Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=601983
 
 

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Does it Help to 'Own Your Emotions'? Reactions to Expressions of Self- versus Other-Attributed Positive and Negative Emotions


Amy Bippus


California State University, Long Beach

Stacy L. Young


California State University, Long Beach


IACM 17th Annual Conference Paper

Abstract:     
A staple of piece of advice proffered by conflict consultants and practitioners is to "own one's emotions"; that is, to use I messages rather than You messages to express negative emotions. This investigation tested the notion that people react more positively when speakers "own" their emotions. In Study 1, hypothetical self-attributed (I) emotion messages to express emotions about respondents' behavior were compared to other-attributed (You) messages, with an I-You message added in Study 2. In both studies, we assessed the effect of both positive and negative emotion statements on perceived politeness, effectiveness, and emotional reactions, and perceived threat in Study 2. We found no differences in reactions to the message forms for negative emotions, but both studies provided evidence for differences in respondents' reaction for positive emotional expressions. These results suggest a self-serving bias; recipients do not distinguish between ways of phrasing negative emotions expressed to them, but apparently appreciate being given credit for speakers' positive emotions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: Communication, Emotions, Empirical Research

JEL Classification: D74

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Date posted: October 9, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Bippus, Amy and Young, Stacy L., Does it Help to 'Own Your Emotions'? Reactions to Expressions of Self- versus Other-Attributed Positive and Negative Emotions. IACM 17th Annual Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=601983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.601983

Contact Information

Amy Bippus (Contact Author)
California State University, Long Beach ( email )
1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90064
United States
Stacy L. Young
California State University, Long Beach ( email )
1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90064
United States
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