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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Sep;85(3):566-80.

Savoring versus dampening: self-esteem differences in regulating positive affect.

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Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


Five studies examined the hypotheses that when people experience positive affect, those low in self-esteem are especially likely to dampen that affect, whereas those high in self-esteem are especially likely to savor it. Undergraduate participants' memories for a positive event (Study 1) and their reported reactions to a success (Study 2) supported the dampening prediction. Results also suggest that dampening was associated with worse mood the day after a success (Study 2), that positive and negative affect regulation are distinct, that self-esteem is associated with affect regulation even when Neuroticism and Extraversion are controlled (Studies 3 and 4), and that self-esteem may be especially important for certain types of positive events and positive affect regulation (Study 5).

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