ArticlePDF Available

Compassionate reappraisal and emotion suppression as alternatives to offense-focused rumination: Implications for forgiveness and psychophysiological well-being

Authors:

Abstract

This within subjects experiment (28 females, 26 males) examined three responses to a past interpersonal offender. We contrasted offense-focused rumination with two subsequent, counterbalanced coping strategies: compassionate reappraisal and emotion suppression. Compassionate reappraisal emphasized the offender's human qualities and need for positive change. Emotion suppression inhibited the experience and expression of negative offense-related emotions. Offense rumination was associated with negative emotion, faster heartbeats (i.e., shortened electrocardiogram R-R intervals), and lower heart rate variability (HRV; i.e., the high-frequency component of the R-R power spectrum). By contrast, both compassionate reappraisal and emotion suppression decreased negative emotion in ratings and linguistic analyses, calmed eye muscle tension (orbicularis oculi EMG, electromyography), and maintained HRV at baseline levels. Suppression inhibited negative emotion expression at the brow (corrugator EMG) and slowed cardiac R-R intervals, but without forgiveness effects. Only compassionate reappraisal significantly increased positive emotions, smiling (zygomatic EMG), and social language along with forgiveness.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... This may be a result of consistent methodology across studies, which typically involve instructions to ruminate on an anger-inducing situation or past interpersonal transgressions. As opposed to dysphoric rumination which tends to induce sadness specifically (Morrow & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1990), these tasks tend to induce anger as well as a range of negative affect, including sadness and anxiety (Witvliet, DeYoung, Hofelich, & DeYoung, 2011). State ruminating tasks that induce anger have been associated with PNS withdrawal (decreases in RSA; da Silva, Witvliet, & Riek, 2016;Ottaviani & Shapiro, 2011;Ottaviani, Shapiro, Davydov, & Goldstein, 2008;Witvliet et al., 2011;Witvliet, Knoll, Hinman, & DeYoung, 2010) and SNS activation including decreases in PEP (Ottaviani & Shapiro, 2011;Ottaviani et al., 2008;Ray, Wilhelm, & Gross, 2008) and increases in EDA (Witvliet, Ludwig, & Vander Laan, 2001). ...
... As opposed to dysphoric rumination which tends to induce sadness specifically (Morrow & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1990), these tasks tend to induce anger as well as a range of negative affect, including sadness and anxiety (Witvliet, DeYoung, Hofelich, & DeYoung, 2011). State ruminating tasks that induce anger have been associated with PNS withdrawal (decreases in RSA; da Silva, Witvliet, & Riek, 2016;Ottaviani & Shapiro, 2011;Ottaviani, Shapiro, Davydov, & Goldstein, 2008;Witvliet et al., 2011;Witvliet, Knoll, Hinman, & DeYoung, 2010) and SNS activation including decreases in PEP (Ottaviani & Shapiro, 2011;Ottaviani et al., 2008;Ray, Wilhelm, & Gross, 2008) and increases in EDA (Witvliet, Ludwig, & Vander Laan, 2001). However, other studies failed to find a significant change in PEP (da Silva et al., 2016) or RSA (Ray et al., 2008). ...
... Research on the ANS correlates of savoring is limited, yet there is reason to suspect that savoring may ameliorate the effects of dysphoric ruminating. In reaction to negative events and transgressions, positive reappraisal has been associated with higher or increased PNS control compared to ruminating (da Silva et al., 2016;Witvliet et al., 2011;Witvliet et al., 2010). Focusing on positive images and past experiences such as appreciating someone or meditating on love and kindness have consistently been linked with PNS augmentation (Garland, Bryan, Nakamura, Froeliger, & Howard, 2017;Kok et al., 2013;McCraty, Atkinson, Tiller, Rein, & Watkins, 1995). ...
Article
Full-text available
Trait dysphoric rumination is a transdiagnostic factor associated with depression and anxiety that has also been linked with blunted respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of reduced emotion regulation capacity. However, the autonomic correlates of state dysphoric rumination remain unclear. We examined the physiological correlates of state dysphoric rumination and the potential repairing effects of savoring on autonomic functioning. To provide a comprehensive assessment of autonomic correlates, we examined changes in parasympathetic (RSA) and sympathetic (cardiac pre-ejection period, PEP; and electrodermal activity, EDA) arousal independently, as well as autonomic coordination among indices. Eighty-two women (ages 18-25) completed laboratory physiological assessments, including rumination and savoring tasks, and self-report measures of trait rumination. Dysphoric rumination was associated with sympathetic activation (i.e., decreases in PEP, increases in EDA), and subsequent Savoring following a recovery period also corresponded with decreases in PEP. Trait rumination did not predict autonomic changes during state rumination. However, higher trait rumination was associated with greater sympathetic coordination (PEP-EDA correspondence) during savoring. In summary, dysphoric rumination co-occurred with sympathetic activation, and subsequent savoring successfully recruited sympathetic activity (PEP) redirected on positive moods and events. Results also emphasize the utility of examining sympathetic and parasympathetic indices, and coordination among autonomic indices to delineate autonomic activity associated with emotion regulation strategies.
... Nevertheless, the assessment of the effectiveness of ER strategies has led to inconsistent findings across the different types of measures. During the performance of ER tasks, self-report had consistently shown reappraisal producing greater reduction in negative emotions, compared to suppression (Hendricks and Buchanan, 2016;Livingstone and Isaacowitz, 2018;Urry, 2009;Witvliet et al., 2011). However, other measures provide less consistent evidence. ...
... EMG studies registering the activity of zygomaticus major, "a muscle of smiling", to assess ER are sparse, especially concerning the downregulation of negative emotions. In a study of Witvliet and colleagues, reappraisal evoked marginally larger activity compared to suppression (Witvliet et al., 2011). The EMG of corrugator supercilii, "a muscle of frowning", on the other hand, has largely been deployed to assess ER. ...
... Urry (2009) did not find difference between regulation and no-regulation. Witvliet et al. (2011) reported no difference in heart rate between reappraisal and suppression. ...
Article
Effectiveness of various emotion regulation (ER) strategies have received much attention in recent research. Among the most studied ER strategies are cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. However, the evidence of their effectiveness is controversial and depends on the measures used. The aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression strategies of ER via different measures such as self-report, facial expressions (zygomaticus major and corrugator supercilii electromyography), and physiological assessment (skin conductance response and heart rate deceleration). Participants were presented with intensely unpleasant or neutral pictures and performed ER tasks. We expected that the implementation of ER strategies would reduce negative emotions, and cognitive reappraisal would produce greater reduction in negative emotions compared to expressive suppression. Self-report data showed that reappraisal had a greater effect on the reduction of negative emotions compared to suppression. There was no difference between reappraisal and suppression assessed with skin conductance response and electromyography. Curiously, heart rate deceleration increased while participants tried to suppress their emotional expressions, which could reflect efforts exerted in the attempt to suppress. The ER strategies reduced negative emotions during the presentation of unpleasant pictures partially in skin conductance response and heart rate deceleration. Overall, reappraisal is more effective in changing subjective experience, whereas the physiological reactions do not differ substantially between the two ER strategies explored. We therefore recommend that the assessment of ER strategies in the laboratory should accommodate more than one type of measures to come to more reliable conclusions.
... people to hold offenders accountable for their wrongdoing while also acknowledging aspects of reality that resist the effects of rumination. Each of these reappraisal types has significantly increased forgiveness and positive emotion, while decreasing the intensity and negativity of emotion, and quelling stress physiology (Baker, Williams, Witvliet, & Hill, 2017;Witvliet, DeYoung, Hofelich, & DeYoung, 2011;Witvliet et al., 2010;Witvliet, Hofelich Mohr, Hinman, & Knoll, 2015). ...
... Compassionate reappraisal acknowledges the humanity of the offender and desires good change for the person whose offense is evidence of his or her need to improve. In two studies, this approach to compassion was compared to suppression of one's negative emotions about an offense as an alternative to rumination (Witvliet et al., 2011(Witvliet et al., , 2015, measuring effects on empathy and forgiveness, as well as participants' emotional states. Within participants (Witvliet et al., 2011), compassionate reappraisal reliably increased empathy and forgiveness, positive emotions, smiling (zygomatic muscle contraction), and the use of social words to describe one's experience, all in comparison to rumination. ...
... In two studies, this approach to compassion was compared to suppression of one's negative emotions about an offense as an alternative to rumination (Witvliet et al., 2011(Witvliet et al., , 2015, measuring effects on empathy and forgiveness, as well as participants' emotional states. Within participants (Witvliet et al., 2011), compassionate reappraisal reliably increased empathy and forgiveness, positive emotions, smiling (zygomatic muscle contraction), and the use of social words to describe one's experience, all in comparison to rumination. Compassion and suppression prompted similar decreases in arousal, negative emotion ratings and writing, and eye muscle tension, while maintaining cardiac parasympathetic responses (i.e., high frequency heart rate variability) at baseline levels. ...
Article
Evidence commends individual use of compassionate and benefit-focused reappraisals to increase empathy and forgiveness, yet the impact of using both reappraisal strategies consecutively is unknown. Building programmatically on experimental research with practice-oriented implications, participants (99 females, 99 males) first relived an unresolved interpersonal offense for which they held another person accountable. Next, they engaged in back-to-back compassionate and benefit-focused reappraisals, counterbalanced within gender. While both reappraisal types facilitated empathic and forgiving responses, interaction effects showed that reappraisal order mattered. Participants who first reappraised with compassion increased their empathy and benevolence and decreased their avoidance; these levels were sustained during subsequent benefit-focused reappraisal. Participants who first reappraised with benefit finding and then compassion showed two back-to-back increases in empathy and benevolence, and decreases in avoidance. Use of negative emotion language about offenders did not decrease until two reappraisal strategies were completed. Overall, findings commend consecutive reappraisals to strengthen and sustain forgiveness. Free e-print: www.tandfonline.com/eprint/YGK2qxXIhhV2wUVskUyW/full?target=10.1080/17439760.2019.1615104
... This shows the benefit of including various levels of measurement (emotion components) in the research-each of these levels provides us with unique information about the course of emotion control and each is equally important. Such research would be greatly facilitated by the fact that established indicators of ER effectiveness on each of these levels are available, for example: (1) Heart Rate Variability on a physiological level (Appelhans and Luecken, 2006;Thayer and Lane, 2009;Denson et al., 2011;Witvliet et al., 2011), (2) specific face muscle activity as measured with electromyography (EMG) as an indicator of the strength of emotional expression (Ray et al., 2010;Witvliet et al., 2011). On the neurophysiological level evoked potentials like Late Positive Potential (LPP; MacNamara et al., 2009;Thiruchselvam et al., 2011;Hajcak et al., 2014) have proven to be useful in previous research. ...
... This shows the benefit of including various levels of measurement (emotion components) in the research-each of these levels provides us with unique information about the course of emotion control and each is equally important. Such research would be greatly facilitated by the fact that established indicators of ER effectiveness on each of these levels are available, for example: (1) Heart Rate Variability on a physiological level (Appelhans and Luecken, 2006;Thayer and Lane, 2009;Denson et al., 2011;Witvliet et al., 2011), (2) specific face muscle activity as measured with electromyography (EMG) as an indicator of the strength of emotional expression (Ray et al., 2010;Witvliet et al., 2011). On the neurophysiological level evoked potentials like Late Positive Potential (LPP; MacNamara et al., 2009;Thiruchselvam et al., 2011;Hajcak et al., 2014) have proven to be useful in previous research. ...
... For instance, women often score higher in negative affect, especially for anxiety and depression (Fujita et al., 1991;Parker & Brotchie, 2010;Thomsen et al., 2005). In addition, emotion regulation which affects emotional experience and expression (Baker et al., 2017;Gross, 1998;Gross & John, 2003;Thomsen et al., 2005) and which is related to forgiveness (Baker et al., 2017;Hodgson & Wertheim, 2007;Mami et al., 2019;McCullough et al., 2001;Witvliet et al., 2010Witvliet et al., , 2011Witvliet et al., , 2015, might be gender-related (Gross & John, 2003;Koch et al., 2007;Matud, 2004;McRae et al., 2008;Thomsen et al., 2005). Summing up, our reasoning points to gender differentiation in forgivingness and its associations with emotional variables. ...
Article
This study explores gender and age differences in forgivingness using the crosscultural and stress-and-coping perspective. Polish and Italian versions of the Heartland Forgiveness scale (HFS) were used. The sample consisted of 1957 individuals aged 18–80 (61% females and 39% males). A 3-way between groups ANOVA was used to examine the main effects and interactions of country, age and gender as they relate to total HFS score. Post-hoc analyses were performed where appropriate. The results revealed that Polish and Italian respondents did not differ in the level of the general tendency to forgive. Gender differences in trait forgiveness were reported in whole sample and in Italian subsample, showing males to be more forgiving than females. Further, our results for all study participants, in Polish subsample and among Italian males showed that older adults were more forgiving than young respondents, which is consistent with the previous findings showing an increase in forgivingness with age.
... For instance, women often score higher in negative affect, especially for anxiety and depression (Fujita et al., 1991;Parker & Brotchie, 2010;Thomsen et al., 2005). In addition, emotion regulation which affects emotional experience and expression (Baker et al., 2017;Gross, 1998;Gross & John, 2003;Thomsen et al., 2005) and which is related to forgiveness (Baker et al., 2017;Hodgson & Wertheim, 2007;Mami et al., 2019;McCullough et al., 2001;Witvliet et al., 2010Witvliet et al., , 2011Witvliet et al., , 2015, might be gender-related (Gross & John, 2003;Koch et al., 2007;Matud, 2004;McRae et al., 2008;Thomsen et al., 2005). Summing up, our reasoning points to gender differentiation in forgivingness and its associations with emotional variables. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although women are believed to be more forgiving than men, the results of many studies comparing women with men vary. Moreover, little is known about unique correlates or differential patterns of experiencing forgiveness by gender. In the present study, we compared men and women in terms of their level of dispositional forgiveness and its emotional correlates, namely positive and negative affect, anxiety, and emotional control. The sample consisted of 625 individuals aged 19–69, of whom 478 (76.5%) were women and 147 (23.5%) were men. Polish versions of the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), the Courtauld Emotional Control Scale (CECS), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used. Men showed a higher level of general forgiveness and greater willingness to overcome unforgiveness than women, but there was no significant difference in positive facets of the disposition to forgive. In both genders negative affect, anxiety, and control of anger and of depression were negatively related to dimensions of dispositional forgiveness, and positive affect was positively associated with forgiveness. In females control of anxiety was negatively and in males it was positively related to facets of forgiveness. Gender moderated a number of links between affective traits and forgiveness of self and of situations beyond control, but not forgiveness of others.
... This transformation of feelings and thoughts entails motivation to have a good relationship with an undeserving perpetrator. All these psychological changes move a person not only toward forgiveness and to reconciliation, but they also result in improvement of one's overall health and wellbeing (Worthington et al. 2007;Witvliet et al. 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
The paper presents the concept of emotional and decisional forgiveness proposed by Worthington et al. (Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 291–302, 2007) and employing the Polish versions of the Decision to Forgive Scale and Emotional Forgiveness Scale developed in line with this theory. Both scales are tools measuring episodic forgiveness is forgiveness for a specific transgression that is made once. Decisional forgiveness is a declaration to forgive, whereas emotional forgiveness is a “change of heart”. The results of exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis showed that the structure of the Polish scales is exactly the same as of the original tools, i.e., in case of the DTFS, a one-factor solution (CFI = .998, GFI = .990, RMSEA = .042), and in case of the EFS, a two-factor solution (CFI = .987; GFI = .984; RMSEA = .051). The Polish versions of the DTFS and EFS were significantly correlated with other tools of forgiveness (TRIM-18 – episodic forgiveness and HFS– dispositional forgiveness).
... Persistent activation in the absence of stressors (e.g., elevated rate pressure products, impaired HR variability during the recovery period) is more likely to accumulate in adverse effects over time. Prior research has shown that rumination about an interpersonal offense reliably impairs HR variability, an indicator of vagal tone and parasympathetic activity (Witvliet et al., 2010(Witvliet et al., , 2011. Unforgiveness-when chronic-has been hypothesized to increase the risk of coronary heart disease (for a review, see Harris and Thoresen, 2005) and stress-related disorders (for a review, see Witvliet et al.,in press 6 ). ...
Article
Full-text available
Apology and restitution each represents wrongdoers’ accountable repair responses that have promoted victims’ self-reported empathy and forgiveness in crime scenario research. The current study measured emotional and stress-related dependent variables including physiological measures, to illuminate the links between predictors of forgiveness and health-relevant side effects. Specifically, we tested the independent and interactive effects of apology and restitution on forgiveness, emotion self-reports, and facial responses, as well as cardiac measures associated with stress in 32 males and 29 females. Apology and restitution each independently increased empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, and positive emotions, while reducing unforgiveness, negative emotion, and muscle activity above the brow (corrugator supercilii, CS). The presence of a thorough apology—regardless of whether restitution was present—also calmed heart rate, reduced rate pressure products indicative of cardiac stress, and decreased muscle activity under the eye (orbicularis oculi, OO). Interactions pointed to the more potent effects of restitution compared to apology for reducing unforgiveness and anger, while elevating positivity and gratitude. The findings point to distinctive impacts of apology and restitution as factors that foster forgiveness, along with emotional and embodied changes relevant to health.
Article
Background: The process of forgiveness is proposed to reduce patient and family conflict and suffering in the face of life-limiting illness. However, it is unclear which theoretical perspectives underpin the concept of forgiveness in palliative care, and how culture may influence it. Objectives: To identify and synthesize primary evidence that underpins the concept of forgiveness within palliative care, and identify theoretical perspectives, including cultural assumptions. Design: A systematic review of studies on forgiveness in palliative care regardless of design was prospectively registered on PROSPERO. Narrative synthesis was conducted and the modified Seven-Point Checklist and modified Status Assessment Tool applied to appraise study quality (level 1) and contributions to theory building (level 2). Data Sources: Reference chaining and hand-searching were conducted for 10 electronic databases from 1960 to June 30, 2020. Results: Thirty-nine studies were included. Seven provided a definition of forgiveness, and six studies reported a process model. Twelve patient studies scored "high" on quality level 1 and nine scored "high" on level 2. Conceptualization of forgiveness included a conscious decision to abandon negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with conflicts, to find positive outcomes through processing of negative affect and cognitive reframing of conflicts. The process of forgiveness develops through time paralleled by an attributional movement from an external to an internal locus of control. Theoretical perspectives of systems, exchange and choice, social constructionism, behaviorism, and humanism were identified. Cultural contexts impact forgiveness. Conclusion: The synthesized model is based on primary evidence of mixed quality. Future research needs better theoretical conceptualization utilizing cultural perspectives. Forgiveness interventions with consideration of cultural influences are encouraged.
Article
We examined whether positive and negative emotion regulation (ER) goals while cognitively reappraising amusing stimuli differentially engage positive (PA) and negative affect (NA) systems. Forty-eight women watched 20–30s amusing film clips. They were instructed to either respond naturally (no ER goal) or emphasize the film clips' positive (positive ER goal) or negative (negative ER goal) aspects in their interpretation. We measured PA and NA system activity on experiential, expressive, and physiological response channels through self-reported amusement and disgust, electromyography of zygomaticus major and corrugator supercilii, and autonomic nervous system reactivity from respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and pre-ejection period (PEP). Natural viewing (no ER goal) of amusing clips increased self-reported amusement (and to a lesser degree disgust), zygomaticus reactivity, and RSA. Compared to no and negative ER goals, reappraising the amusing clips with a positive ER goal decreased corrugator reactivity, decreasing negative emotional expression. Compared to no and positive ER goals, reappraising the amusing clips with a negative ER goal decreased self-reported amusement and zygomaticus reactivity and increased self-reported disgust and corrugator reactivity, decreasing positive and increasing negative emotional experience and expression. We conclude that positive and negative ER goals while reappraising amusing stimuli differentially engaged PA and NA systems: The positive ER goal engaged withdrawal of the expressive NA system, whereas the negative ER goal engaged reciprocal NA–PA system activation on experiential and expressive response channels.
Article
Full-text available
Undergraduate student volunteers (N=97) were randomly assigned to one of two six-hour forgiveness psychoeducational seminars or to a wait-list control group. Based on attachment theory, forgiveness was conceptualized in relation to the care-giving behavioral system (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). Both the Empathy Forgiveness Seminar and the Self-enhancement Forgiveness Seminar facilitated forgiveness to a greater degree than the wait-list control group at post-test and six-week follow-up. Empathy mediated changes in participants' forgiveness scores regardless of seminar condition. Shame-proneness was negatively related to post-test forgiveness scores and guilt-proneness was positively related to forgiveness at post-test and follow-up. Implications for interventions are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Is there an adaptive side to rumination? We tested whether rumination that is focused on correcting past mistakes and active goal achievement could produce positive outcomes; this is in contrast to rumination that focuses on the implications of failure (i.e., state rumination) and task-irrelevant rumination. in all studies, participants received failure feedback on an initial task. a second task similar to the first provided an opportunity for improvement. Studies 1 and 2 manipulated type of ruminative thought such that it was action-focused, state-focused, or task-irrelevant. action-focused rumination led to performance improvement relative to the other two conditions. experiment 3 allowed participants to ruminate naturalistically. the more that participants' rumination contained action-focused thoughts, the more their performance improved. hence, rumination can yield benefits if it focuses on correcting errors and goal attainment.
Article
Full-text available
Warmth-based virtues (e.g., love, compassion, forgiveness) create social ecologies of emotional support and altruistic concern. Conscientiousness-based virtues (e.g., self-control, moderation, justice) create social ecologies of reciprocal exchange, fairness, and constrained competition. College students (N=29) who have been crime victims (or are friends or family members of victims) were assessed on their valuing of the two classes of virtues, their perception that justice had been (or would be) achieved, and their empathy for the criminal offender. Valuing warmth-based virtues, but not conscientiousness-based virtues, predicted forgiveness of the offender. This relationship held when controlling for empathy and perceived justice. Valuing both classes of virtues predicted lower revenge motivations. We discuss retributive justice and restorative justice in terms of the two classes of virtues.
Article
Full-text available
This repeated measures psychophysiology experiment studied three responses to a past interpersonal offense (38 females and 33 males). We compared rumination with two offense reappraisal strategies. Compassion-focused reappraisal emphasized the offender's humanity, and interpreted the transgression as evidence of the offender's need for positive transformation. Benefit-focused reappraisal emphasized insights gained or strengths shown in facing the offense. Supporting the manipulations, compassion-focused reappraisal stimulated the most empathy and forgiveness, whereas benefit-focused reappraisal prompted the most benefit language and gratitude. Both reappraisals decreased aroused, negative emotion, and related facial muscle tension at the brow (corrugator). Both reappraisals increased happiness and positive emotion in ratings and linguistic analyses. Compassion stimulated the greatest social language, calmed tension under the eye (orbicularis oculi), and slowed heart beats (R–R intervals). A focus on benefits prompted the greatest joy, stimulated smiling (zygomatic) activity, and buffered the parasympathetic nervous system against rumination's adverse effects on heart rate variability (HRV).
Article
The mental control of mood and mood-related thought was investigated. In Experiment 1, Ss reminiscing about a happy or sad event were asked to make their mood positive, were given no instructions, or were asked to make their mood negative. Ss attempting mood control without an imposed cognitive load were successful, whereas those who attempted control while rehearsing a 9-digit number not only failed to control their moods but also showed self-reported mood change opposite the mood they intended to create. In Experiment 2, Ss attempting to control mood-related thoughts under cognitive load showed increased accessibility of those thoughts contrary to the direction of intended control in a Stroop-type color-naming task.
Chapter
Our purpose in this chapter is to address the possible health connections of forgiveness, which we view as one way of expressing altruism (see Post, 2003). Because attempts to forgive may not always be born out of purely altruistic concerns, and definitions of forgiveness vary, it is important to present our view of forgiveness and to distinguish it from what it is not. Links with health are likely to hinge on a view of forgiveness that distinguishes it from pseudoforgiveness. For example, it is important not to confuse granting forgiveness with forbearing (McCullough, Fincham, & Tsang, 2003), denying, ignoring, minimizing, tolerating, condoning, excusing, forgetting the offense, suppressing one's emotions about it, or reconciling (see Baskin & Enright, 2004; Enright & Human Development Study Group, 1991). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
To examine the effectiveness of various affect regulation strategies and categories of affect regulation strategies, a meta-analysis was conducted. Results generally indicate that reappraisal (d=0.65) and distraction (d=0.46 for all studies; d=0.95 for studies with a negative or no affect induction) are the most effective regulation/repair strategies, producing the largest hedonic shift in affect. The effectiveness of different categories of regulation/repair strategies depended on the valence of the preceding affect induction. Results also indicate that stronger affect inductions and the use of bivariate affect measures will provide a richer understanding of affect regulation. Additionally, not all specific strategies or categories of strategies have been researched and the impact of individual differences on affect regulation has received relatively little attention. Finally, results indicate that control conditions in affect regulation research may not provide a valid point for comparison, as they facilitate effective affect repair.