Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Could stiff upper lips be back in fashion?

The conventional wisdom in popular culture and psychology is that it is better to talk about one's feelings than bottle them up. However, researchers at the University of Buffalo in the U.S. have called this into question. Using a large national sample the researchers tested people's responses to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 beginning immediately after the event and continuing for the following two years. In an online survey the respondents were given a chance to express their thoughts and feelings on the day of 9/11 and a few days afterwards. The researchers then compared people who chose to express their thoughts and feelings to those who didn't. The people who kept a stiff upper lip did better than those who talked about their feelings. Various alternative explanations were looked at to explain the difference but nothing else accounted for the difference between the two groups.

You can find out more about this research at

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