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The moderating role of autonomy and control on the benefits of written emotion expression

Weinstein, Netta ORCID: and Hodgins, H. S. 2009. The moderating role of autonomy and control on the benefits of written emotion expression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 35 (3) , pp. 351-364. 10.1177/0146167208328165

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Two studies examined the hypothesis that relative to control motivation, autonomy motivation is associated with effective written expression and regulation, leading to positive emotional, physical, and cognitive outcomes over time. Participants viewed a Hiroshima—Nagasaki documentary in each of two sessions. Study 1 showed that dispositionally autonomous participants, particularly those who expressed, had positive well-being, energy, and memory after the second viewing. Study 2 explored benefits of situational motivation by priming autonomy and control. Results showed that dispositionally controlled individuals received the same benefits as autonomous individuals only when primed with autonomy and encouraged to express. Coding of writing content revealed that the benefits of autonomy were mediated by nondefensive and effective emotional processing, as reflected in greater use of self-referencing and cognitive mechanism words and lower use of concrete words. Results support the expectation that autonomy relates to effective expression and emotion regulation, leading to positive functioning over time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0146-1672
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:50

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