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One of the greatest professional challenges facing sociologists dealing with the coronavirus is to quickly analyze and interpret the vast amounts of relevant epidemiological, demographic and social data, and present those data to both the academic community and, most importantly, the public at large. This is especially important given the tendency by some politicians and social media outlets to present misinformation to the public.
Jessica Collett, University of California-Los Angeles
Interpreting physiological responses is a key part of emotional experience. Imagine a father who tells a child about to start kindergarten that what they describe as feeling sick is actually a sign of nervous excitement—what some call butterflies—and not illness. His emotional vocabulary, combined with an understanding of situational cues, help him interpret his child’s experience (and stops him from searching for the pediatrician’s number).