ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (6): 905-919.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00905

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


谢慧1, 林轩怡1, 胡婉柔1, 胡晓晴1,2()   

  1. 1香港大学心理学系, 香港 999077
    2香港大学脑与认知科学国家重点实验室, 香港 999077
  • 收稿日期:2022-07-09 发布日期:2023-03-06 出版日期:2023-06-25
  • 通讯作者: 胡晓晴, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

Emotion regulation promotes forgetting of negative social feedback: Behavioral and EEG evidence

XIE Hui1, LIN Xuanyi1, HU Wanrou1, HU Xiaoqing1,2()   

  1. 1Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
    2The State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Received:2022-07-09 Online:2023-03-06 Published:2023-06-25


同伴排斥、人际拒绝等负性社会反馈会带来社会疼痛。难以忘记的负性社会反馈会给人造成持久的精神痛苦, 进而损害心理健康。本研究利用社会评价范式, 结合脑电数据考察了情绪调节对负性社会反馈情绪反应和记忆的潜在益处及其认知神经机制。被试在同伴评价的场景下, 通过观看他人对自己的负性社会反馈来诱发社会疼痛, 进而考察情绪调节(认知重评和分心)如何缓解社会疼痛, 以及是否会促进对负性反馈记忆的遗忘。研究同时考察了抑郁症状如何影响情绪调节的效率。结果表明:认知重评和分心均可以有效地帮助被试降低社会疼痛体验, 并在短期和长期都能够促进负性社会反馈的遗忘。在考察抑郁症状如何影响情绪调节过程的脑电活动时我们发现, 当使用分心策略时, 中央顶区的晚正电位(late positive potential, LPP)波幅与抑郁分数呈负相关。进一步对认知重评和分心两种情绪调节策略的全脑电位活动进行多变量模式分析发现, 高低抑郁症状的被试在情绪调节时表现出了不同的神经解码效率, 尤其是高抑郁症状被试在采取分心策略时的全脑活动模式与采取观看策略时有显著区别。综合行为和脑电结果, 本研究证明了认知重评和分心两种策略对社会情绪和记忆的有益影响, 并提示在较高的抑郁水平时, 分心可能是更有效的调节策略。

关键词: 社会反馈, 情绪调节, 动机性遗忘, 抑郁, 脑电


Receiving negative social feedback, e.g., social rejection, criticism, can bring social pain. Unable to forget such painful experiences often results in sustained mental distress, thereby contributing to the onset of psychiatric disorders such as depression. Here, we asked when people received negative social feedback, whether engaging in emotion regulation strategies such as cognitive reappraisal and distraction would relieve social pain and facilitate forgetting of unwanted social feedback. Besides, we examined whether and how individual differences in depressive symptoms may influence the neural activity and behavioral benefits of emotion regulation.
During the experiment, participants received positive and negative social feedback about their personality that were claimed to be from their peers. While reading social feedback, participants were instructed to either naturally watch or actively down-regulate their negative emotions using either cognitive reappraisal or distraction strategy, with electroencephalograms (EEGs) being recorded. Subsequently, participants completed a surprise recall test during which they verbally recall the feedback upon seeing photos of peers from the previous session. We also measured participants’ self-evaluation and attitudes towards peers. Memory about social feedback, self-evaluation and attitudes toward peers were measured immediately after, and in 24 hours again to examine possible long-term benefits of emotion regulation. Participants’ EEG activities during emotion regulation were examined using both the event-related potential (ERP) and the multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA).
Results showed that both cognitive reappraisal and distraction attenuated negative emotion and promoted forgetting of negative social feedback. Importantly, the mnemonic benefits of emotion regulation, i.e., forgetting of negative social feedback, were still evident on Day 2 after a 24-hour delay. In addition, participants' depression level significantly moderated the whole brain EEG activity patterns involved in different emotion regulatory strategies. Specifically, in the low-depression group, frontal-central EEG activity distinguished between watch and reappraisal conditions within 2~5 s, with the decoding accuracy predicted participants' subsequent memory performance. Whereas in the high-depression group, the whole-brain EEG activity patterns could distinguish between watch and distraction conditions within 2~3 s post-feedback. Moreover, the amplitude of central-parietal late positive potential (LPP) under the distraction condition were negatively correlated with participants’ depression level, suggesting that participants with higher depressive symptoms might be more effective in using distraction to regulate negative emotion than their low-depression counterparts.
Together, these results demonstrate that both cognitive reappraisal and distraction strategies could alleviate social pain and facilitate forgetting of negative social feedback. Moreover, distraction may be a more suitable regulatory strategy particularly among individuals with high levels of depression. In conclusion, this study broadens our understanding of the relationship between emotion and memory from the perspectives of social cognition and motivated forgetting; and provides insights for the alleviation of social pain using emotion regulation strategies.

Key words: social feedback, emotion regulation, motivated forgetting, depression, EEG