James J Gross's research while affiliated with Stanford University and other places

Publications (580)

Preprint
Approach-avoidance conflict (AAC) arises from decisions with embedded positive and negative outcomes, and appropriate management of these decisions is essential for adaptive functioning. However, translating key advances on AAC in non-human primates to tasks in humans has proven difficult in part due to the inherent limitations in existing human ta...
Article
Full-text available
Social-evaluative stressors—experiences when the self could be negatively judged by others—pose a major threat to adolescent health via their effects on internalizing disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Preventative interventions to help adolescents improve their responses to social-evaluative stressors, however, have rarely been effective....
Preprint
Everyday experience suggests that sleep and affect are closely linked, with daytime affect influencing how we sleep, and sleep influencing subsequent affect. Yet empirical evidence for this bidirectional relationship between sleep and affect in non-clinical adult samples remains mixed, which may be due to heterogeneity in both construct definitions...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all societies worldwide. The heightened levels of stress that accompanied the crisis were also expected to affect parenting in many families. Since it is known that high levels of stress in the parenting domain can lead to a condition that has severe consequences for health and well-being, we examined whether the...
Article
Many researchers suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may have more negative effects on women than men. Accordingly, we hypothesized that women would experience greater COVID-19 related distress and more psychopathological symptoms than men during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Moreover, we expected emotion regulation strategies (cognitive rea...
Article
Full-text available
Social interactions are dynamic and unfold over time. To make sense of social interactions, people must aggregate sequential information into summary, global evaluations. But how do people do this? Here, to address this question, we conducted nine studies (N = 1,583) using a diverse set of stimuli. Our focus was a central aspect of social interacti...
Article
Objective.: Although somatic symptoms are common among mental health patients, their association with symptom severity and inpatient treatment outcomes is not yet well understood. Methods.: Using a pre-post design and latent class analysis (LCA), 641 inpatients (63.4% female) were classified based on their self-reported somatic symptoms. We exam...
Article
Maladaptive eating is one of the greatest threats to health and well-being in the 21st century. Psychological factors that drive maladaptive eating are of interest as they may offer low-cost intervention targets. One such factor is negative affect. If negative affect does lead to maladaptive eating, interventions that reduce negative affect should...
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The undoing hypothesis proposes that positive emotions serve to undo sympathetic arousal related to negative emotions and stress. However, a recent qualitative review challenged the undoing effect by presenting conflicting results. To address this issue quantitatively, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 16 studies ( N = 1,220; 72 effect sizes)...
Article
Exposure to childhood maltreatment (CM) increases the risk of developing borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it remains unclear what mechanisms might mediate this link. One candidate of interest is difficulties with emotion regulation. This study aims to examine the pattern of relations among CM, difficulties with emotion regulation, an...
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Objectives: Parental burnout is a prevalent condition that affects parents’ functioning and health. While various protective factors have been examined, little is known about their interplay. In the current study, we examined the joint effect of two protective factors against parental burnout (one external—social support, and one internal—cognitive...
Article
Recent theory conceptualizes emotion regulation as occurring across three stages: (a) identifying the need to regulate, (b) selecting a strategy, and (c) implementing that strategy to modify emotions. Yet, measurement of emotion regulation has not kept pace with these theoretical advances. In particular, widely used global self-report questionnaire...
Preprint
Individuals exhibit a systematic valence bias in response to emotional ambiguity. Accumulating evidence suggests most people initially respond to emotional ambiguity negatively, and differ only in subsequent responses. We hypothesized that trait-level cognitive reappraisal – an emotion regulation strategy involving the reinterpretation of affective...
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For the past 50 years, cognitive scientists have assumed that training attention and self-control must be effortful. However, growing evidence suggests promising effects of effortless training approaches such as nature exposure, flow experience, and effortless practice on attention and self-control. This opinion article focuses on effortless traini...
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Expressive suppression refers to the inhibition of emotion-expressive behavior (e.g., facial expressions of emotion). Although it is a commonly used emotion regulation strategy with well-documented consequences for well-being, little is known about its underlying mechanisms. In this systematic review, we for the first time synthesize functional neu...
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 (positiv...
Conference Paper
Emotion has been studied in HCI for two decades, with specific traditions interested in sensing, expressing, transmitting, modelling, experiencing, visualizing, understanding, constructing, regulating, manipulating or adapting to emotion in human-human and human-computer interactions. This CHI 2022 workshop on the Future of Emotion in Human-Compute...
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Background Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has received empirical support as a viable treatment alternative for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. Nevertheless, patients and the public-at-large may be hesitant to adopt rTMS. In three studies, we sought to (1) assess and (2) improve public perceptions of rTMS as a tre...
Article
Introduction Emotional dysfunction and dysregulation are defining features of affective disorders. People differ in their beliefs about how controllable and useful negative and positive emotions are, and the process model of emotion regulation postulates that such beliefs play a central role in determining how people progress from emotion generatio...
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Objective: Psychotherapy fragmentation constitutes a significant barrier to progress. In the present article, we argue that emotion regulation processes operate across psychotherapy approaches, serving as an overarching meta-factor of therapeutic change. Method: Two major therapeutic approaches-psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural-were examin...
Article
Background: Stimulation of the ventromedial hypothalamic region in animals has been reported to cause attack behavior labeled as sham-rage without offering information about the internal affective state of the animal being stimulated. Objective: To examine the causal effect of electrical stimulation near the ventromedial region of the human hypo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Alexithymia is a trait characterised by difficulties in processing emotions. It is a key transdiagnostic risk factor for emotion-based psychopathologies. Conceptual models specify that this is likely because alexithymia impairs emotion regulation. However, the precise nature of emotion regulation patterns in alexithymia remains underexplored. Our a...
Preprint
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There is a growing interest in HCI to envision, design, and evaluate technology-enabled interventions that support users' emotion regulation. This interest stems in part from increased recognition that the ability to regulate emotions is critical to mental health, and that a lack of effective emotion regulation is a transdiagnostic factor for menta...
Article
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Background Loneliness, especially when chronic, can substantially reduce one's quality of life. However, positive social experiences might help to break cycles of loneliness by promoting more prosocial cognitions and behaviors. Internet-mediated live video communication platforms (eg Zoom and Twitch) may offer an engaging and accessible medium to d...
Article
To make progress related to long-standing questions related to the nature of emotion, we offer the Interactive Activation and Competition framework for Emotion (IAC-E). The IAC-E is not another conventional theory of emotion. Rather, it offers a neural-network-based, algorithmic account of how emotion instances and categories arise. Our approach su...
Article
Caregivers play a crucial role in supporting the development of their children's emotion regulation. This study validated the Parental Assistance with Child Emotion Regulation (PACER) Questionnaire in a sample of 491 caregivers (M = 32.89 years) of young children ≤ 5 years. Exploratory structural equation modeling provided evidence of the instrumen...
Article
Researchers often disagree as to whether emotions are largely consistent across people and over time, or whether they are variable. They also disagree as to whether emotions are initiated by appraisals, or whether they may be initiated in diverse ways. We draw upon Parallel-Distributed-Processing to offer an algorithmic account in which features of...
Article
Cognitive reappraisal is an emotion regulation strategy that is postulated to reduce risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly the risk due to negative affect. At present, however, the brain systems and vascular pathways that may link reappraisal to CVD risk remain unclear. This study thus tested whether brain activity evo...
Article
To address anti-Black Racism, systemic change across many domains in American life will be necessary. There are many barriers to change, however, and progress requires identifying these barriers and developing tools to overcome them. Given that White individuals disproportionately occupy "gatekeeping" positions of power, one key barrier to systemic...
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Autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity is a fundamental component of emotional responding. It is not clear, however, whether positive emotional states are associated with differential ANS reactivity. To address this issue, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 120 articles (686 effect sizes, total N = 6,546), measuring ANS activity during 11 elic...
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One important long-term outcome of childhood maltreatment is thought to be impairments in intimate relationships. However, the specific nature of these impairments is not well understood. To address this gap, we examined the long-term relation of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse/neglect to four key aspects of sexuality in women and men: import...
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In Western countries, recent decades have witnessed a revolution toward gender equality. Inequalities have been greatly reduced in areas such as education or employment. Because inequalities lead to distress, this development has largely benefited women. One notable exception is the realm of parenting, which has remained rife with inequalities even...
Article
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Counter-intuitively, sociodemographic characteristics account for a small proportion of explained variance in parental burnout. The present study conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic asks whether (i) sociodemographic characteristics are more predictive of parental burnout than usual in a situation of lockdown, (ii) situational factors, that is, t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social-evaluative stressors—experiences when the self could be negatively judged by others—pose a major threat to adolescent health via their effects on internalizing disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Preventative interventions to help adolescents improve their responses to social-evaluative stressors, however, have rarely been effective....
Article
Full-text available
Policy-makers are increasingly turning to behavioural science for insights about how to improve citizens’ decisions and outcomes¹. Typically, different scientists test different intervention ideas in different samples using different outcomes over different time intervals². The lack of comparability of such individual investigations limits their po...
Article
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Introduction: Temporal summation (TS) and conditioned pain modulation (CPM) represent different aspects of central pain processing. Their relationship and differential performance within distinct body locations are not well understood. Objectives: To examine the association between TS and CPM in chronic low back pain and the influence of testing...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Loneliness, especially when chronic, can substantially reduce one’s quality of life. Positive social experiences might help to break cycles of loneliness by promoting more prosocial cognitions and behaviors. Internet-mediated live video communication platforms (eg, Zoom and Twitch) may offer an engaging and accessible medium to deliver s...
Chapter
The dynamic updating and revising of appraisals affords a crucial measure of flexibility to emotion processing from emotion generation through emotion regulation. However, much remains to be understood about the specific computations underlying appraisal shifts in iterative cycles of emotion generation and emotion regulation. In this chapter, we ar...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted families’ lives around the world. The measures used to contain transmission have led to increased stress and put parents at increased risk for parental burnout (PB). The aim of the current study was to examine the association between COVID-related parental stress and PB, and to test whether emotion regulation (ER)...
Chapter
The dynamic updating and revising of appraisals affords a crucial measure of flexibility to emotion processing from emotion generation through emotion regulation. However, much remains to be understood about the specific computations underlying appraisal shifts in iterative cycles of emotion generation and emotion regulation. In this chapter, we ar...
Article
The prevalence and impact of child maltreatment make the scientific investigation of this phenomenon a matter of vital importance. Prior research has examined associations between problematic patterns of parents' emotion reactivity and regulation and child maltreatment and maltreatment risk. However, the strength and specificity of these relationsh...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction/Background: Cognitive behaviour therapy often focuses on improving emotion regulation skills, so the assessment of emotion regulation is important. People regulate both negative and positive emotions, and their ability to do this successfully is a cornerstone of adaptive psychological functioning. However, until recently, few measures...
Article
Full-text available
Background Ever since alexithymia was defined in the 1970s, robust associations have been observed between alexithymia and a variety of symptoms of psychopathology. Alexithymia is now widely regarded as an important transdiagnostic risk factor, and it is frequently assessed in clinical and research settings. However, despite this strong interest, i...
Presentation
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Paper presented at the 2021 Conference on Transdiagnostic Approaches, 24th September, Manchester, United Kingdom (Online). Background: Ever since alexithymia was defined in the 1970s, robust associations have been observed between alexithymia and a variety of symptoms of psychopathology. Alexithymia is now widely regarded as an important transdiag...
Article
The impaired disengagement hypothesis holds that people ruminate – and thus increase their risk for depression – due to impaired attentional control and conflict signaling. We tested this hypothesis by examining the role of attentional control and conflict signaling (operationalized as positive metacognitive beliefs) in rumination and depressive sy...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by negative self-referential processing, which triggers excessive emotional reactivity. In healthy individuals, positive self-views typically predominate and are supported by regions of the default mode network (DMN) that represent self-related information and regions of the frontoparietal control netw...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: Cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) are thought to help patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) via distinct emotion-regulation mechanisms. However, no study has compared the effects of CBGT and MBSR on brain and negative emotion indicators of cognitive reappraisal and acceptance...
Article
People regulate both negative and positive emotions, and their ability to do this successfully is a cornerstone of adaptive psychological functioning. However, few measures have been available to assess emotion regulation ability across both valence domains. The Perth Emotion Regulation Competency Inventory (PERCI) was recently developed for this p...
Article
Do people who have low-quality sleep tend to have more negative affect? This question is of great public interest, and many would assume the answer is “yes.” However, previous findings have been mixed, possibly due to differing measures of sleep and affect, or to a failure to separately examine negative affect reactivity and regulation. Across two...
Article
Rationale Having low subjective social status is associated with an array of negative health outcomes. However, the mechanisms linking subjective social status to health are not yet clear. One candidate mechanism is negative affect. Researchers have proposed that having low subjective social status may be associated with higher levels of negative a...
Article
Full-text available
Background Youper is a widely used, commercially available mobile app that uses artificial intelligence therapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Objective Our study examined the acceptability and effectiveness of Youper. Further, we tested the cumulative regulation hypothesis, which posits that cumulative emotion regulation successes w...
Preprint
Social interactions are dynamic, and unfold over time. To make sense of social interactions, people must aggregate sequential information into summary, global evaluations. But how do people do this? To address this question, we conducted 9 studies (N= 1,583), using a diverse set of stimuli. Our focus was a central aspect of social interaction, name...
Article
Full-text available
Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism?
Article
People form a variety of beliefs about themselves that often carry positive or negative valence (e.g. being confident versus awkward). We suggest that, like other complex systems, the self can be modeled as a network composed of nodes (self-beliefs) and connections between them. We describe how self-network organization may vary between individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Mounting evidence demonstrates that nature exposure can have affective benefits. These include behavioral and psychophysiological responses consistent with (a) decreases in stress and negative affect; and (b) increases in subjective well‐being and positive affect. What is less clear, however, is what mechanisms are responsible for these effects. In...
Article
The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) is a self-report measure designed to assess the two most widely studied strategies of Gross' model: cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. Even though there are two Spanish adaptations of the ERQ, region-specific linguistic factors and dialects must also be considered when adapting a test for an...
Preprint
div> We evaluated whether a vibrotactile breathing pacer would influence two measures of affect during a cognitive stressor. In particular, we examined whether changes in breathing would be evident, and if so, whether these would mediate the effects of breathing pacer on self-report anxiety and skin conductance. Our results were surprising: altho...
Preprint
Full-text available
div> We evaluated whether a vibrotactile breathing pacer would influence two measures of affect during a cognitive stressor. In particular, we examined whether changes in breathing would be evident, and if so, whether these would mediate the effects of breathing pacer on self-report anxiety and skin conductance. Our results were surprising: altho...