Lisanne Pauw finished her PhD dissertation on the dyadic nature of emotion regulation under the supervision of Disa Sauter, Gerben van Kleef and Agneta Fischer.
Common wisdom holds that we should not bottle up our emotions, but instead, we should talk about them: A problem shared is a problem halved. Or is it? In her dissertation, Lisanne Pauw sought to shed light on the paradoxical finding that while most people are strongly inclined to share their emotions with others and perceive this as helpful, it often does not make them feel better in the long run. Her work showed that a key reason that social sharing is often ineffective in promoting emotional recovery is that support seeking and provision mostly revolve around emotional support – a type of support that alleviates momentary distress and fosters interpersonal closeness, but does not facilitate long-term recovery (Pauw, Sauter, Van Kleef, & Fischer, 2018, 2019a, 2019b). Importantly, however, when listeners provide cognitive support, they can help the sharer change the way they look at the situation, and thereby also change the way the sharer feels about it – thereby contributing to more long-term benefits.
Lisanne will defend her thesis on January 17th at 12:00 (Agnietenkapel, Amsterdam) and is currently looking for a postdoc position to continue studying interpersonal emotion dynamics.