ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2007, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (06): 1084-1092.

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Impacts of Different Approaches of Emotion Regulation on Memory

Li Jing,Lu Jiamei   

  1. Education College, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
  • Received:2006-05-17 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2007-11-30 Online:2007-11-30
  • Contact: Lu Jiamei

Abstract: The research on the relationship between emotion regulation and cognition is a hotly contested issue. There exists 2 major viewpoints whether emotion regulation impacts on cognition. Emotion Regulation Automatic Processing Theory states that the capacity of emotion regulation is inherent and people don’t use their cognition. Therefore, emotion regulation has no impact on people’s cognitive behaviors and their corresponding consequences. The other point is the perspective from Emotion Regulation Cognition Consumption Theory, which states that emotion regulation is self-regulation and that any kind of self-regulation has to consume psychological resources. Therefore, people have to exert their cognition, and the emotion regulation has an impact on people’s cognitive behaviors and their corresponding consequences. In recent years, Gross has contributed major research in this field. He classified emotion regulation into antecedent-focused emotion regulation and response-focused emotion regulation. According to this, different approaches of emotion regulation have different mechanisms which result in different impacts on cognition.
Memory is one important aspect of cognition. This experimental research design probes how the antecedent-focused emotion regulation and response-focused emotion regulation as well as decreased emotion regulation and increased emotion regulation affect memory . The research used a 2 stage design with experiment probes as it impacts 4 approaches of emotion regulation on memory and assessment memory. The 4 approaches of emotion regulation consist of: antecedent-focused emotion regulation (Reappraisal and rumination) and response-focused emotion regulation(expressive suppression and expressive revealing).The subjects consisted of randomly select SHNU students from several majors. There were 43 males and 78 females. Their mean age was 21.04 and standard deviation was o.96. They were divided into 5 groups, each group adopting one of the approaches. In the first stage of the experiment, the students’ emotions were measured after viewing a war movie clip. Each group viewed the movie clip from the 4 different approaches of emotion regulation. In the second stage, all subjects were required to fill out a questionnaire on self-evaluation of visual and audio memory according to their previous test. The entire process took 30 minutes.
The results reveal that: (1) Reappraisal and rumination have no significant impact on memory. Expressive suppression and expressive revealing have demonstrated significant impacts on memory due to their suppression affects auditory memory and expressive revealing affects both visual and auditory memory. (2) Reappraisal, rumination and expressive revealing have no impact on metamemory, while expressive suppression has significant impact on metamemory as it affects auditory metamemory. (3) There is neither sex nor student major differences in the impact that different emotion regulation approaches have on memory. However, as to the metamemory, there is no sex but student major differences.
Based on these results , different emotion regulation approaches have different impacts on memory and metamemory

Key words: emotion regulation, approach of emotion regulation, memory, metamemory, cognition

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