Emotion Knowledge, Emotion Utilization, and Emotion Regulation

Emotion Review 3 (1):44-52 (2011)
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This article suggests a way to circumvent some of the problems that follow from the lack of consensus on a definition of emotion (Izard, 2010; Kleinginna & Kleinginna, 1981) and emotion regulation (Cole, Martin, & Dennis, 2004) by adopting a conceptual framework based on discrete emotions theory and focusing on specific emotions. Discrete emotions theories assume that neural, affective, and cognitive processes differ across specific emotions and that each emotion has particular motivational and regulatory functions. Thus, efforts at regulation should target the specific dysregulated emotions. The positive effects of emotion regulation are more likely to be optimized when they result from or lead to emotion utilization—the constructive use of the energy of emotion arousal. Effective processes for regulation differ for basic emotions and emotion schemas. This article identifies neural systems that facilitate emotion experiences and emotion regulation processes. It considers the implications of the developmental change from basic emotions to emotion schemas, and also briefly discusses the effects of interventions on changes in emotion knowledge, emotion regulation, and social and emotional competence



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