How to handle anxiety: The effects of reappraisal, acceptance, and suppression strategies on anxious arousal.
ABSTRACT It has been suggested that reappraisal strategies are more effective than suppression strategies for regulating emotions. Recently, proponents of the acceptance-based behavior therapy movement have further emphasized the importance of acceptance-based emotion regulation techniques. In order to directly compare these different emotion regulation strategies, 202 volunteers were asked to give an impromptu speech in front of a video camera. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The Reappraisal group was instructed to regulate their anxious arousal by reappraising the situation; the Suppression group was asked to suppress their anxious behaviors; and the Acceptance group was instructed to accept their anxiety. As expected, the Suppression group showed a greater increase in heart rate from baseline than the Reappraisal and Acceptance groups. Moreover, the Suppression group reported more anxiety than the Reappraisal group. However, the Acceptance and Suppression groups did not differ in their subjective anxiety response. These results suggest that both reappraising and accepting anxiety is more effective for moderating the physiological arousal than suppressing anxiety. However, reappraising is more effective for moderating the subjective feeling of anxiety than attempts to suppress or accept it.
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ABSTRACT: An emerging literature has begun to document the affective consequences of emotion regulation. Little is known, however, about whether emotion regulation also has cognitive consequences. A process model of emotion suggests that expressive suppression should reduce memory for emotional events but that reappraisal should not. Three studies tested this hypothesis. Study 1 experimentally manipulated expressive suppression during film viewing, showing that suppression led to poorer memory for the details of the film. Study 2 manipulated expressive suppression and reappraisal during slide viewing. Only suppression led to poorer slide memory. Study 3 examined individual differences in typical expressive suppression and reappraisal and found that suppression was associated with poorer self-reported and objective memory but that reappraisal was not. Together, these studies suggest that the cognitive costs of keeping one's cool may vary according to how this is done.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 10/2000; 79(3):410-24. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent studies have highlighted the role of right-sided anterior temporal and prefrontal activation during anxiety, yet no study has been performed with social phobics that assesses regional brain and autonomic function. This study compared electroencephalograms (EEGs) and autonomic activity in social phobics and controls while they anticipated making a public speech. Electroencephalograms from 14 scalp locations, heart rate, and blood pressure were recorded while 18 DSM-IV social phobics and 10 controls anticipated making a public speech, as well as immediately after the speech was made. Self-reports of anxiety and affect were also obtained. Phobics showed a significantly greater increase in anxiety and negative affect during the anticipation condition compared with controls. Heart rate was elevated in the phobics relative to the controls in most conditions. Phobics showed a marked increase in right-sided activation in the anterior temporal and lateral prefrontal scalp regions. These heart rate and EEG changes together accounted for > 48% of the variance in the increase in negative affect during the anticipation phase. These findings support the hypothesis of right-sided anterior cortical activation during anxiety and indicate that the combination of EEG and heart rate changes during anticipation account for substantial variance in reported negative affect.Biological Psychiatry 01/2000; 47(2):85-95. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Successful control of affect partly depends on the capacity to modulate negative emotional responses through the use of cognitive strategies. Although the capacity to regulate emotions is critical to mental well-being, its neural substrates remain unclear. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to ascertain brain regions involved in the voluntary regulation of emotion and whether dynamic changes in negative emotional experience can modulate their activation. Fourteen healthy subjects were scanned while they either maintained the negative affect evoked by highly arousing and aversive pictures (e.g., experience naturally) or suppressed their affect using cognitive reappraisal. In addition to a condition-based analysis, online subjective ratings of intensity of negative affect were used as covariates of brain activity. Inhibition of negative affect was associated with activation of dorsal anterior cingulate, dorsal medial prefrontal, and lateral prefrontal cortices, and attenuation of brain activity within limbic regions (e.g., nucleus accumbens/extended amygdala). Furthermore, activity within dorsal anterior cingulate was inversely related to intensity of negative affect, whereas activation of the amygdala was positively covaried with increasing negative affect. These findings highlight a functional dissociation of corticolimbic brain responses, involving enhanced activation of prefrontal cortex and attenuation of limbic areas, during volitional suppression of negative emotion.Biological Psychiatry 03/2005; 57(3):210-9. · 9.25 Impact Factor