Does suppressing negative emotion impair subsequent emotions? Two experience sampling studies

Yan Ruan, Harry T. Reis, Wojciech Zareba, Richard D. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Suppression is one of the most commonly studied emotion-regulation strategies and a variety of studies have shown that suppression of emotions is associated with adverse affective outcomes. Most of the evidence for this conclusion comes from laboratory manipulations in which people enact experimentally induced suppression or from survey-based recollections. In the present pair of studies (468 participants total), we used real-time experience sampling data to examine the effect of naturally occurring suppression of negative emotion at one moment on subsequent reports of both negative and positive emotion. Results demonstrated that suppression led to later increases in both high-activation and low-activation negative emotions, over and above the level of negative emotion being suppressed. These findings add ecologically valid support to the growing body of evidence showing that emotional suppression is not only an ineffective emotion-regulation strategy, but also a costly one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotion suppression
  • Experience sampling
  • Negative affect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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