4 Emotion regulation in romantic relationships

4 Emotion regulation in romantic relationships -...

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Unformatted text preview: http://spr.sagepub.com Relationships Journal of Social and Personal DOI: 10.1177/02654075030205002 2003; 20; 599 Journal of Social and Personal Relationships Jane M. Richards, Emily A. Butler and James J. Gross Consequences of Concealing Feelings Emotion Regulation in Romantic Relationships: The Cognitive http://spr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/20/5/599 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: International Association for Relationship Research can be found at: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships Additional services and information for http://spr.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://spr.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://spr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/20/5/599 Citations at Ebsco Electronic Journals Service (EJS) on March 2, 2009 http://spr.sagepub.com Downloaded from Emotion regulation in romantic relationships: The cognitive consequences of concealing feelings Jane M. Richards University of Washington Emily A. Butler & James J. Gross Stanford University ABSTRACT People frequently regulate the emotions that arise during tense social interactions. Common regulation strategies include cognitive reappraisal , which involves interpreting a situation in positive terms, and expressive suppression , which involves inhibiting overt signs of inner emotional states. According to our analysis, during tense social interactions reappraisal should (i) increase memory for what was said, whereas suppression should (ii) decrease memory for what was said, and (iii) increase memory for emotions. To test these predictions, we experimentally manipulated reappraisal and suppression in dating couples as they discussed a relation- ship conflict. As predicted, memory for conversation utter- ances was increased by reappraisal and decreased by suppression, and memory for emotional reactions was increased by suppression. Self-monitoring mediated the effect of suppression on memory for emotional reactions, but not for conversation utterances. These findings suggest that, if it is important to preserve the fidelity of cognitive function- ing during emotionally trying social interactions, some forms of emotion regulation may have more to recommend them than others. KEY WORDS : affect conflict conversation emotion interpersonal memory regulation Preparation of this article was supported by Grant MH-58147 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The authors would like to thank Kate Didech and Shelly Vernick for their memory coding, and Meg Given and Jessica Letchamanan for their behaviour coding. All correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jane M. Richards, now at the Department of Psychology, 1 University Station, A8000, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 USA. [E-mail: richards@psych.utexas.edu]....
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