Emotion Regulation of Others and Self

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Interpersonal Consequences


This project is concerned with interpersonal emotion regulation – the things people do to change other people’s feelings.  For example, we may change the topic of conversation to avoid potentially upsetting issues, or get cross with someone in order to make them feel guilty.  In particular, we will focus on the consequences of interpersonal regulation for relationships with other people, personal well-being, and for others who witness regulation attempts.  Our four studies into these topics will use a range of survey, diary, interview and observational methods to permit a focus on immediate as well as longer-term consequences of different kinds of interpersonal emotion regulation.

Study Objectives

The four main studies within this project will investigate:

Study 1: Effects of interpersonal emotion regulation on relationships and well-being.
Our first study uses a one-month longitudinal design to assess the effects of different kinds of interpersonal emotion regulation on social networks and well-being.

Study 2: Co-regulation in close relationships.
This study investigates the consequences of interpersonal emotion regulation in close relationships using observation of real-time interactions and diary methods.  The particular focus is on adoption of complementary or conflicting regulation strategies by partners and their effects on relationship quality.

Study 3: Consequences of interpersonal positivity ratio.
This is a diary study of taxi drivers’ interactions with customers, focusing on the effects of positive and negative interpersonal encounters on well-being and performance.

Study 4: Witnessing emotion regulation in the workplace.
Our fourth study on this project will examine how interpersonal emotion regulation impacts on colleagues who observe its operation in the work-place using interviews and diaries. 

Outputs and Staff Profiles

Example Publications

How to win friendship and trust by influencing people’s feelings: An investigation of interpersonal affect regulation and the quality of relationships. Human Relations.
Induced emotion regulation: How employees can be emotionally drained by interactions between co-workers. Work & Stress.
Bursting with anxiety: Adult social referencing in balloon analogue risk task. Emotion.
Our emotional neighbourhoods – how social networks can regulate what we feel. The Psychologist.
Affect regulation and well-being in the workplace: An interpersonal perspective.

Research Staff on this Project

Brian Parkinson
David Holman (now at Manchester Business School)
Peter Totterdell
Karen Niven (now at Manchester Business School)
Gwenda Simons