Rationality and antiemotionality as a risk factor for cancer: concept differentiation

J Psychosom Res. 1989;33(2):217-25. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(89)90049-4.


Control and repression of emotions may be coping styles or personality characteristics found more often in patients with cancer than in other patients and healthy subjects. Previous research indicated a possible relationship between high scores on a 'rationality and antiemotionality' scale and cancer. In the two studies reported, the psychometric properties of this scale and the meaning of the concept as a personality variable related to the control of emotions were investigated. It was found that the internal consistency of the scale could be improved by re-designing it into a personality inventory. Factor analysis repeatedly yielded more than one factor, indicating the complexity of the concept. 'Rationality and antiemotionality' seems related to the control, suppression or repression of anger. Our findings tentatively support the view that rationality and antiemotionality may be an important distinctive personality characteristic in patients with cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Emotions
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Personality*
  • Psychometrics