Better late than never? on the dynamics of online regulation of sadness using distraction and cognitive reappraisal

Gal Sheppes, Nachshon Meiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations

Abstract

Real-life emotion regulation often occurs at some point after an emotion-triggering event (ETE) has been introduced, but most previous research has involved regulation before or after the ETE. In a series of experiments, the authors examined online regulation via distraction and cognitive reappraisal by manipulating the strategy initiation point in sadness-evoking films. Distraction was effective even when initiated late, presumably because it involves diluting the ETE contents by mixing them with a nonsad input. By contrast, reappraisal was less effective when initiated late, suggesting a possible point of no return for this strategy: Adopting a detached view late in the ETE may be difficult because it involves continued focus on the ETE and hence requires overcoming a previously formed tendency of identifying with the emotional content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1518-1532
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume33
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2007

Keywords

  • Cognitive reappraisal
  • Differential effectiveness
  • Distraction
  • Emotion regulation
  • Point of no return
  • Sadness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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