The after-effects of regulating anger and anger-related emotions on self-report ratings and behavior: Divergent consequences for men and women

Judith A. Hosie, Alan B. Milne, Lorna McArthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the reported frequency of anger in everyday life, comparatively little is known about the psychological consequences of regulating this emotion. In the present study male and female participants were exposed to a short anger arousing film clip under one of three conditions: Expression (participants were asked to respond spontaneously to the events depicted in the film clip); suppression (participants were asked to inhibit outward expressions of emotion); and substitution (participants were asked to replace feelings of anger with a previously recalled happy memory). Analysis of participants' emotional state following the period of emotion regulation showed that whereas suppression led to an increase in females' self reports of anger and related affective states, substitution led to an increase in males' ratings of anger and related affective states. Analysis of participants' expressive behavior following the period of anger regulation also showed an increase in expressions of outrage and disgust by female suppressors. Overall, the effects of anger regulation upon expressive behavior were less marked than those for self-reports of emotion. The results are discussed in the wider context of research on gender differences in emotion, the concurrent effects of regulating emotion, and thought suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-305
Number of pages18
JournalPsychologia
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • anger
  • emotion regulation
  • gender
  • expressive behavior
  • ironic processes
  • suppression
  • stereotypes
  • physiology

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