Beliefs about emotion: implications for avoidance-based emotion regulation and psychological health.

Published on May 19, 2018in Cognition & Emotion2.37
· DOI :10.1080/02699931.2017.1353485
Krista De Castella8
Estimated H-index: 8
(ANU: Australian National University),
Michael J. Platow31
Estimated H-index: 31
(ANU: Australian National University)
+ 1 AuthorsLisa Feldman Barrett L F138
Estimated H-index: 138
(Stanford University)
ABSTRACTPeople’s beliefs about their ability to control their emotions predict a range of important psychological outcomes. It is not clear, however, whether these beliefs are playing a causal role, and if so, why this might be. In the current research, we tested whether avoidance-based emotion regulation explains the link between beliefs and psychological outcomes. In Study 1 (N = 112), a perceived lack of control over emotions predicted poorer psychological health outcomes (increased self-reported avoidance, lower well-being, and higher levels of clinical symptoms), and avoidance strategies indirectly explained these links between emotion beliefs and psychological health. In Study 2 (N = 101), we experimentally manipulated participants’ emotion beliefs by leading participants to believe that they struggled (low regulatory self-efficacy) or did not struggle (high regulatory self-efficacy) with controlling their emotions. Participants in the low regulatory self-efficacy condition reported increased intent...
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