Show or Hide Pride? Selective Inhibition of Pride Expressions as a Function of Relevance of Achievement Domain

Yvette van Osch*, Marcel Zeelenberg, Seger M. Breugelmans, Mark J. Brandt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Pride expressions draw positive attention to one's achievements. There is also evidence that expressing pride can result in negative outcomes, such as being envied and negatively evaluated. We investigated whether people anticipate such negative outcomes and regulate their pride expressions accordingly. Five experiments (total N = 953) suggest that people selectively inhibit their expressions of pride when their achievements are relevant to the audience, and that failing to do so could result in social costs. Pride expressions were reported to be less intense when the achievement was relevant to the observer of those expressions, both in hypothetical (Experiments 1a, b, c, 2a, b, and 3) and actual pride experiences (Experiment 4; first four experiments Hedge's g = 0.50). This effect was independent of the experienced intensity of pride. In Experiment 5, we recorded actual pride expressions of people expressing pride to relevant and nonrelevant audiences and found that raters also perceived pride expressions to be less intense toward relevant than nonrelevant audiences. The results illustrate the importance of social context in understanding the intensity of pride expressions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-347
Number of pages14
JournalEmotion
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Emotion expression
  • Emotion regulation
  • Pride
  • Social status

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