Repressive Coping Style and the Experience and Recall of Emotion: A Naturalistic Study of Daily Affect

Susan E. Cutler, Randy J. Larsen, Scott C. Bunce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research shows that people characterized as repressors display inhibited recall for unpleasant memories. In this study, the relationship between repressive coping style and the recall of affect near the time of the experience was compared to delayed recall. An experience sampling technique was used to collect affect data twice daily for 4 weeks. Repressive coping style was found to be related to low levels of average daily unpleasant affect and lowered delayed recall of unpleasant affect. Unlike repressors, high anxious individuals overestimated unpleasant affect during delayed recall. Repressors did not exhibit isolation of the dominant unpleasant affect from nondominant unpleasant affect in daily reporting. The overall pattern of results suggests that the effect of repressive coping style is to diminish the encoding of all unpleasant affect, whereas trait anxiety appears to promote overestimation in the recall of unpleasant affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-405
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume64
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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