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The Comparison Between Active and Passive Types of Social Support: The Emotional Responses1


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    This article is based on the data reported in the postgraduate diploma theses of the second and the third authors under the tutelage of the first author.

Ai Ni Teoh, School of Psychology, James Cook University Australia, Singapore campus, 600 Upper Thomson Road, 574421, Singapore. E-mail:


Social support was manipulated in previous experimental studies in different ways, including active support and passive support. The present study compared the effects among active support, passive support, and alone conditions on emotional changes by randomly assigning 61 participants to either one of the support conditions. Consistent with the hypothesis, passive support produced a lower level of positive affect and attentive than active support and alone, reduced level of active than alone, as well as a decrease in determined and pleasantness appraisal than active support after a stressful task. Implications of the findings were discussed in terms of the definition of social support and the manipulation of social support in laboratory settings.

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