An expectancy-value model of emotion regulation: Implications for motivation, emotional experience, and decision making

Maya Tamir*, Yochanan E. Bigman, Emily Rhodes, James Salerno, Jenna Schreier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to expectancy-value models of self-regulation, people are motivated to act in ways they expect to be useful to them. For instance, people are motivated to run when they believe running is useful, even when they have nothing to run away from. Similarly, we propose an expectancy-value model of emotion regulation, according to which people are motivated to emote in ways they expect to be useful to them, regardless of immediate contextual demands. For instance, people may be motivated to get angry when they believe anger is useful, even when there is nothing to be angry about. In 5 studies, we demonstrate that leading people to expect an emotion to be useful increased their motivation to experience that emotion (Studies 1-5), led them to up-regulate the experience of that emotion (Studies 3-4), and led to emotion-consistent behavior (Study 4). Our hypotheses were supported when we manipulated the expected value of anxiety (Study 1) and anger (Studies 2-5), both consciously (Studies 1-4) and unconsciously (Study 5). We discuss the theoretical and pragmatic implications of the proposed model.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)90-103
Number of pages14
JournalEmotion
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.

Keywords

  • Aexpectancies
  • Decision making
  • Emotion regulation
  • Self-regulation

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