The overall goal of this application is to understand two fundamental strategies for regulating emotion. Cognitive reappraisal involves changing how one thinks about an emotion-eliciting situation in order to decrease emotion. Expressive suppression involves changing how one behaves in an emotion-eliciting situation in order to decrease emotion. Our framework is a model of emotion regulation that distinguishes among regulation strategies based on when during the emotion-generative process the strategy has its primary impact. In this model, reappraisal acts early, and efficiently shuts down the entire emotion before emotion response tendencies have been fully activated. Suppression acts later on, and inefficiently shuts down just behavior. This model suggests that reappraisal should generally have more favorable affective and social consequences than suppression. We propose to test these predictions using two complementary research approaches (experimental, correlational) and assessing multiple response domains (experiential, behavioral, autonomic, neural). Study 1 addresses how reappraisal and suppression alter affective response magnitude. Study 2 tests predictions regarding affective response coherence, and examines how dissociations between experience and behavior influence autonomic responding. To provide converging evidence for our model, Studies 3A and 3B use fMRI to examine the neural bases of the affective processes tested in Studies 1 and 2. Study 4 addresses short term social consequences of reappraisal and suppression, and tests several mediators. Study 5 takes a longer-term perspective, and examines the cumulative affective and social consequences of individual differences in the use of reappraisal and suppression with a 5-year longitudinal study of young adults undergoing two major life transitions. These programmatic and theoretically motivated studies coordinate experimental and individual-difference approaches to test the role reappraisal and suppression play inaffective and social functioning, and to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie these effects. The broad, on regulation processes, laying the foundation for advances in theory long-term objective of this research is to further our understanding of basic emotion and emotion-regulation processes, laying the foundation for advances in theory and clinical interventions that will improve psychological and physical health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-4 (01))
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Kozak, Michael J
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Stanford University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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