Committee ChairButler, Emily
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractContemporary theories frame emotion as an intra-personal system comprised of subcomponents such as experience, expressive behaviors, and physiology that interact over time to give rise to emotional episodes. Emotional episodes occur in the context of a social interaction or an ongoing relationship making it important to also conceptualize the inter-personal emotion system in which the subcomponents of the emotional response interact not only within the individual but across the partners as well. Emotion theory has been constricted by a dominant linear information processing metaphor and has not yet fully embraced a dynamic systems approach integrating concepts of open, self-organizing systems to interpersonal emotion regulation processes. To address these limitations, this study examined the emergence of structure and patterns in real-time dyadic interactions between pairs of female strangers where one partner is purposefully regulating her emotional responding. One member of each dyad was randomly assigned to suppress, positively reappraise, or act normally during an interaction task. Three subcomponents of emotion were examined (expressive behaviors, experience, and physiology) along with three features of dynamic systems (attractor basins, flexibility/entropy, and physiological linkage). Results indicate differences in the emergence of structure and patterns in real-time dyadic interactions that varies by emotional responding type. Suppression dyads were characterized by a non-emotional response attractor, reduced behavioral flexibility, stronger physiological linkage as compared to control and reappraisal dyads. Reappraisal dyads expressed more positive emotions during the interaction than control or suppression dyads, and reappraisal partners showed evidence of positive physiological linkage with the reappraiser. In conclusion, structural patterns do differ by emotion regulation condition indicating the importance of intrapersonal phenomena on the emergence of interpersonal system dynamics.
Degree ProgramFamily & Consumer Sciences