Emotion Regulation

Gross, J. J. (2015). Handbook of emotion regulation. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Emotion
    • Features of emotion
      • Emotions arise when a person pays attention to a situation and evaluates it as relevant to the person.
      • Emotions are multifaceted phenomena involving the domains of subjective experience, behavior, and central and peripheral physiology.
      • Emotions are malleable.
        • This feature enables emotion regulation.
    • Terminology
      • Affect as distinguishable good-bad conditions that may include emotions, stress responses, and mood.
      • Emotions vs moods
        • Emotions are transient, driven by particular objects, and associated with actions.
        • Moods are relatively long-lasting, driven by no particular objects, and involved with cognition.
  • Emotion regulation
    • Control of how to experience an emotion, when one has it, and how to express it.
    • Features of emotion regulation
      • Activation of a goal to modify the emotion-regenerative process.
        • Intrinsic emotion regulation: emotion regulation in oneself.
        • Extrinsic emotion regulation: emotion regulation in another.
      • Engagement of the processes that are responsible for altering the emotion trajectory.
        • Implicit emotion regulation: unconcious emotion regulation.
        • Explicit emotion regulation: conscious emotion regulation.
      • Impact on emotion dynamics
        • Dynamics including the latency, rise time, magnitude, duration, and offset of responses in experiential, behavioral, or physiological domains.
  • The process model of emotion regulation
    • An information-processing model based on the modal model of emotion
    • Distinctions from similar processes
      • Coping vs emotion
        • Coping focuses on negative affect and on longer periods of time.
      • Mood regulation vs emotion
        • Mood regulation involves not behavior but experience.
  • Components of emotion regulation
    • Emotion regulation goals
    • Emotion regulation strategies
      • Situation selection
      • Situation modification
      • Attentional deployment (distraction)
      • Cognitive change (reappraisal)
      • Response modulation
    • Emotion regulation outcomes
      • Affective outcomes
        •  Suppression
          • Behavioral strategy that inhibits emotional expression
          • Experimentally shown to lead to decreased positive emotion experience but not negative emotion experience, increased sympathetic nervous system responses, and greater activation in emotion-generative regions in the brain such as the amygdala.
        • Reappraisal
          • Cognitive strategy that changes how one evaluates a given situation
          • Experimentally shown to lead to increased positive emotion experience and decreased negative emotion experience, no change in or decreased sympathetic nervous system responses, and decreased activation in the amygdala.
      • Cognitive outcomes
        • Suppression
          • Is associated with decreased memory.
        • Reappraisal
          • Causes no change or increases memory.
      • Social outcomes
        • Suppression
          • Leads to less emotional intimacy with partners.
        • Reappraisal
          • Does not change the emotional intimacy level.
      • These outcomes are moderated by the specific context in which either suppression or reappraisal is used as an emotion regulation strategy. (“Positive emotion interventions” is a good reference for this.)
  • Fundamental questions and directions for future research
    • How separable are emotion and emotion regulation?
      • A lot of processes involved in generating emotion are also involved in emotion regulation too.
      • Depending on the definition of emotion taken, it may be easy or hard to separate emotion from emotion regulation.
      • Gross puts forward a functional distinction between emotion and emotion regulation.
        • Emotion arises when a person evaluates a situation as relevant to a goal.
        • If an emotional response is evaluated as good or bad and this valuation leads to activation of a goal to change the particular emotional response, then emotional regulation has arisen.
    • Why do people regulate emotions as they do?
      • What causes some people to activate a goal to regulate emotions but not others?
      • What determines the dynamics between competing regulatory strategies?
      • Which emotion regulation strategy will be selected to achieve the goal?
        • Depends on context such as intensity of emotions and perceived available social or psychological resources.
        • Depends on personality.
    • How can we use what we know to make the world a better place?
      • Global peace (Halperin, 2013)
        • Positive effect of reappraisal intervention on Israelis’ humanitarian attitudes towards Palestinians.

 

 

 

 

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