Mentor: Dr. Marc Shulz
The suppression of emotions is believed to have important health consequences due to increased physiological arousal. In my summer research I will be investigating moments of suppression in a study of married couples. Suppression is defined as a moment in which an individual reports feeling strong emotions but appears not to be expressing them. I will be focusing on physiological and linguistic correlates of these moments. In the study, the couples were asked to talk about something that their partner did recently that upset them and their interactions were filmed. After the interaction, each partner was asked to rate how much emotion they experienced during the interactions. The filmed interactions were coded as to how much emotion each partner expressed. I will be examining whether suppression is linked with increased physiological arousal, specifically the skin conductance levels and heart rates. I will also be looking at the language that participants use during suppression moments and comparing it to the language they use in moments when they are not suppressing to determine if there are linguistic markers of emotional suppression.