Beyond Pleasure and Pain? Emotion Regulation and Positive Psychology

Maya Tamir*, James J. Gross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This chapter argues that the fields of emotion regulation and positive psychology have been dominated by a hedonic view of optimal functioning. It first discusses the contributions of the hedonic view to both fields, and then considers its critical limitations. It then points to a broader conception of optimal functioning, which is based on a motivated view of human nature. It describes a new approach to emotion regulation that is based on this broader conception of optimal functioning and review related to empirical evidence. The chapter concludes with the hope that the instrumental approach to emotion regulation might stimulate a similar shift in positive psychology, toward a broader view of optimal functioning that acknowledges-but moves beyond-pleasure and pain.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationDesigning Positive Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationTaking Stock and Moving Forward
EditorsKennon M. Sheldon, Todd B. Kashdan, Michael F. Steger
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199893263
ISBN (Print)9780195373585
StatePublished - 1 May 2011

Publication series

NameSeries in positive psychology

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Emotion regulation
  • Instrumental approach
  • Optimal functioning
  • Positive psychology


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