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Emotion Regulation in Adulthood: Timing Is Everything

James J. Gross
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Vol. 10, No. 6 (Dec., 2001), pp. 214-219
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20182746
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Emotion Regulation in Adulthood: Timing Is Everything
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Abstract

Emotions seem to come and go as they please. However, we actually hold considerable sway over our emotions: We influence which emotions we have and how we experience and express these emotions. The process model of emotion regulation described here suggests that how we regulate our emotions matters. Regulatory strategies that act early in the emotion-generative process should have quite different outcomes than strategies that act later. This review focuses on two widely used strategies for down-regulating emotion. The first, reappraisal, comes early in the emotion-generative process. It consists of changing how we think about a situation in order to decrease its emotional impact. The second, suppression, comes later in the emotion-generative process. It involves inhibiting the outward signs of emotion. Theory and research suggest that reappraisal is more effective than suppression. Reappraisal decreases the experience and behavioral expression of emotion, and has no impact on memory. By contrast, suppression decreases behavioral expression, but fails to decrease the experience of emotion, and actually impairs memory. Suppression also increases physiological responding in both the suppressors and their social partners.

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