Social Cognitive Factors in Emotion Regulation: Implications for Well-Being

Maya Tamir*, Iris B. Mauss

*Corresponding author for this work

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

59 Scopus citations


Building on social cognitive theories, we argue that similar to other forms of self-regulation, emotion regulation is influenced by three social cognitive-factors: first, beliefs about controllability and self-efficacy; second, values and goals; and, third, strategies and competencies. Whereas strategies and competencies have received considerable attention in the emotion regulation literature, this has not been the case for the other two factors. In this chapter, we argue that these factors nonetheless play a crucial role in emotion regulation, because they may determine whether and how people regulate their emotions. We propose that beliefs about the controllability of emotion and people's sense of self-efficacy in emotion regulation influence whether people initiate emotion regulation. The extent to which people value certain emotions and the emotions they want to feel influence which emotions people decide to regulate and the direction in which they regulate them. Finally, the strategies used to regulate emotion and people's emotion regulation skills influence the means with which people attempt to regulate their emotions and how successful they are. For each of these social-cognitive factors, we highlight several theoretical predictions, review related empirical research, and discuss implications for well-being. We conclude by highlighting relevant future directions.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationEmotion Regulation and Well-Being
EditorsIvan Nyklíček, Ad Vingerhoets, Marcel Zeelenberg
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages17
Edition1st edition
ISBN (Print)9781441969521
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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