The present study examined whether individual differences in the desire for emotional closeness moderate the effectiveness of the social regulation of emotion. Using a within-subjects design, 195 undergraduates viewed strongly negative images in two conditions: (a) when holding the hand of an anonymous research assistant seated behind a curtain; and (b) when alone. Participants reported and exhibited less affect to the negative slides when holding hands than when seated alone. Moreover, desired emotional closeness moderated the effectiveness of handholding, as measured by facial expressivity, such that the effectiveness of handholding was positively associated with desired emotional closeness. The moderating role of desired emotional closeness remained when accounting for attachment style and the need for affiliation. This finding indicates that the effectiveness of the social regulation of emotion is moderated by the degree to which individuals desire emotional closeness. Thus, examining individual differences in the desire for emotional closeness may be helpful when investigating emotional responses to social interactions, such as the social regulation of emotion.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Personality and Individual Differences|
|State||Published - Dec 2012|
- Emotional closeness
- Social regulation of emotion
ASJC Scopus subject areas