The social consequences of expressive suppression.

  title={The social consequences of expressive suppression.},
  author={Emily Butler and Boris Egloff and Frank H. Wilhelm and Nancy C. Smith and Elizabeth A. Erickson and James Jonathan Gross},
  volume={3 1},
At times, people keep their emotions from showing during social interactions. The authors' analysis suggests that such expressive suppression should disrupt communication and increase stress levels. To test this hypothesis, the authors conducted 2 studies in which unacquainted pairs of women discussed an upsetting topic. In Study 1, one member of each pair was randomly assigned to (a) suppress her emotional behavior, (b) respond naturally, or (c) cognitively reappraise in a way that reduced… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Emotion regulation and culture: are the social consequences of emotion suppression culture-specific?
It is found that, for Americans holding Western-European values, habitual suppression was associated with self-protective goals and negative emotion, and experimentally elicited suppression resulted in reduced interpersonal responsiveness during face-to-face interaction.
Capturing Emotional Suppression as it Naturally Unfolds in Couple Interactions
Most research examining the consequences of suppressing emotional expression has focused on experimentally manipulated, conscious suppression. This study examined suppression as it naturally occurred
The social costs of emotional suppression: a prospective study of the transition to college.
Findings were robustly corroborated across weekly experience reports, self-reports, and peer reports and are consistent with a theoretical framework that defines emotion regulation as a dynamic process shaped by both stable person factors and environmental demands.
When Holding Back Helps
Findings identify a critical condition under which the suppression of negative emotions may be personally and interpersonally beneficial.
Capturing naturally occurring emotional suppression as it unfolds in couple interactions.
Findings indicate that suppressive behavior may be linked to relationship quality, and that it is not just the use of suppression that may matter but how rigidly one applies this regulatory approach.
An experimental study of emotion regulation during relationship conflict interactions: the moderating role of attachment orientations.
Results revealed that emotion regulation interventions influenced the physiology, emotional behavior, and emotional experience of both the manipulated person and his or her partner, who was oblivious to regulation manipulations.
Suppression Sours Sacrifice
Within-person increases in emotional suppression during daily sacrifice were associated with decreases in emotional well-being and relationship quality as reported by both members of romantic dyads and implications for research on close relationships and emotion regulation are discussed.
Expressive Suppression Within Task-Oriented Dyads: The Moderating Role of Power
The findings seem to suggest that suppression may impair task-oriented interactions between high/low power individuals more than interactions between individuals sharing equal power.
Does suppressing negative emotion impair subsequent emotions? Two experience sampling studies
Suppression is one of the most commonly studied emotion-regulation strategies and a variety of studies have shown that suppression of emotions is associated with adverse affective outcomes. Most of


Composure at Any Cost? The Cognitive Consequences of Emotion Suppression
We frequently try to appear less emotional than we really are, such as when we are angry with our spouse at a dinner party, disgusted by a boss’s sexist comments during a meeting, or amused by a
Social sharing of emotion following exposure to a negatively valenced situation
Three experimental studies are reported in which we tested the prediction that negative emotion elicits the social sharing of the emotional experience. In two experiments, participants arrived at the
Nonverbal display of emotion in public and in private : self-monitoring, personality, and expressive cues
Individual differences in the expression and regulation of emotion are important components of social skill. The present study focused on the concealing of spontaneous expressions of happiness after
Nonverbal display of emotion in public and in private: self-monitoring, personality, and expressive cues.
The social context strongly influenced the expressive behaviors of Ss, providing support for a social inhibition effect and the self-monitoring construct was helpful in explaining individual differences in expressive regulation, with high self-monitors being successful at hiding their happiness when appropriate.
Emotion regulation and memory: the cognitive costs of keeping one's cool.
Together, these studies suggest that the cognitive costs of keeping one's cool may vary according to how this is done, and that suppression was associated with poorer self-reported and objective memory but that reappraisal was not.
Cardiovascular responses of embarrassment and effects of emotional suppression in a social setting.
  • C. Harris
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 2001
The cardiovascular effects of embarrassment and of attempts to suppress embarrassment were examined, and the effects of trying to suppress emotion in an interpersonal situation were also tested.
Emotional suppression: physiology, self-report, and expressive behavior.
Emotional suppression reduced expressive behavior and produced a mixed physiological state characterized by decreased somatic activity and decreased heart rate, along with increased blinking and indications of increased sympathetic nervous system activity.
Hiding feelings: the acute effects of inhibiting negative and positive emotion.
Physiologically, suppression had no effect in the neutral film, but clear effects in both negative and positive emotional films, including increased sympathetic activation of the cardiovascular system.
Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: implications for affect, relationships, and well-being.
  • J. Gross, O. John
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 2003
Five studies tested two general hypotheses: Individuals differ in their use of emotion regulation strategies such as reappraisal and suppression, and these individual differences have implications
Emotion regulation: affective, cognitive, and social consequences.
This review focuses on two commonly used strategies for down-regulating emotion, reappraisal and suppression, and concludes with a consideration of five important directions for future research on emotion regulation processes.