Dissertation
Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Psychology > Psychological processes and mental state > Emotions and emotional

Modulation of Emotional Responding to Fearful Picture: Comparison between Cognitive Reappraisal and Expressive Suppression

Author ChengLi
Tutor LiHong
School Southwestern University
Course Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords emotion regulation cognitive reappraisal expresses suppression Event Related Potentials (ERP)
CLC B842.6
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Emotion regulation could be defined as individuals’deliberate or automatic attempts to influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how these emotions are experienced or expressed. And emotion regulation like emotions are created as the process can be intentionally and automatically. Intentionally emotion regulation concerning individual consciously management and change their emotional process, often use a certain emotional regulation strategy and mechanism makes mood in subjective feeling, behavior expression, physiology reaction etc is changed; While automatic emotion regulation is concerned individuals without consciousness effort and automatically generated mechanism. Gross (1998) distinguished antecedent-focused ER strategies being employed to modify emotional responses before they are activated from response-focused ER strategies referring to the processes such as expressive suppression, which involves modifying emotional responses after they are elicited. Mauss also puts forward the integration model of automatic emotion regulation, which concluded antecedent-focused and response-focused ER strategies. There are two commonly used emotion regulation strategies:cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. What are differences between cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression when people regulate their emotion intentionally and automatically? This is helpful for us to understand emotional regulation in daily life, and be helpful for people’s physical and mental health.At present there are few research about the event related potential to study emotion regulation. Cognitive reappraisal strategy can efficiently reduce negative emotional physiological electricity reaction, but what about another important emotion strategy——expression suppression? In this study, we focuses on the differences between cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression when people regulate their emotion intentionally and automatically.In study 1, we measured the late-positive potential (LPP) of the visually evoked event-related brain potential to examine the effects and the differences of the two emotion regulation strategies. In study 2, we investigated (1) whether emotion regulation strategies could be learned from training, (2) whether people could use such strategies automatically depending on various emotional situations, and (3) whether the strategies had a differential impact on the LPP evoked-related potentials (ERPs) component.In study 1, results show that (1) In the terms of amplitude, comparing instructions to view, the amplitude of the LPP was decreased during instructions to cognitive reappraise and the differences were significant, while the amplitude of the LPP was decreased during instruction to expressive suppression but the differences were not significant. (2)In the terms of temporal part, the differences between instructions to cognitive reappraise and view occurred at 400ms and last to more than 600ms, while the differences between instruction to expressive suppression and view occurred at 450ms and only last to 550ms.In study 2, ES and CR groups had significant difference between pre-test and post-training both regarding their subjective fear ratings and LPP amplitude; these differences in were more significant in the ES than the CR group. It concluded emotion regulation strategies could be learned through training, and automatically used when subjects faced emotional stimuli, but changes in electrophysiological activity associated with the use of expression suppression were greater than those associated with use of cognitive reappraisal.

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