The emotional representation of history
University of Pécs, Institute Of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary
Our aim in this study was to get a view about the emotional representation of Hungarian history through analyses of history books and stories about historical events told by people. An emotion dictionary was applied with all Hungarian words containing emotional meaning. This dictionary was implemented into NooJ language technological device. By applying local grammars it was possible to handle a large text corpus and to detect emotional expressions while filtering out false matches. Emotions were categorized on the dimensions of valence (positive, negative, neutral) and of human nature (social, basic emotions). These emotion-classes were then used for the examination of various social-psychological models, like that of infrahumanization, inter-group emotion theory and models of collective emotions. We supposed that narrative psychological analyses of social representations of history concerning emotions provide an opportunity to get at the conclusions about the constructions of group identity. We assumed that historical trajectory of a nation may have an effect on emotional representations. East- Middle European national identity has special features: instability of national frames, permanent fear from destruction, and danger of occupation by other nations. In contrast, stable Western nation states allow their people to be relaxed about their national identity. Our results support the notion that characteristics of Hungarian historical trajectory override the phenomena found in other cultures concerning emotions: infrahumanization, IET and collective emotions appear in a specific way in emotional representations of Hungarian history as a consequence of Hungarian historical trajectory.