Successful emotion regulation requires both conviction and skill: beliefs about the controllability of emotions, reappraisal, and regulation success

Tony Gutentag*, Eran Halperin, Roni Porat, Yochanan E. Bigman, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

To succeed in self-regulation, people need to believe that it is possible to change behaviour and they also need to use effective means to enable such a change. We propose that this also applies to emotion regulation. In two studies, we found that people were most successful in emotion regulation, the more they believed emotions can be controlled and the more they used an effective emotion regulation strategy–namely, cognitive reappraisal. Cognitive reappraisal moderated the link between beliefs about the controllability of emotion and success in emotion regulation, when reappraisal was measured as a trait (Study 1) or manipulated (Study 2). Such moderation was found when examining the regulation of disgust elicited by emotion-inducing films (Study 1), and the regulation of anger elicited by real political events (Study 2). We discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice in emotion regulation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1225-1233
Number of pages9
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • emotion regulation
  • incremental beliefs
  • reappraisal

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