Organization of Self-Knowledge: Implications for Recovery from Sad Mood

Carolin J. Showers, Kristen C. Kling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


In compartmentalized self-organization, positive and negative self-beliefs are separated into distinct categories (i.e., self-aspects), so that each self-aspect contains primarily positive or primarily negative beliefs. In evaluatively integrative organization, self-aspect categories contain a mixture of positive and negative beliefs. Positive-compartmentalized individuals recovered easily from a sad mood when they could reflect on personally important, pure positive self-aspects. When situational factors maintained the activation of pure negative self-aspects, compartmentalization seemed to perpetuate the negative mood. These studies suggest that people with a positive-compartmentalized self (who usually report high self-esteem and positive mood) have a hidden vulnerability to intense negative states. The advantages of an evaluatively integrated self may require having the opportunity to reflect on (and integrate) positive and negative beliefs about the self.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-590
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996


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