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Taking charge of one's feelings: Sense of power and affect regulation

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number109958
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/07/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Personality and Individual Differences
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/03/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


People who can effectively regulate their feelings benefit from more desirable affective lives. Here we examine whether individual differences in chronic feelings of power are associated with regulatory efforts aimed at maintaining positive affect and ceasing negative affect. In Study 1, we found that people with a stronger (vs. weaker) sense of power were more inclined to cognitively re-frame (reappraise) and up-regulate (repair) their affective experiences, whilst also being less inclined to suppress their feelings. Drawing on affective experiences sampled repeatedly over a one-week period, in Study 2 we found that people with a stronger (vs. weaker) sense of power were more likely to cease their negative affect. However, a stronger (vs. weaker) sense of power was not associated with the likelihood to maintain positive affect. Together, the findings highlight a novel domain in which power may enhance self-regulation, and help explain how power differentials shape people's affective and social lives.

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