Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


Kravchenko Yu.E. The influence of suppression of emotional expression on intensity of the subjective experience of joy and compassion

Full text in Russian: Кравченко Ю.Е. Влияние подавления эмоциональной экспрессии на интенсивность субъективного переживания веселья и жалости
Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

About author
Suggested citation

A short overview of modern studies on the facial feedback hypothesis implying that emotional states are the result of our emotional expressions is given. Moreover, the results of two experiments that contradict this hypothesis and suggest that active suppression of motor activity and spontaneous reactions to emotional stimuli do not lead to weakening the relevant emotional state are presented. In the first experiment reactions of the subjects who viewed a funny cartoon were compared in three conditions: free emotional expression, suppressed emotional expression, and substitution of spontaneous expression (smile) with artificial expression (clapping). In the second experiment the procedure was the same but the subjects were asked to suppress compassion expression or to substitute compassion expression with paper tearing. The results confirmed the hypothesis that suppression of spontaneously expressed emotions strengthens the subjective experience. Substitution of spontaneous expression with the artificial one led to a shift in subjective experience, however, no clear trend was observed: in one case it led to strengthening and in the other – to weakening of subjective experience.

Keywords: facial feedback, subjective quality of experience, modality of emotions, smile, fun, joy, compassion



Berkowitz L., Harmon-Jones E. Toward an Understanding of the Determinants of Anger. Emotion, 2004, 4(2), 107–130.

Bermeitinger С., Machmer А.-М., Schramm J., Mertens D.D., Wilborn L., Bonin L., Femppel H., Koch F. Facial Feedback in Implicit Sequence Learning. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 2013, 13 (2), 145–162.

Davis J.I., Senghas A., Brandt F., Ochsner K.N. The effects of Botox injections on emotional experience. Emotion, 2010, 10(3), 433–440.

Davis J.I., Senghas A., Ochsner K. N. How does facial feedback modulate emotional experience? Journal of Research in Personality, 2009, 43(5), 822–829.

Dimberg U., Söderkvist S. The voluntary facial action technique: A method to test the facial feedback hypothesis. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 2011, 35(1), 17–33.

Gunther J.R. How does facial feedback modulate emotional experience? Dissertation Abstracts International. Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 2008, 69(1-B), 679.

Izard K.E. Psikhologiya emotsii. St. Petersburg: Piter, 2006. (in Russian)

James W. Psikhologiya. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1991. (in Russian)

Keillor J.M., Barrett A.M., Crucian G.P., Kortenkamp S., Heilman K.M. Emotional experience and perception in the absence of facial feedback. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2002, 8(1), 130–135.

Kravchenko Yu.E. Psikhologiya emotsii (klassicheskie i sovremennye teorii i issledovaniya). Moscow: Forum, 2012. (in Russian)

Kravchenko Yu.E. Zhurnal Vysshei Shkoly Ekonomiki, 2013, 10(2), 148–154. (in Russian)

LaFreniere P. Emotsii detei i podrostkov. St. Petersburg: Praim-Evroznak, 2004. (in Russian)

Laird J.D. The real role of facial response in the experience of emotion: A reply to Tourangeau and Ellsworth, and others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1984, 47(4), 909–917.

Marzoli D., Custodero M., Pagliara A., Tommasi L. Sun-induced frowning fosters aggressive feelings. Cognition and Emotion, 2013, 27(8), 1513–1521.

Mori K., Mori H. A test of the passive facial feedback hypothesis: We feel sorry because we cry. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2007, 105(3, Pt 2), 1242–1244.

Mori K., Mori H. Another test of the passive facial feedback hypothesis: When your face smiles, you feel happy. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2009, 109(1), 76–78.

Mori K., Mori H. Examination of the passive facial feedback hypothesis using an implicit measure: With a furrowed brow, neutral objects with pleasant primes look less appealing. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2010, 111(3), 785–789.

Prkachin K. M. Effects of deliberate control on verbal and facial expressions of pain. Pain, 2005, 114(3), 328–338.

Sigall H., Johnson M. The Relationship Between Facial Contact With a Pillow and Mood. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2006, 36(2), 505–526.

Soussignan R. Duchenne smile, emotional experience, and autonomic reactivity: A test of the facial feedback hypothesis. Emotion, 2002, 2(1), 52–74.

Stepper S., Strack F. Proprioceptive determinants of emotional and nonemotional feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1993, 64(2), 211–220.

Strack F., Martin L.L., Stepper S. Inhibiting and facilitating conditions of the human smile: A non-obtrusive test of the facial feedback hypothesis. In: J. Strelau, H.J. Eysenck (Eds.), Personality dimensions and arousal. New York: Plenum, 1988. pp. 269–286.

Zajonc R.B., Murphy S.T., Inglehart M. Feeling and facial efference: Implications of the vascular theory of emotion. Psychological Review, 1989, 96(3), 395–416.

Received 23 March 2014. Date of publication: 29 June 2014.

About author

Kravchenko Yunna E. Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Personality, L.S.Vygotsky Institute for Psychology, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya pl., 6, Moscow 125993, Russia.
E-mail: Этот адрес электронной почты защищен от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра.

Suggested citation

Kravchenko Yu.E. The influence of suppression of emotional expression on intensity of the subjective experience of joy and compassion. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2014, Vol. 7, No. 35, p. 4. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

Permanent URL:

Back to top >>

Related Articles