Effects of incidental positive emotion and cognitive reappraisal on affective responses to negative stimuli

Cognition and Emotion 33 (6):1155-1168 (2019)
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ABSTRACTPrevious studies have identified two powerful ways to regulate emotional responses to a stressor: experiencing incidental positive emotions and using cognitive reappraisal to reframe the stressor. Several cognitive and motivational theories of positive emotion support the formulation that incidental positive emotions may facilitate cognitive reappraisal. To test the separate and interacting effects of positive emotions and cognitive reappraisal, we first adapted an established picture-based reappraisal paradigm by interspersing blocks of positive emotion inducing and neutral pictures. Across two pre-registered studies, reappraisal effectively decreased self-reported negative emotions and increased self-reported positive emotions; however, experiencing incidental positive emotions did not facilitate reappraisal success. In another preregistered study, we employed a more powerful positive emotion induction via virtual reality, used a social stress anticipation task, and...



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