Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Martin, Randall B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Mood (Psychology); Crying; Emotions


This thesis assessed three hypotheses regarding emotional behavior: (1) emotional expression effects the character of subsequent mood, (2) emotional expression effects the ability to access emotional material in oneself, and (3) women and men demonstrate different patterns of emotional expression. There is a discussion of the background/theoretical underpinnings of each of these hypotheses. This study was a three-group analog pre- and post-measure design, including an experimental, placebo, and control condition. Data were collected on 61 participants, aged 18 to 31 years, matched to condition according to sex. Participants in all groups completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Subjective Units of Discomfort (SUD), the Depression Adjective Check Lists (DACL), and the Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS). Next, all participants watched an (18-minute) emotionally provocative video. Participants were then placed in one of three conditions: (1) in the experimental, persons expressed thoughts and feelings through a specially designed interview with a researcher (5-10 minutes), (2) in the placebo, persons read aloud an unrelated passage (8-10 minutes), and (3) in the control, persons waited alone in a room for the experimenter to return (8 minutes). Participants in all groups returned approximately one week later, \ watched an abbreviated (5-minute) version of the original video, and again completed a battery of questionnaires (SUD, DACL, and TMMS). Hypotheses 1 was assessed through ANCOVAs and t tests, with null findings for ANCOVAs, and one t test indicating decreased negative mood at postmeasurement (t.025 (19) = 2. 13, £ < .05). Hypothesis 2 was assessed through ANCOVAs, resulting in null findings. For hypothesis 3, interview data were transcribed and scored using the Experiencing Scale. The average inter-rater reliability between three independent raters was .99, and the data were assessed using one-way ANOVA. Results were statistically significant such that F(l, 18) = 4.87, £ < .05, with females posting higher scores than males. This suggests that while emotional expression may differentially effect subsequent mood but not the ability to access emotional information from oneself, women tend to process emotional events at a more self-referential level than do men.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [58]-62)


ix, 107 pages




Northern Illinois University

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