The present study examined the effects of expressive suppression and emotion suppression on affect, physiological measures, and memory. The participants were 26 female College of Wooster students. Heart rate was measured at baseline and while viewing sad pictures using no specific emotion regulation strategy (‘watch’ condition), expressive suppression, or emotion suppression. Levels of generalized negative affect, sadness, and generalized positive affect were measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule – Expanded Form (PANAS-X) at baseline and after each condition. Compliance with the emotion regulation instructions and use of emotion regulation strategies in each condition were also measured. A recognition memory task was completed to assess memory for pictures in each condition. The results of this study suggested that the pictures used did evoke the emotion of sadness, there was no significant difference in heart rate between the expressive suppression and emotion suppression conditions, and neither the expressive suppression condition nor the emotion condition affected recognition memory. Overall, these results suggested that expressive suppression and emotion suppression represent similar emotion regulation processes, but some interesting findings, such as the finding that participants reported using internal emotion suppression to a significantly higher extent in the emotion suppression condition than in the expressive suppression condition or the significantly increased heart rate from the ‘watch’ condition to the emotion suppression condition but not when emotion suppression was compared to expressive suppression, require further research.


Gillund, Gary




Cognitive Neuroscience

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Mary Mattise