Maya Tamir

Maya Tamir
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | HUJI · Department of Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

119
Publications
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Publications

Publications (119)
Article
Prior research has shown that clinically depressed individuals are somewhat more motivated to feel sadness and less motivated to feel happiness than nondepressed individuals are. However, what underlies these patterns is not yet clear, as people may be motivated to experience positive (vs. negative) valence, high (vs. low) arousal, or discrete emot...
Article
Like adults, children experience less empathy toward some groups compared with others. In this investigation, we propose that mothers differ in how much empathy they want their children to feel toward specific outgroups, depending on their political ideology. We suggest that how mothers want their children to feel (i.e., the motivation for their ch...
Article
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Affect is involved in many psychological phenomena, but a descriptive structure, long sought, has been elusive. Valence and arousal are fundamental, and a key question-the focus of the present study-is the relationship between them. Valence is sometimes thought to be independent of arousal, but, in some studies (representing too few societies in th...
Article
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Research on system justification theory suggests that justifying the societal status quo decreases negative emotions, leading to less collective action. In this investigation, we propose that the degree to which negative emotions mediate the link between system justification and collective action may depend upon whether individuals tend to suppress...
Article
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people worldwide. We conducted an international survey (n = 3646) examining the degree to which people's appraisals and coping activities around the pandemic predicted their health and well-being. We obtained subsamples from 12 countries—Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, India, Israel, the Netherlands,...
Article
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people worldwide. We conducted an international survey (n = 3646) examining the degree to which people's appraisals and coping activities around the pandemic predicted their health and well-being. We obtained subsamples from 12 countries—Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, India, Israel, the Netherlands,...
Article
Recent work has begun to examine the link between motivation for specific emotions and psychopathology. Yet research on this topic to date has focused primarily on depression. To understand patterns of motivation for emotions within and across affective disorders, we assessed motivation for emotions in adults at increased risk for and diagnosed wit...
Article
Accumulating research points to the importance of incremental theories of emotion. Yet, little is known about whether these beliefs change in adulthood across long time spans, and if so, whether such changes are prospectively linked to emotion regulation outcomes. In the present investigation, we tested how incremental theories of emotion change du...
Article
Psychopathy is associated with profound emotional disturbances. Yet little is known about associations between psychopathic traits and what individuals want to feel (i.e., emotion goals). Associations between psychopathy and emotion goals were investigated in two studies with nonclinical samples (N = 148 undergraduate students; N = 520 community sa...
Article
Emotion regulation is important for psychological well-being, yet we know relatively little about why, when, and how hard people try to regulate emotions. This article seeks to address these motivational issues by considering effortful emotion regulation as a unique form of cybernetic control. In any domain of self-regulation, emotions serve as ind...
Article
Emotion-regulation deficits characterize many psychiatric disorders. To understand such deficits, researchers have focused on emotion-regulation strategies. Building on a motivational approach to emotion regulation, we suggest that to understand emotion regulation in psychopathology, it is necessary to also focus on emotion goals (i.e., what people...
Article
Group-based emotions can shape group members’ behaviors and intergroup relations. Therefore, we propose that people may try to regulate emotions of outgroup members to attain ingroup goals. We call this phenomenon “motivated intergroup emotion regulation.” In four studies, conducted in both hypothetical and real-world contexts, we show that deterre...
Article
The regulation of group-based emotions has gained scholarly attention only in recent years. In this article, we review research on group-based emotion regulation, focusing on the role of motivation and distinguishing between different emotion regulation motives in the group context. For that purpose, we first define group-based emotions and their e...
Article
Full-text available
Because emotion regulation is a motivated process, one must adopt a motivational perspective to understand it. We build on the distinction between goal setting (i.e., selecting end-states to achieve) and goal striving (i.e., engaging in behaviors to achieve desired end-states). First, we discuss how these concepts apply to regulation in the emotion...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed how religiosity is related to desired emotions. We tested two competing hypotheses. First, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that strengthen foundational religious beliefs (i.e., more awe and gratitude and less pride). Second, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that prom...
Chapter
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This chapter proposes a model to identify how religion can help individuals remain calm in the face of existential concerns. Adopting an emotion regulation perspective and focusing on the existential concern related to death awareness, we propose that there are two routes by which religion can promote effective coping with fear of death. One route...
Article
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People higher (vs. lower) in religiosity differ in the emotions they typically experience, but do they also differ in how they deal with their emotions? In this investigation, we systematically tested links between religiosity and elements of emotion regulation, including beliefs regarding the controllability of emotion, the motivation to feel bett...
Article
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Sexual offenders typically experience more negative emotions and greater difficulties in regulating emotions than non-offenders. However, limited data exist on what sexual offenders want to feel (i.e., their emotion goals). Notably, emotion goals play a key role in emotion regulation and contribute to emotional experience. The present study tested...
Article
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Emotion regulation strategies have been typically studied independently of the specific emotions people try to change by using them. However, to the extent that negative emotions are inherently different from one another, people may choose different means to change them. Focusing on fear and sadness, we first mapped emotion-related content to theor...
Article
We applied self-determination theory to emotion regulation and tested the potential effects of autonomy-supportive and controlling contexts on the pursuit of emotion goals. In four experimental studies (N = 242), participants viewed a fear-eliciting film clip or emotion-eliciting pictures and were prompted to pursue emotion goals with either autono...
Article
Political and social changes in the past decade have rendered questions about religion and immigration more salient than ever. However, we know very little about the potential impact of religion as it operates in the real world on attitudes toward immigrants. In this investigation, we tested whether and how contextual religious cues in the public s...
Article
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People who are more religious tend to experience more positive affect and higher levels of life satisfaction. Current explanations for this relation include social support, meaning in life, and more positive emotional experiences. Adding cognitive reappraisal as a new mechanism, we propose that religion consistently trains people to reappraise emot...
Article
Emotion regulation involves activating an emotion goal (e.g., decrease negative emotions) and using an emotion regulation strategy (e.g., cognitive reappraisal) to pursue it. We propose that activating emotion goals and implementing means can independently affect emotion regulation. People are not always motivated to regulate emotions or to regulat...
Article
People cultivate attitudes toward various targets, including emotions. As any attitude object, attitudes toward emotions are likely constructed of affective (e.g., how much do I like or dislike emotion X?), behavioral (e.g., whether and how will I act in response to emotion X?), and cognitive (e.g., how good or bad do I think emotion X is?) compone...
Article
Difficulties with emotion regulation in depression may be linked not only to emotion regulation strategies but also to the motivation to experience certain emotions. We assessed the degree of motivation to experience happiness or sadness in major depressive disorders outside the laboratory and prospective links to clinical outcomes over time. Depre...
Article
Although selecting emotion regulation strategies constitutes means to achieve emotion goals (i.e., desired emotional states), strategy selection and goals have been studied independently. We propose that the strategies people select are often dictated by what they want to feel. We tested the possibility that emotion regulation involves choosing str...
Article
Emotions can offer instrumental benefits, but people do not always take advantage of them. In this paper, we identify one factor that might propel people to seek emotions that have instrumental value – namely, the level at which a situation is construed. According to construal level theory, construing a situation in high-level terms increases prefe...
Article
Full-text available
Prior work has shown that the experience of group-based emotions can motivate disadvantaged group members to engage in collective action. In the current research, we tested whether such action can also be driven by the motivation to induce certain emotions among the outgroup, to the extent that disadvantaged group members believe this would help th...
Article
A careful look at societies facing threat reveals a unique phenomenon in which liberals and conservatives react emotionally and attitudinally in a similar manner, rallying around the conservative flag. Previous research suggests that this rally effect is the result of liberals shifting in their attitudes and emotional responses toward the conservat...
Article
Full-text available
Do liberals and conservatives differ in their empathy toward others? This question has been difficult to resolve due to methodological constraints and common use of ideologically biased targets. To more adequately address this question, we examined how much empathy liberals and conservatives want to feel, how much empathy they actually feel, and ho...
Article
Full-text available
Recent findings show that preferences for food items can be modified without external reinforcements using the cue-approach task. In the task, the mere association of food item images with a neutral auditory cue and a speeded button press, resulted in enhanced preferences for the associated stimuli. In a series of 10 independent samples with a tota...
Article
Recent technological advancements—most notably the proliferation of tracking technologies (GPS), real-time surveying techniques, and ambulatory sensing—have allowed researchers to advance the empirical investigation of the interaction between space and emotion. Over the past few years, two approaches to the assessment of spatial-emotional interacti...
Preprint
Recent findings show that preferences for food items can be modified without external-reinforcements using the cue-approach task. In the task, the mere association of food item images with a neutral auditory cue and a speeded button press, resulted in enhanced preferences for the associated stimuli. Here, in a series of 10 independent samples with...
Article
Jamieson, Hangen, Lee, and Yaeager (2017) present their empirical findings as evidence for the effects of reappraising arousal on affective responses. This comment highlights the important contribution of the research by Jamieson and colleagues, but offers alternative ways of conceptualizing it.
Preprint
Recent findings show that preferences for food items can be modified without external-reinforcements using the cue-approach task. In the task, the mere association of food item images with a neutral auditory cue and a speeded button press, resulted in enhanced preferences for the associated stimuli. Here, in a series of 10 independent samples with...
Article
Full-text available
Which emotional experiences should people pursue to optimize happiness? According to traditional subjective well-being (SWB) research, the more pleasant emotions we experience, the happier we are. According to Aristotle, the more we experience the emotions we want to experience, the happier we are. We tested both predictions in a cross-cultural sam...
Article
People’s beliefs about their ability to control their emotions predict a range of important psychological outcomes. It is not clear, however, whether these beliefs are playing a causal role, and if so, why this might be. In the current research, we tested whether avoidance-based emotion regulation explains the link between beliefs and psychological...
Article
Emotions shape behavior, but there is some debate over the manner in which they do so. The authors propose that how emotions shape behavior depends, in part, on how people expect emotions to shape behavior. In Study 1, angry (vs. calm) participants made more money in a negotiation when they expected anger to be beneficial. In Study 2, angry (vs. ca...
Article
To succeed in self-regulation, people need to believe that it is possible to change behavior and they also need to use effective means to enable such a change. We propose that this also applies to emotion regulation. In two studies, we found that people were most successful in emotion regulation, the more they believed emotions can be controlled an...
Article
Emotion regulation is a process directed toward achieving desired emotions. People want to experience different emotions at different times and for different reasons, leading them to change emotions accordingly. Research on desired emotions has made several discoveries. First, what people want to feel varies across individuals and across situations...
Preprint
Achieving a long-lasting behavioral change is a major challenge that can have a large impact on the quality of life. Recently, it has been shown that using the cue-approach task (CAT), preferences for snack food items could be modified without external reinforcement. In the task, the mere association of images of snack food items with a neutral aud...
Article
We propose a sociocultural instrumental approach to emotion regulation. According to this approach, cultural differences in the tendency to savor rather than dampen positive emotions should be more pronounced when people are actively pursuing goals (i.e., contexts requiring higher cognitive effort) than when they are not (i.e., contexts requiring l...
Article
Research in several domains suggests that having strategic options is not always beneficial. In this paper, we tested whether having strategic options (vs. not) is helpful or harmful for regulating negative emotions. In 5 studies (N = 151) participants were presented with 1 or more strategic options prior to watching aversive images and using the s...
Article
The examination of tourists’ experiences is an essential subject in tourism scholarship. This study presents novel methods by which spatio-temporal data can be combined with physiological measures of emotion and semantic contextual information in order to obtain a comprehensive and integrative understanding of tourists’ experience in time and space...
Chapter
A motivational analysis of emotion regulation focuses on understanding what motivates people to regulate emotions, and how such motivating factors operate and shape the process and outcomes of emotion regulation. We consider emotion regulation as a process that occurs within a larger motivational network. Within this network, people use emotion reg...
Article
Why do people expose themselves to certain emotional stimuli and avoid others? We propose that what people want to feel is linked to attitudes toward emotions. In 3 studies, we show that individuals with more (vs. less) negative attitudes toward an emotion were more (vs. less) likely to avoid stimuli that induce that emotion. People who evaluated d...
Article
Full-text available
People regulate their emotions not only for hedonic reasons but also for instrumental reasons, to attain the potential benefits of emotions beyond pleasure and pain. However, such instrumental motives have rarely been examined outside the laboratory as they naturally unfold in daily life. To assess whether and how instrumental motives operate outsi...
Article
How does accountability impact political decisions? Though previous research on accountability has demonstrated its potential effects in the realms of business, elections, and more, very little research has explored the effect of citizen accountability in highly ideological, intractable, and political conflicts. This article addresses this issue, l...
Article
If good intentions pave the road to hell, what paves the road to heaven? We propose that moral judgments are based, in part, on the degree of effort exerted in performing the immoral or moral act. Because effort can serve as an index of goal importance, greater effort in performing immoral acts would lead to more negative judgments, whereas greater...
Article
Although religiosity is often accompanied by more intense emotions, we propose that people who are more religious may be better at using 1 of the most effective emotion regulation strategies-namely, cognitive reappraisal. We argue that religion, which is a meaning-making system, is linked to better cognitive reappraisal, which involves changing the...
Article
Whereas some theories of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) propose that acceptance and reappraisal conflict with one another, we propose that one component of acceptance, self-acceptance of negative emotions (being nonjudgmental of oneself for experiencing negative emotions), and reappraisal may facilitate one another. We hypothesized that emoti...
Research
Imagine yourself facing someone who might attack your group – if you could control your emotions, how would you want to feel toward that person? We argue that the goals people have for their group dictate how they want to feel on behalf of their group. We further propose that these group-based emotional preferences, in turn, influence how people ac...
Article
Imagine yourself facing someone who might attack your group-if you could control your emotions, how would you want to feel toward that person? We argue that the goals people have for their group dictate how they want to feel on behalf of their group. We further propose that these group-based emotional preferences, in turn, influence how people actu...
Article
Emotion regulation involves attempts to change the experience and expression of emotions. People engage in such attempts to satisfy either hedonic motives (i.e., to feel good in the moment) or instrumental motives (i.e., to effectively achieve their goals). To change their emotions, people can engage in a variety of strategies. While some strategie...
Article
Full-text available
Pursuing happiness can paradoxically impair well-being. Here, the authors propose the potential downsides to pursuing happiness may be specific to individualistic cultures. In collectivistic (vs. individualistic) cultures, pursuing happiness may be more successful because happiness is viewed-and thus pursued-in relatively socially engaged ways. In...
Article
Full-text available
Group-based emotions play an important role in helping people feel that they belong to their group. People are motivated to belong, but does this mean that they actively try to experience group-based emotions to increase their sense of belonging? In this investigation, we propose that people may be motivated to experience even group-based emotions...
Article
People who expect to be successful in regulating their emotions tend to experience less frequent negative emotions and are less likely to suffer from depression. It is not clear, however, whether beliefs about the likelihood of success in emotion regulation can shape actual emotion regulation success. To test this possibility, we manipulated partic...
Article
Research on deficits in emotion regulation has devoted considerable attention to emotion-regulation strategies. We propose that deficits in emotion regulation may also be related to emotion-regulation goals. We tested this possibility by assessing the direction in which depressed people chose to regulate their emotions (i.e., toward happiness, towa...
Article
Emotion regulation involves the pursuit of desired emotional states (i.e., emotion goals) in the service of superordinate motives. The nature and consequences of emotion regulation, therefore, are likely to depend on the motives it is intended to serve. Nonetheless, limited attention has been devoted to studying what motivates emotion regulation. B...
Article
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Evaluations of objects change as a function of our experience with them. We suggest that this also applies to the evaluation of emotions. In three studies, we show that the evaluation of anger changes as a function of direct experience with anger. We found that the experience of anger in a context in which it could be beneficial (i.e., an aggressiv...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals differ in their willingness to engage with disgusting stimuli (e.g., dirty diapers). We propose that such differences are associated with attitudes towards disgust. Specifically, we predicted that people with less negative attitudes towards disgust (i.e., those who evaluate disgust less negatively) would be more willing to engage with d...
Article
What motivates people to regulate the emotions of others? Prior research has shown that people are motivated to regulate the emotions of others to make others feel better. This investigation, however, was designed to test whether people are also motivated to regulate the emotions of others to promote personal instrumental benefits. We tested whethe...
Article
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Values reflect how people want to experience the world; emotions reflect how people actually experience the world. Therefore, we propose that across cultures people desire emotions that are consistent with their values. Whereas prior research focused on the desirability of specific affective states or one or two target emotions, we offer a broader...
Article
According to hedonic approaches to psychological health, healthy individuals should pursue pleasant and avoid unpleasant emotions. According to instrumental approaches, however, healthy individuals should pursue useful and avoid harmful emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant. We sought to reconcile these approaches by distinguishing between prefe...
Article
According to expectancy-value models of self-regulation, people are motivated to act in ways they expect to be useful to them. For instance, people are motivated to run when they believe running is useful, even when they have nothing to run away from. Similarly, we propose an expectancy-value model of emotion regulation, according to which people a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Religion can influence multiple points in the process of emotion regulation, including setting emotional goals and influencing intrinsic and extrinsic emotion regulation. First, religion shapes desired emotional states by setting emotional goals which are instrumental to religious values. These include awe, gratitude, joy, guilt, and hatred. Second...
Article
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Do people want to feel emotions that are familiar to them? In two studies, participants rated how much they typically felt various emotions (i.e., familiarity of the emotion) and how much they generally wanted to experience these emotions. We found that, in general, people wanted to feel pleasant emotions more than unpleasant emotions. However, for...
Article
Full-text available
Frequent use of expressive suppression to regulate one’s emotions can impair long-term health and well-being for both children and adults. Therefore, there are important pragmatic benefits to identifying contexts in which individuals learn to avoid expressive suppression. We hypothesized that individuals involved in acting classes—a context in whic...
Article
Goals can determine what people want to feel (e.g., Tamir et al., 2008), but can they do so even when they are primed outside of conscious awareness? In two studies, participants wanted to feel significantly less angry after they were implicitly primed with a collaboration goal, compared to a neutral prime. These effects were found with different i...
Article
We hypothesized that an adaptive form of emotion regulation-cognitive reappraisal-would decrease negative emotion and increase support for conflict-resolution policies. In Study 1, Israeli participants were invited to a laboratory session in which they were randomly assigned to either a cognitive-reappraisal condition or a control condition; they w...
Article
This investigation demonstrates that emotion regulation can be driven by considerations of utility per se. We show that as participants prepared for a negotiation, those who were motivated to confront (vs. collaborate with) another person believed that anger would be more useful to them. However, only participants who were motivated to confront ano...
Article
This investigation examined links between trait anger and selective attention to threats and rewards. Existing research has focused mainly on trait anxiety and is equally consistent with several competing theoretical accounts of trait emotion and visual attention. Both valence-based and motivation-based accounts predict that trait anxiety would be...
Article
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People who prefer to feel useful emotions, even when they are unpleasant to experience, must understand emotions and seek to regulate them in strategic ways. Such people, therefore, may be more emotionally intelligent compared with people who prefer to feel emotions that may not be useful for the context at hand, even if those emotions are pleasant...
Article
Is it adaptive to seek pleasant emotions and avoid unpleasant emotions all the time or seek pleasant and unpleasant emotions at the right time? Participants reported on their preferences for anger and happiness in general and in contexts in which they might be useful or not (i.e., confrontations and collaborations, respectively). People who general...
Article
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Few things seem more natural and functional than wanting to be happy. We suggest that, counter to this intuition, valuing happiness may have some surprising negative consequences. Specifically, because striving for personal gains can damage connections with others and because happiness is usually defined in terms of personal positive feelings (a pe...
Article
Reports an error in "Can seeking happiness make people happy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness" by Iris B. Mauss, Maya Tamir, Craig L. Anderson and Nicole S. Savino (Emotion, 2011, np). There was an error in the title. The title of the article should read, "Can seeking happiness make people unhappy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness....
Article
According to the instrumental approach to emotion regulation, people may want to experience even unpleasant emotions to attain instrumental benefits. Building on value-expectancy models of self-regulation, we tested whether people want to feel bad in certain contexts specifically because they expect such feelings to be useful to them. In two studie...