Mentor: Professor M. Schulz
People regulate their emotions everyday. They hide their disappointment when they are turned down for a promotion and their disgust at a loved one’s recent attempt at the culinary arts. One form of emotion regulation is expressive suppression in which an individual acts in such a way that a person looking at them wouldn’t know what they were actually feeling. Expressive suppression is believed to have important health consequences due to increased physiological arousal. The short-term link between suppression and physiological arousal has been studied experimentally in previous research using films and other media to elicit emotions.
Meta-analysis is the statistical analysis of the results of previous studies. I will be performing a meta-analysis on previous experimental research on suppression in order to examine the relationship between expressive suppression and its immediate physiological consequences as well as how this relationship is modified by a number of other variables, such as the emotion being suppressed, the use of undergraduates versus non-college participants, and the method used to elicit emotion. The results of this meta-analysis will be used to inform the design of a new experimental study of suppression.