An Index of Self-Regulation of Emotion and the Study of Repression in Social Contexts That Threaten or Do Not Threaten Self-Concept

  • Mendolia M
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Abstract

This research tests a model of repression (M. Mendolia, 1999; M. Mendolia, J. Moore, & A. Tesser, 1996) which specifies that the interaction of individual differences in emotional responsiveness and situational threats to self-concept contributes to one's tendency to regulate emotional responsiveness. This research demonstrates that (a) individuals regulate their autonomic activity, facial muscle activity, cognitive attention, and subjective experience during isolated and repeated exposures to self-threatening negative and positive emotional events and (b) repressive behavior can be predicted by the Index of Self-Regulation of Emotion, which complements and extends conventional categorical measures of dispositional repression. This model provides a more detailed understanding of basic mechanisms in emotion by identifying how individual differences in emotionality and particular social contexts contribute to self-regulation of emotion.

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