Choosing between emotion regulation strategies to appear cool, calm, and collected: Does emotional stimulus intensity matter?
Languages of publication
The present study examined the effect of negative emotional stimulus intensity (low versus high) on the choice of emotion regulation (ER) strategy when a person wants to control their emotional expression, and the impact of this choice on how the information accompanying emotional stimuli is remembered. The effects of emotional stimulus intensity on the choice of ER strategy were examined in two studies. In both studies, the participants (unaware of the differences in the intensity of stimuli) were asked to view images inducing negative emotions of high and low intensity and to choose which strategy (cognitive reappraisal or expressive suppression) they would use in order to control their emotional expression. In addition, in Study 2, the authors tested the memory of the verbal content accompanying the emotional stimuli that appeared during the ER period. As expected, the participants chose reappraisal over suppression when confronted with low-intensity stimuli. In contrast, when confronted with high-intensity stimuli, they chose suppression over reappraisal. The results of Study 2 revealed that memory accuracy was higher for those images that the participants chose to use reappraisal rather than suppression.
- Aldao, A., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2013). One versus many: Capturing the use of multiple emotion regulation strategies in response to an emotion-eliciting stimulus. Cognition & Emotion, 27(4), 753-760.
- Bebko, G. M., Franconeri, S. L., Ochsner, K. N., & Chiao, J. Y. (2011). Look before you regulate: Differential perceptual strategies underlying expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal. Emotion, 11(4), 732-742.
- Butler, E. A., Egloff, B., Wilhelm, F. H., Smith, N. C., Erickson, E. A., & Gross, J. J. (2003). The social consequences of expressive suppression. Emotion, 3(1), 48-67.
- Campbell-Sills, L., & Barlow, D. H. (2007). Incorporating emotion regulation into conceptualizations and treatments of anxiety and mood disorders. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 542-559). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
- Chervonsky, E., & Hunt, C. (2017). Suppression and expression of emotion in social and interpersonal outcomes: A meta-analysis. Emotion, 17, 669-683.
- Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-684.
- Derakshan, N., & Eysenck, M. W. (2009). Anxiety, processing efficiency, and cognitive performance: New developments from attentional control theory. European Psychologist, 14(2), 168-176.
- Diefendorff, J. M., Richard, E. M., & Yang, J. (2008). Linking emotion regulation strategies to affective events and negative emotions at work. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 498-508.
- Dillon, D. G., Ritchey, M., Johnson, B. D., & LaBar, K. S. (2007). Dissociable effects of conscious emotion regulation strategies on explicit and implicit memory. Emotion, 7, 354-365.
- Egloff, B., Schmukle, S. C., Burns, L. R., & Schwerdtfeger, A. (2006). Spontaneous emotion regulation during evaluated speaking tasks: Associations with negative affect, anxiety expression, memory, and physiological responding. Emotion, 6, 356-366.
- Ehring, T., Tuschen-Caffier, B., Schnülle, J., Fischer, S., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Emotion regulation and vulnerability to depression: Spontaneous versus instructed use of emotion suppression and reappraisal. Emotion, 10, 563-572.
- English, T., Lee, I. A., John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2017). Emotion regulation strategy selection in daily life: The role of social context and goals. Motivation and Emotion, 41, 230-242.
- Eysenck, M. W., & Calvo, M. G. (1992). Anxiety and performance: The processing efficiency theory. Cognition & Emotion, 6(6), 409-434.
- Frijda, N. H. (1986). The emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Grandey, A. A. (2000). Emotional regulation in the workplace: A new way to conceptualize emotional labor. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5, 95-110.
- Grandey, A. A., Dickter, D. N., & Sin, H.-P. (2004). The customer is not always right: Customer aggression and emotion regulation of service employee. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 397-418.
- Gratz, K. L., & Roemer, L. (2004). Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation and dysregulation: Development, factor structure, and initial validation of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 26, 41-54.
- Gross, J. J. (1998). Antecedent- and response-focused emotion regulation: Divergent consequences for experience, expression, and physiology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 224-237.
- Gross, J. J. (2002). Emotion regulation: Affective, cognitive, and social consequences. Psychophysiology, 39, 281-291.
- Gross, J. J. (2015). Emotion regulation: Current status and future prospects. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 1-26.
- Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348-362.
- Gross, J. J., & Levenson, R. W. (1993). Emotional suppression: Physiology, self-report, and expressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 970-986.
- Gross, J. J., & Levenson, R. W. (1997). Hiding feelings: The acute effects of inhibiting negative and positive emotion. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106(1), 95-103.
- Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: Conceptual foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3-24). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
- Hayes, J. P., Morey, R. A., Petty, C. M., Seth, S., Smoski, M. J., McCarthy, G., & LaBar, K. S. (2010). Staying cool when things get hot: Emotion regulation modulates neural mechanisms of memory encoding. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4, 230. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2010.00230
- Hochschild, A. R. (1983). The managed heart: Commercialization of human feeling. Berkeley, CA, US: University of California Press.
- Inzlicht, M., & Gutsell, J. N. (2007). Running on empty: Neural signals for self-control failure. Psychological Science, 18, 933-937.
- John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2004). Healthy and unhealthy emotion regulation: Personality processes, individual differences, and life span development. Journal of Personality, 72(6), 1301-1334.
- John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2007). Individual differences in emotion regulation strategies: Links to global trait, dynamic, and social cognitive constructs. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 351-372). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
- Koole, S. L. (2010). The psychology of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Cognition & Emotion, 23(1), 4-41.
- Lang, P. J., Bradley, B. N., & Cuthbert, B. N. (2008). International Affective Picture System (IAPS): Affective ratings of pictures and instruction manual [Technical Rep. A-8]. Gainesville, FL, US: University of Florida.
- Lee, M., Pekrun, R., Taxer, J. L., Schutz, P. A., Vogl, E., & Xie, X. (2016). Teachers’ emotions and emotion management: Integrating emotion regulation theory with emotional labor research. Social Psychology of Education, 19, 843-863.
- Liu, D. Y., & Thompson, R. J. (2017). Selection and implementation of emotion regulation strategies in major depressive disorder: An integrative review. Clinical Psychology Review, 57, 183-194.
- Loewenstein, G. (2007). Affective regulation and affective forecasting. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 180-203). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
- Mather, M., & Sutherland, M. R. (2011). Arousal-biased competition in perception and memory. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(2), 114-133.
- Mikolajczak, M. (2009). Going beyond the ability-trait debate: The three-level model of emotional intelligence. Electronic Journal of Applied Psychology, 5, 25-31.
- Moore, S. A., Zoellner, L. A., & Mollenholt, N. (2008). Are expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal associated with stress-related symptoms? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 993-1000.
- Opitz, P. C., Lee, I. A., Gross, J. J., & Urry, H. L. (2014). Fluid cognitive ability is a resource for successful emotion regulation in older and younger adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 609. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00609
- Parkinson, B., & Totterdell, P. (1999). Classifying affect-regulation strategies. Cognition & Emotion, 13(3), 277-303.
- Peña-Sarrionandia, A., Mikolajczak, M., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Integrating emotion regulation and emotional intelligence traditions: A meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 160. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00160
- Richards, J. M. (2004). The cognitive consequences of concealing feelings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13, 131-134.
- Richards, J. M., Butler, E. A., & Gross, J. J. (2003). Emotion regulation in romantic relationships: The cognitive consequences of concealing feelings. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20(5), 599-620.
- Richards, J. M., & Gross, J. J. (1999). Composure at any cost? The cognitive consequences of emotion suppression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1033-1044.
- Richards, J. M., & Gross, J. J. (2000). Emotion regulation and memory: The cognitive costs of keeping one’s cool. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 410-424.
- Shafir, R., Schwartz, N., Blechert, J., & Sheppes, G. (2015). Emotional intensity influences pre-implementation and implementation of distraction and reappraisal. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10(10), 1329-1337.
- Sheppes, G. (2014). Emotion regulation choice: Theory and findings. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (2nd ed., pp. 126-139). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
- Sheppes, G., Catran, E., & Meiran, N. (2009). Reappraisal (but not distraction) is going to make you sweat: Physiological evidence for self-control effort. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 71(2), 91-96.
- Sheppes, G., & Levin, Z. (2013). Emotion regulation choice: Selecting between cognitive regulation strategies to control emotion. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 179. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00179
- Sheppes, G., Scheibe, S., Suri, G., & Gross, J. J. (2011). Emotion-regulation choice. Psychological Science, 22, 1391-1396.
- Sheppes, G., Scheibe, S., Suri, G., Radu, P., Blechert, J., & Gross, J. J. (2014). Emotion regulation choice: A conceptual framework and supporting evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 163-181.
- Szczygieł, D., Buczny, J., & Bazińska, R. (2012). Emotion regulation and emotional information processing: The moderating effect of emotional awareness. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 433-437.
- Szczygieł, D., & Maruszewski, T. (2015). Why expressive suppression does not pay? Cognitive costs of negative emotion suppression: The mediating role of subjective tense-arousal. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 46, 336-349.
- Szczygieł, D., & Mikolajczak, M. (2017). Why are people high in emotional intelligence happier? They make the most of their positive emotions. Personality and Individual Differences, 117, 177-181.
- Tamir, M. (2016). Why do people regulate their emotions? A taxonomy of motives in emotion regulation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20(3), 199-222.
- Verzeletti, C., Zammuner, V. L., Galli, C., & Agnoli, S. (2016). Emotion regulation strategies and psychosocial well-being in adolescence. Cogent Psychology, 3(1), 1199294. DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2016.1199294
- Visted, E. V., Vøllestad, J. J., Nielsen, M. M., & Schanche, E. E. (2018). Emotion regulation in current and remitted depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 756. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00756
- Volokhov, R. N., & Demaree, H. A. (2010). Spontaneous emotion regulation to positive and negative stimuli. Brain and Cognition, 73(1), 1-6.
- Wang, L., Shi, Z., & Li, H. (2009). Neuroticism, extraversion, emotion regulation, negative affect and positive affect: The mediating roles of reappraisal and suppression. Social Behavior and Personality, 37(2), 193-194.
- Webb, T. L., Miles, E., & Sheeran, P. (2012). Dealing with feeling: A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of strategies derived from the process model of emotion regulation. Psychological Bulletin, 138(4), 775-808.
Publication order reference