This research was supported by a grant to James M. Olson from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We thank Faye Crosby, Victoria Esses, Robert Folger, Jerry Suls, Joanne Wood, and several anonymous reviewers for their comments on previous versions of the paper.
I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore: Reports of Negative Emotions as a Self-Presentation Tactic1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 31, Issue 5, pages 981–999, May 2001
How to Cite
Otson, J. M., Hafer, C. L. and Taylor, L. (2001), I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore: Reports of Negative Emotions as a Self-Presentation Tactic. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31: 981–999. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2001.tb02658.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
This research investigated how self-presentation goals can influence public expressions of negative emotions. In Study 1, participants were asked how individuals would present their negative emotions if they were trying to create each of 5 different impressions, which corresponded to 5 self-presentation strategies identified by Jones and Pittman (1982). Results show that individuals were expected to systematically understate or exaggerate their negative emotions, depending on the impression/strategy. In Study 2, participants discussed with another person a course they were taking where they were not doing as well as they had hoped. They were instructed either to present their feelings honestly, to ingratiate, or to intimidate the other person. Compared to the honesty condition, ingratia-tion led to fewer negative emotions being expressed, whereas intimidation led to more negative emotions being expressed. Taken together, these studies provide initial evidence about when and how self-presentation motives can influence reports of negative emotions.