ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2002, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (04): 41-50.

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Huang Miner (Department of Psychology, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275) Guo Dejun (Department of Psychology, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100089)   

  • Published:2002-08-25 Online:2002-08-25

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the emotional processes of four basic styles of emotion regulation, which were reappraisal, expressive suppression, rumination, and expressive revealing. One hundred and eighty six female participants were shown a disgusting film during which their subjective experiences, expressive behaviors, and physiological responses were recorded. Before they watched the film, the participants were told to either (a) think about the film in such a way that they would feel nothing (reappraisal, a form of antecedent focused emotion regulation); (b) behave in such a way that someone watching them would not know what they were feeling (suppression, a form of response focused emotion regulation); (c) imagine that what happened in the film were actually happening to themselves (rumination, another form of antecedent focused emotion regulation); (d) behave in such a way that they expressed their experiences as much as or even more exaggerated than they would feel (revealing, another form of response focused emotion regulation). Compared with the control condition, reappraisal was effective in reducing emotion expressive behavior, negative emotional experience, and increasing parasympathetic activation (more enhanced in inter beat interval); suppression was effective in decreasing emotion expressive behavior and increasing sympathetic activation (more increased in finger pulse amplitude), but was not effective in changing subjective experiences; rumination was effective in increasing subjective experiences; and revealing resulted in increasing subjective feeling, decreasing physiological activation, while increasing emotion expressive behavior. In summary, antecedent focused emotion regulation was more effective in the changing negative subjective experiences by modulating cognitive appraisal, and response focused emotion regulation would lead to a dynamic system like a "hydraulic model" because of regulation of expression. Every process of regulation would facilitate or handicap adaptive functioning of emotions via divergent processes of subjective experience, emotion expressive behavior and physiology.

Key words: antecedent focused regulation, response focused regulation, basic process of emotion regulation