Tell me who you are and I tell you how you feel: Expected emotional reactions to success and failure are influenced by knowledge about a person's personality

Shlomo Hareli, Moshe Sharabi, Ursula Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present research investigated the influence of knowledge about a person's modesty or arrogance on people's expectations regarding that person's emotional reactions to success and failure. Arrogance and modesty reflect the extent to which someone is likely to publicize their ability. Accordingly, we predicted that observers' expectations regarding a person's tendency to publicize their ability should inform expectations about the person's emotional reactions to success and failure. In two vignette studies, observers predicted the emotional state of a protagonist, as well as the probability that s/he will actually express that emotion and share the experience with others. For success, participants predicted a protagonist's pride, happiness, schadenfreude, and embarrassment if praised for a positive outcome. For failure, participants predicted anger, shame, guilt, sadness, and fear reactions. Across studies, personality information explained more variance than did gender or status. Results showed that the expectations for an arrogant person matched modal expectations for success, whereas for failure the expectations for the modest individual were closest to the modal expectations. Specifically, both modest and arrogant individuals were expected to suppress emotions that do not fit their self-presentational styles rather than to exaggerate expressions that do. This paper adds to our understanding of the information that people use to predict others' emotional reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Arrogance
  • Emotions
  • Modesty
  • Social perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)

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