When stepping outside the self is not enough: A self-distanced perspective reduces the experience of basic but not of self-conscious emotions

Maayan Katzir, Tal Eyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite recent increased interest in self-conscious emotions, few studies have investigated their regulation. The current research examines the effectiveness of self-perspective in regulating negative self-conscious (guilt, shame) versus basic (anger, sadness) emotions. We predict that adopting a distanced perspective on the self would attenuate the experience of anger and sadness, as previous research has shown (e.g., Kross et al., 2005). However, because the experience of self-conscious emotions involves self-evaluation as well as the evaluation of the self from the perspective of others, a self-distanced perspective may enable these emotions and fail to attenuate the experience of shame and guilt. As predicted, a self-distanced perspective attenuated feelings of sadness and anger, but not of shame and guilt. These findings suggest the appraisal of the experienced emotion (i.e., whether it involves self-evaluations and/or the perspective of others) may influence the effectiveness of emotion-regulation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1092
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Basic emotions
  • Emotion regulation
  • Self-conscious emotions
  • Self-perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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