Attitudes toward emotions

Eddie Harmon-Jones, Cindy Harmon-Jones, David M. Amodio, Philip A. Gable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present work outlines a theory of attitudes toward emotions, provides a measure of attitudes toward emotions, and then tests several predictions concerning relationships between attitudes toward specific emotions and emotional situation selection, emotional traits, emotional reactivity, and emotion regulation. The present conceptualization of individual differences in attitudes toward emotions focuses on specific emotions and presents data indicating that 5 emotions (anger, sadness, joy, fear, and disgust) load on 5 separate attitude factors (Study 1). Attitudes toward emotions predicted emotional situation selection (Study 2). Moreover, attitudes toward approach emotions (e.g., anger, joy) correlated directly with the associated trait emotions, whereas attitudes toward withdrawal emotions (fear, disgust) correlated inversely with associated trait emotions (Study 3). Similar results occurred when attitudes toward emotions were used to predict state emotional reactivity (Study 4). Finally, attitudes toward emotions predicted specific forms of emotion regulation (Study 5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1332-1350
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Approach motivation
  • Behavioral activation system (BAS)
  • Discrete emotions
  • Emotion regulation
  • Withdrawal motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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