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ABSTRACT This research investigated how estimations of subjectively experienced emotion and estimations of displayed emotion varied with the familiarity of the target person Subjects imagined themselves, a close friend, a moderate friend, or a casual acquaintance in a series of brief affect-eliciting situations, and then estimated the degree to which the designated person would both feel and display specific emotions Subjects consistently estimated that people, including themselves, would feel more emotion than they displayed This discrepancy between experienced feeling and displayed feeling increased as a linear function of familiarity with the person The amount of undisplayed affect–the estimated “secret self”–was generally smallest for a casual acquaintance, greater for a moderate friend, still greater for a close friend, and greatest of all for the self The magnitude of this familiarity effect, however, varied with the social desirability of the emotion If an emotion was socially desirable, subjects estimated that familiar persons would both feel the emotion more and display it more than less familiar others would If an emotion was socially undesirable, subjects also estimated that familiar others would feel it more than unfamiliar others would However, they estimated that familiar and less familiar others would display socially undesirable emotions to about the same degree, and estimated that they themselves would display these emotions significantly less than others Consequently, although subjects always perceived