Self-awareness and emotional intensity

Cognition and Emotion 16 (2):195-216 (2002)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Does self-awareness amplify or dampen the intensity of emotional experience? Early research argued that self-awareness makes emotional states salient, resulting in greater emotional intensity. But these studies induced a standard for emotional intensity, confounding the salience of the emotional state with the self-regulation effects of self-awareness. Three experiments suggest high self-awareness can dampen the intensity of emotional experience in the absence of this confound. In Study 1, participants were led to feel sad in the presence or absence of a mirror; a standard for emotionality was or was not induced. High self-awareness amplified sadness when there was a standard for emotionality; it dampened sadness when there was no standard. Additional experiments using a self-novelty writing task (Study 2) and a mirror (Study 3) showed that self-awareness can also dampen positive affect. A fourth study found that trait private self-consciousness did not affect emotional intensity after controlling for the effects of neuroticism. The intersections of self-focused attention and emotional experience are discussed.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,764

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The emotional unconscious.John F. Kihlstrom, Shelagh Mulvaney, Betsy A. Tobias & Irene P. Tobis - 2000 - In Eric Eich, John F. Kihlstrom, Gordon H. Bower, Joseph P. Forgas & Paula M. Niedenthal (eds.), Cognition and Emotion. Oxford University Press. pp. 30-86.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
73 (#202,963)

6 months
1 (#1,018,607)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?