Does regulating others' feelings influence people's own affective well-being?

Karen Niven, Peter Totterdell, David Holman, Tara Headley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals in a variety of social contexts try to regulate other people's feelings, but how does this process affect the regulators themselves? This research aimed to establish a relationship between people's use of interpersonal affect regulation and their own affective well-being. In a field study, self- and other-reported data were collected from prisoners and staff members in a therapeutic prison using two surveys separated in time. In a laboratory study, a student sample reported their affect before and after attempting to influence the feelings of talent show contestants in a role-play task. The results of both studies indicated congruent associations between the use of affect-improving and affect-worsening interpersonal affect regulation and strategy agents' affective well-being. Our findings highlight that, when performing interpersonal affect regulation, people may not be immune from the effects of their own actions. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-260
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • affect
  • affect regulation
  • emotion management
  • social interaction
  • well-being


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