade for the discussion points handed in (15%), and the grade of the written exam (35%) (the percentages are subject to change).

The course load (6 ECTS = 168 hours) is as follows:
14 lectures a 2 hours  = 28 hours
Work on presentation  = 16 hours
Exam preparation = 16 hours
Discussion points preparation = 12 hours
Reading for 12 lectures = 96 hours (8 hours per lecture, estimated reading speed is 5 pages per hour = 40 pages per lecture)

Labor Market

Successful communication is an important skill for both professional and personal relationships. In this course we will discuss how the scientific knowledge about miscommunication and emotion can be used on the work floor, for example, when selecting team members, by preventing biases from influencing our conversations and decisions, getting the best result out of negotiations, and achieving to be liked by others. We will also discuss how we can improve our personal relationships by showing more understanding and regulating our emotions.

Recommended Prerequisites

Psycholinguistics, Cognition and Process, Nonverbal Communication
Timetable information
826024-M-6|Miscommunication & Emotion
Written test opportunities
Schriftelijk (35%) / Written (35%)EXAM_01BLOK 4208-07-2019
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk (35%) / Written (35%)EXAM_01BLOK 4111-06-2019
Required materials
A selection of articles (approximately 40 in total) will be announced through Blackboard.
Recommended materials
Written (35%)

Final Result

Knowledge quizzes (35%)

Discussion questions (15%)

Presentation (15%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal