Presentation Title

The Role of Environmental Affordances, Motives, and Appraisals in Emotion Regulation Choice

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Presenter Information

Anna HorstFollow

Abstract

Various factors influence emotion regulation strategy choice, including event intensity and environmental affordances (i.e., characteristics of the situation that may help or hinder the generation of a regulatory strategy). Suri et al. (2017) showed that intensity and affordances are often confounded, and that affordances better predict emotion regulation choice than intensity. However, the scenarios used by Suri et al. may have varied also in terms of the appraisals and emotion regulation motives that they elicit. Therefore, we tested alternative explanations for Suri et al.’s finding that reappraisal affordances predict emotion regulation choice.

In part one of the study, participants read scenarios varying in affordance and intensity, and then rated the intensity, appraisals, motives, and affordance of the event. In part two, participants received training in reappraisal and distraction, then read the same scenarios from part one, and rated their preferences for reappraisal and distraction.

High affordance scenarios elicited higher appraisals of importance and long-term implications, as well as higher hedonic, social, epistemic, and eudaimonic motives than low affordance scenarios, all p’s < .001. We also expect to find that appraisals and motives will predict emotion regulation preferences, over and above reappraisal affordances.

The findings demonstrate that the high and low affordance scenarios employed by Suri et al. (2017) also differ along dimensions of appraisals and motives, which may constitute an alternative explanation for their findings regarding the effect of reappraisal affordances on emotion regulation choice. The research highlights the need to consider multiple variables as predictors of emotion regulation choice.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Catherine Ortner

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The Role of Environmental Affordances, Motives, and Appraisals in Emotion Regulation Choice

Various factors influence emotion regulation strategy choice, including event intensity and environmental affordances (i.e., characteristics of the situation that may help or hinder the generation of a regulatory strategy). Suri et al. (2017) showed that intensity and affordances are often confounded, and that affordances better predict emotion regulation choice than intensity. However, the scenarios used by Suri et al. may have varied also in terms of the appraisals and emotion regulation motives that they elicit. Therefore, we tested alternative explanations for Suri et al.’s finding that reappraisal affordances predict emotion regulation choice.

In part one of the study, participants read scenarios varying in affordance and intensity, and then rated the intensity, appraisals, motives, and affordance of the event. In part two, participants received training in reappraisal and distraction, then read the same scenarios from part one, and rated their preferences for reappraisal and distraction.

High affordance scenarios elicited higher appraisals of importance and long-term implications, as well as higher hedonic, social, epistemic, and eudaimonic motives than low affordance scenarios, all p’s < .001. We also expect to find that appraisals and motives will predict emotion regulation preferences, over and above reappraisal affordances.

The findings demonstrate that the high and low affordance scenarios employed by Suri et al. (2017) also differ along dimensions of appraisals and motives, which may constitute an alternative explanation for their findings regarding the effect of reappraisal affordances on emotion regulation choice. The research highlights the need to consider multiple variables as predictors of emotion regulation choice.