To Share, or Not to Share? Examining the Emotional Consequences of Social Sharing in the Case of Anger and Sadness

Karen Brans*, Iven Van Mechelen, Bernard Rime, Philippe Verduyn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Web of Science)


Previous research has shown the relation between social sharing and emotional processing to be notoriously complex. In the present study, we unraveled this complexity by, for the first time, taking 3 key aspects of this relation into account simultaneously: the nature of the emotion, the timing of possible sharing effects, and the multicomponential character of emotions. Using the day reconstruction method, we first identified an intense anger or sadness target episode for each participant. In a second phase, participants repeatedly reported their sharing behavior and intensity of different emotion components over 5 days. Growth curve analyses revealed that sharing anger leads to several immediate and delayed beneficial effects, whereas sharing sadness leads to limited positive effects that emerge later on. This implies that all 3 aspects under study, as well as their interplay, are of critical importance in the relation between sharing and emotional processing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1071
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • social sharing
  • emotional processing
  • subjective feeling
  • appraisals
  • action tendency

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