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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011 Dec;101(6):1332-50. doi: 10.1037/a0024951. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Attitudes toward emotions.

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Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845, USA.


The present work outlines a theory of attitudes toward emotions, provides a measure of attitudes toward emotions, and then tests several predictions concerning relationships between attitudes toward specific emotions and emotional situation selection, emotional traits, emotional reactivity, and emotion regulation. The present conceptualization of individual differences in attitudes toward emotions focuses on specific emotions and presents data indicating that 5 emotions (anger, sadness, joy, fear, and disgust) load on 5 separate attitude factors (Study 1). Attitudes toward emotions predicted emotional situation selection (Study 2). Moreover, attitudes toward approach emotions (e.g., anger, joy) correlated directly with the associated trait emotions, whereas attitudes toward withdrawal emotions (fear, disgust) correlated inversely with associated trait emotions (Study 3). Similar results occurred when attitudes toward emotions were used to predict state emotional reactivity (Study 4). Finally, attitudes toward emotions predicted specific forms of emotion regulation (Study 5).

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