Publication Date

2015

Abstract

The tendency for emotions to be predictable over time, labelled emotional inertia, has been linked to low well-being and is thought to reflect impaired emotion regulation. However, almost no studies have examined how emotion regulation relates to emotional inertia. We examined the effects of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression on the inertia of behavioural, subjective and physiological measures of emotion. In Study 1 (N = 111), trait suppression was associated with higher inertia of negative behaviours. We replicated this finding experimentally in Study 2 (N = 186). Furthermore, in Study 2, instructed suppressors and reappraisers both showed higher inertia of positive behaviours, and reappraisers displayed higher inertia of heart rate. Neither suppression nor reappraisal were associated with the inertia of subjective feelings in either study. Thus, the effects of suppression and reappraisal on the temporal dynamics of emotions depend on the valence and emotional response component in question.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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