Willingness to express emotion: The impact of relationship type, communal orientation, and their interaction

Margaret S. Clark*, Eli J. Finkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This research examines the effects of relationship type (close vs. business), a personality variable (dispositional communal orientation), and the interaction of these two variables on individuals' willingness to express emotions to relationship partners. Results supported our predictions that (a) people are willing to express more emotion in relationships likely to be high in communal strength than in relationships likely to be low in communal strength, (b) individuals high in communal orientation are willing to express more emotion than those who are low in communal orientation, and (c) relationship type and communal orientation interact to influence willingness to express two emotions that reveal weakness and vulnerability (fear and anxiety). Specifically, communal orientation had little effect on willingness to express fear and anxiety in business relationships, whereas high relative to low communal orientation was associated with willingness to express more fear and anxiety within close relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalPersonal Relationships
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

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