Send to

Choose Destination
J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Apr;84(4):771-92.

Cardiovascular correlates of emotional expression and suppression: do content and gender context matter?

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara 94143, USA.


Three studies examined cardiovascular (CV) responses during emotional expression with empathically responsive strangers. Study 1 demonstrated that self-relevant emotional expression fostered CV reactivity consistent with challenge. Study 2 manipulated content of discussion by assigning participants to 1 of 4 conditions: emotional, nonemotional, emotional suppression, nonemotional suppression. In same-sex dyads. emotional expression elicited CV challenge reactivity whereas emotional suppression evoked CV threat reactivity, both compared with appropriate control groups. In opposite-sex dyads, however, emotional expression engendered CV threat. Because same- and opposite-sex disclosures differed, Study 3 controlled the content of emotional expression while manipulating gender context. Results confirmed findings from the first 2 studies, indicating that both context and content of emotional expression influenced CV effects. Findings are discussed within a theoretical challenge and threat perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center