Emotional Expression and the Reduction of Motivated Cognitive Bias: Evidence From Cognitive Dissonance and Distancing From Victims' Paradigms

Tom Pyszczynski, Jeff L Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon, John Sideris, Mari Jo Stubing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two experiments tested whether expression of emotions from which motivated cognitive biases presumably provide protection would reduce the extent of such biases. In Study 1, we hypothesized that expressing any tension produced by writing a counterattitudinal essay would reduce the extent of dissonance-reducing attitude change. To test this hypothesis, Ss were induced to write an essay arguing for higher tuition. High-choice Ss were either encouraged to express their emotions, to suppress them, or to do neither. As expected, high-choice-express Ss exhibited the least attitude change. Study 2 tested the hypothesis that expressing fear of cancer would reduce the extent of defensive distancing from cancer patients, but expressing sympathy would not. Although control Ss clearly distanced from cancer patients, fear-expression Ss did not. Implications for understanding the role of affect in defense are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume64
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

Fingerprint

Cognitive Dissonance
cognitive dissonance
cancer
attitude change
paradigm
Fear
Emotions
emotion
trend
anxiety
evidence
Neoplasms
sympathy
experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Emotional Expression and the Reduction of Motivated Cognitive Bias : Evidence From Cognitive Dissonance and Distancing From Victims' Paradigms. / Pyszczynski, Tom; Greenberg, Jeff L; Solomon, Sheldon; Sideris, John; Stubing, Mari Jo.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 64, No. 2, 02.1993, p. 177-186.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{175733c8ad1b44a8a284b2fdbdf400df,
title = "Emotional Expression and the Reduction of Motivated Cognitive Bias: Evidence From Cognitive Dissonance and Distancing From Victims' Paradigms",
abstract = "Two experiments tested whether expression of emotions from which motivated cognitive biases presumably provide protection would reduce the extent of such biases. In Study 1, we hypothesized that expressing any tension produced by writing a counterattitudinal essay would reduce the extent of dissonance-reducing attitude change. To test this hypothesis, Ss were induced to write an essay arguing for higher tuition. High-choice Ss were either encouraged to express their emotions, to suppress them, or to do neither. As expected, high-choice-express Ss exhibited the least attitude change. Study 2 tested the hypothesis that expressing fear of cancer would reduce the extent of defensive distancing from cancer patients, but expressing sympathy would not. Although control Ss clearly distanced from cancer patients, fear-expression Ss did not. Implications for understanding the role of affect in defense are discussed.",
author = "Tom Pyszczynski and Greenberg, {Jeff L} and Sheldon Solomon and John Sideris and Stubing, {Mari Jo}",
year = "1993",
month = "2",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "64",
pages = "177--186",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Emotional Expression and the Reduction of Motivated Cognitive Bias

T2 - Evidence From Cognitive Dissonance and Distancing From Victims' Paradigms

AU - Pyszczynski, Tom

AU - Greenberg, Jeff L

AU - Solomon, Sheldon

AU - Sideris, John

AU - Stubing, Mari Jo

PY - 1993/2

Y1 - 1993/2

N2 - Two experiments tested whether expression of emotions from which motivated cognitive biases presumably provide protection would reduce the extent of such biases. In Study 1, we hypothesized that expressing any tension produced by writing a counterattitudinal essay would reduce the extent of dissonance-reducing attitude change. To test this hypothesis, Ss were induced to write an essay arguing for higher tuition. High-choice Ss were either encouraged to express their emotions, to suppress them, or to do neither. As expected, high-choice-express Ss exhibited the least attitude change. Study 2 tested the hypothesis that expressing fear of cancer would reduce the extent of defensive distancing from cancer patients, but expressing sympathy would not. Although control Ss clearly distanced from cancer patients, fear-expression Ss did not. Implications for understanding the role of affect in defense are discussed.

AB - Two experiments tested whether expression of emotions from which motivated cognitive biases presumably provide protection would reduce the extent of such biases. In Study 1, we hypothesized that expressing any tension produced by writing a counterattitudinal essay would reduce the extent of dissonance-reducing attitude change. To test this hypothesis, Ss were induced to write an essay arguing for higher tuition. High-choice Ss were either encouraged to express their emotions, to suppress them, or to do neither. As expected, high-choice-express Ss exhibited the least attitude change. Study 2 tested the hypothesis that expressing fear of cancer would reduce the extent of defensive distancing from cancer patients, but expressing sympathy would not. Although control Ss clearly distanced from cancer patients, fear-expression Ss did not. Implications for understanding the role of affect in defense are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0027551163&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0027551163&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 8433271

AN - SCOPUS:0027551163

VL - 64

SP - 177

EP - 186

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 2

ER -