This study examined whether verbal-autonomic response dissociation in repressive copers is potentiated by conditions that enhance social evaluative concerns. Women classified as repressive, low-anxious, or high-anxious gave a self-disclosing speech in either a private condition (a single researcher observed) or a public condition (3 researchers ostensibly observed). Repressors exhibited heart rate elevations that were greater in magnitude than their self-reports of negative affect, but only in the public condition. High-anxious Ss in both conditions showed an opposite pattern of verbal-autonomic dissociation in which self-reported negative affect exceeded cardiac response. Low-anxious Ss in both conditions showed little responsivity in either channel. Results are interpreted within a self-regulatory framework in which differences in self-concept in the domain of emotionality predispose repressive and high-anxious individuals to engage in contrasting, emotion-focused coping styles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science