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Advances in Psychological Science    2015, Vol. 23 Issue (12) : 2054-2063     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.02054
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Implicit Emotion Regulation: Protecting the Self Against Escalating Affective States
REN Jun; ZHU Qiongchang
(College of Teacher Education, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China)
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Implicit emotion regulation is an important form of emotion regulation. It is a process aimed at modifying the quality, intensity, or duration of an emotional response without the need for conscious supervision or explicit intentions. The underlying psychological mechanism of implicit emotion regulation is automatic counter-regulation, which produces balance in affective processing and thus protects the self against escalating affective and motivational states. Experimental studies of counter-regulation typically comprise of two successive steps, which are (1) inducing a particular emotion (positive vs. negative), (2) establishing an implicit counter-regulation process. Implicit emotion regulation mainly activates the anterior cingulate cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral medial prefrontal cortex. The main forms of implicit emotion regulation are implicit cognitive reappraisal, affect labeling and habitual practice. The efficiency of implicit emotion regulation is also affected by individual differences (e.g., action vs. state orientation, psychopathology), and by the intensity of emotional experience (automatic counter-regulation is stronger for intense emotions).

Keywords implicit emotion regulation      implicit cognitive reappraisal      affect labeling;habitual practice      neural base     
Corresponding Authors: REN Jun, E-mail:   
Issue Date: 15 December 2015
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REN Jun,ZHU Qiongchang. Implicit Emotion Regulation: Protecting the Self Against Escalating Affective States[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2015, 23(12): 2054-2063.
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