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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1992 Jan;62(1):110-28.

Relationship between facial expressiveness and sympathetic activation in emotion: a critical review, with emphasis on modeling underlying mechanisms and individual differences.

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Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1222.


Two important questions bearing on personality processes and individual differences are how do facial expressiveness and sympathetic activation vary as a function of the intensity of an emotional stimulus, and what is the functional mechanism underlying facial expressiveness and sympathetic activation in emotion? A formulation is proposed that is based on 2 propositions: (a) All strong emotions result in some degree of activation of the organism (i.e., principle of stimulus dynamism) and (b) there are individual differences in the gain (amplification) operating on the facial expressive and sympathetic response channels (i.e., principle of individual response uniqueness). This formulation organizes much of the existing data on internalizers and externalizers and yields novel predictions regarding the subpopulation labeled as generalizers.

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