Political correctness, emotion regulation strategies and tolerance for disagreement : is there a missing link?

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Levy, Laura
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MSc in Applied Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The connection between concern for politically correct speech, tolerance for disagreement and two emotion regulation strategies was explored using a correlational study, with mixed methods. Participants were drawn from the general population and completed an online survey with the Concern for Politically Correct speech scale, the Emotion Regulation questionnaire, the Tolerance for Disagreement scale and two qualitative questions. Results showed significant variations in terms of sex, age and religiosity. Individual differences on concern for politically correct speech were related to distinct emotion regulation strategies and to subjects’ relational abilities to disagree. Willingness to engage in conflict by correcting others’ politically incorrect statements and behaviour was related to lower degrees of emotional suppression, and higher levels of tolerance for disagreement were connected with a lower emotional impact of PC, suggesting that the emotional costs of concern for politically correct speech may be decreased by fostering a higher tolerance for disagreement. Author keywords: PC, Political correctness, tolerance, disagreement, tolerance for disagreement, emotion regulation