This study tested the hypothesis that the degree of self-control exerted in suppressing emotions would depend on the combination of personality (independence and dutifulness/self-discipline) and the specific type of emotion being suppressed (anger vs. appreciation). In a between-subjects design, 245 college students were induced to experience either anger or appreciation and were then instructed to suppress their emotional expression. Self-control strength was measured using a handgrip task. Exertion of self-control strength over two time points was differentially associated with levels of independence and dutifulness/self-discipline (conscientiousness) and emotion suppression condition. Specifically, individuals higher in dutifulness/self-discipline had a harder time if they were suppressing appreciation than if they were suppressing anger at others, whereas individuals higher in independence had a harder time if they were suppressing anger at others than if they were suppressing appreciation. Implications for understanding personality, self-control, and emotion regulation are discussed.
- Emotion regulation
- Individual differences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology