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Psychol Sci. 2010 Aug;21(8):1047-50. doi: 10.1177/0956797610376653. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

Sealing the emotions genie: the effects of physical enclosure on psychological closure.

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  • 1NUS Business School, National University of Singapore. xiuping@nus.edu.sg

Abstract

This research investigated whether the physical act of enclosing an emotionally laden stimulus can help alleviate the associated negative emotions. Four experiments found support for this claim. In Experiments 1a and 1b, emotional negativity was reduced for participants who placed a written recollection of a regretted past decision or unsatisfied strong desire inside an envelope. However, enclosing a stimulus unrelated to the emotional experience did not have the same effect (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, we showed that the effect was not driven by participants simply doing something extra with the materials, and that the effect of physical enclosure was mediated by the psychological closure that participants felt toward the event.

PMID:
20622143
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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