Presentation Title

Long Lasting Effects of Distraction, Reappraisal, and Rumination on Emotions

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented April 1, 2017

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

1-4-2017 11:15 AM

End Date

1-4-2017 11:30 AM

Abstract

Every individual experiences emotions, both positive and negative, each and every day. Researchers believe the ability to monitor and manage one’s own emotional experience is essential to mental health (Gross & Munoz, 1995), well-being (Thompson, 2011), and social functioning (John & Gross, 2004). Emotion regulation consists of the use of cognitive strategies, such as distraction (diverting one’s attention away from an emotional event), reappraisal (changing the way one thinks about an emotional event), and rumination (focusing one’s attention on aspects of the emotional event). The current study explored the immediate and delayed effects of these regulation strategies. Participants recalled a personal event involving unresolved anger before regulating their emotions with either distraction, reappraisal, or rumination and were then re-exposed to the initial negative stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures, an implicit measure of emotion, and had their skin conductance and heart rate levels recorded. The extent to which participants re-directed their anger towards a hypothetical other was also evaluated through an anagram task. It is expected that both distraction and reappraisal will result in immediate decreases in anger, whereas rumination will maintain feelings of anger. Upon re-exposure to the initial anger-eliciting stimuli, it is expected that levels of anger will be lowest for the reappraisal condition and highest for the rumination condition. We predict that the distraction condition will show an increase in anger compared to immediately after distracting themselves from their negative emotions. These findings will advance our understanding of the immediate effects of different regulatory strategies on anger and after subsequent re-exposure to negative stimuli.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Catherine Ortner

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Apr 1st, 11:15 AM Apr 1st, 11:30 AM

Long Lasting Effects of Distraction, Reappraisal, and Rumination on Emotions

IB 1015

Every individual experiences emotions, both positive and negative, each and every day. Researchers believe the ability to monitor and manage one’s own emotional experience is essential to mental health (Gross & Munoz, 1995), well-being (Thompson, 2011), and social functioning (John & Gross, 2004). Emotion regulation consists of the use of cognitive strategies, such as distraction (diverting one’s attention away from an emotional event), reappraisal (changing the way one thinks about an emotional event), and rumination (focusing one’s attention on aspects of the emotional event). The current study explored the immediate and delayed effects of these regulation strategies. Participants recalled a personal event involving unresolved anger before regulating their emotions with either distraction, reappraisal, or rumination and were then re-exposed to the initial negative stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures, an implicit measure of emotion, and had their skin conductance and heart rate levels recorded. The extent to which participants re-directed their anger towards a hypothetical other was also evaluated through an anagram task. It is expected that both distraction and reappraisal will result in immediate decreases in anger, whereas rumination will maintain feelings of anger. Upon re-exposure to the initial anger-eliciting stimuli, it is expected that levels of anger will be lowest for the reappraisal condition and highest for the rumination condition. We predict that the distraction condition will show an increase in anger compared to immediately after distracting themselves from their negative emotions. These findings will advance our understanding of the immediate effects of different regulatory strategies on anger and after subsequent re-exposure to negative stimuli.