ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (04): 722-729.

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Automatic Emotion Regulation: Sociocultural and Neuroscientific Considerations

FAN Zhao-Feng;YU Guo-Liang   

  1. Institute of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2009-01-19 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-07-15 Published:2009-07-15
  • Contact: YU Guo-Liang

Abstract: Most prior research has focused on deliberate forms of emotion regulation but left out an important aspect of emotion regulation, namely, automatic emotion regulation (AER), which is prevalent in our daily life. Similar to automatic processing, automatic emotion regulation works effectively on any aspect of one’s emotions without making a conscious decision to do so, without paying attention to the process of regulating one’s emotions, and without engaging in deliberate control. Antecedent-focused AER (those mostly taking place before the emotion is fully initiated) seems to be relatively adaptive while response-focused AER (those mostly taking place after an emotion is initiated) seems to be relatively maladaptive. The neural correlates of response-focused AER are different from antecedent-focused AER. The notion of an adaptive type of AER is in line with sociocultural considerations. Sociocultural context plays an important role in shaping AER. Cognitive processing within AER can become automatized with repeated cultural norms and practices.

Key words: automatic emotion regulation, cultural, neuroscience, antecedent-focused AER, response-focused AER