We have speculated about the various roles of inhibition processes within SPAARS in detail in Chapter 5 (see also Dalgleish, Mathews, & Wood, 1999). Within the analysis that we presented there, repression would be a clear example of dominant schematic models of the world, self, and others configuring the system in such a way that incongruent information at other levels (propositional, analogical, associative) becomes inaccessible. In the case of repressors it seems that the dominant schematic models may be such that any disturbing information is incompatible. The overvalued nature of such models would be a function of the individual's developmental history in which disturbing information and the congruent expression of emotions might well have been regarded as unacceptable and weak. There is support for this suggestion in Myers' work which reveals a certain amount of emotional aridity and paternal indifference in the childhood of repressors (Myers, 1993).
The psychology of repressors seems a clear illustration of the role of inhibition processes within a SPAARS analysis. As we have discussed in Chapter 5, we propose that for some individuals the fulfilment of core appraisal criteria for certain emotions leads to a simultaneous imperative for the generation of emotion-related products such as physiological change, action potential, and conscious awareness on the one hand, and an inhibition of the experience of that emotion as a function of dominant schematic models that have become established during the individual's development on the other hand. In the case of repressors this would mean that physiological concomitants of emotion would be present but the individual has no conscious awareness of that emotion, and this is what the research data suggest (e.g., Weinberger et al., 1979). A further suggestion in Chapter 5 was that such emotional inhibition utilises processing resources, and consequently fewer resources are available for the more sophisticated appraisals necessary as part of the generation of more complex emotional states. Again, the research that indicates restricted experience of mixed and secondary emotions in repressors provides partial support for this hypothesis (e.g., Sincoff, 1992). Finally, the suggestion that there is still an imperative for the generation of emotion products and the consequent modular reconfiguration of SPAARS, following the fulfilment of core appraisal criteria in repressors, would predict that repressors should exhibit processing biases for emotion-congruent information, and again the available evidence is broadly consistent with this suggestion (e.g., Davis, 1987; Myers et al., 1998).
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