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Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.151
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 42  
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ISSN (Print) 1528-3542 - ISSN (Online) 1931-1516
Published by APA Homepage  [90 journals]
  • Suggestion of cognitive enhancement improves emotion regulation.
    • Abstract: Cognitive training seems a promising approach to enhance emotion regulation. To establish a causal connection, researchers must compare the training intervention with a control group that accounts for improvements induced by some factors other than the training. Despite this familiar methodology, the influence of expectations on the transfer effects of training remains poorly understood. We tested this possibility in 2 experiments, where a procedure was designed to intentionally induce a placebo effect via the suggestion of cognitive enhancement to evaluate the role of expectation in emotion regulation gains from cognitive training. Both the Placebo and Control groups completed the identical short-term working memory training (20 min) in Experiment 1. New participants were recruited to complete a long-term pseudotraining program (7 days) in Experiment 2. The results from the 2 experiments consistently showed that the Placebo group, who expected benefits from the training, unlike the Control group, showed less negative emotion and better regulatory effects after pseudotraining, irrespective of the duration of the training. Thus, inadequate control of expectation is a fundamental design flaw that potentially undermines any causal inferences. These findings also suggest a novel perspective for optimizing the experimental designs in psychological interventions and advancing the understanding of emotion regulation enhancement. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 08 Jul 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Charting the development of emotion comprehension and abstraction from
           childhood to adulthood using observer-rated and linguistic measures.
    • Abstract: This study examined two facets of emotion development: emotion word comprehension (knowing the meaning of emotion words such as “anger” or “excitement”) and emotion concept abstraction (representing emotions in terms of internal psychological states that generalize across situations). Using a novel emotion vocabulary assessment, we captured how a cross-sectional sample of participants aged 4–25 (N = 196) defined 24 emotions. Smoothing spline regression models suggested that emotion comprehension followed an emergent shape: Knowledge of emotion words increased across childhood and plateaued around age 11. Human coders rated the abstractness of participants’ responses, and these ratings also followed an emergent shape but plateaued significantly later than comprehension, around age 18. An automated linguistic analysis of abstractness supported coders’ perceptions of increased abstractness across age. Finally, coders assessed the definitional strategies participants used to describe emotions. Young children tended to describe emotions using concrete strategies such as providing example situations that evoked those emotions or by referring to physiological markers of emotional experiences. Whereas use of these concrete strategies decreased with age, the tendency to use more abstract strategies such as providing general definitions that delineated the causes and characteristics of emotions or by providing synonyms of emotion words increased with age. Overall, this work (a) provides a tool for assessing definitions of emotion terms, (b) demonstrates that emotion concept abstraction increases across age, and (c) suggests that adolescence is a period in which emotion words are comprehended but their level of abstraction continues to mature. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Common variants of the oxytocin receptor gene do not predict the positive
           mood benefits of prosocial spending.
    • Abstract: Who benefits most from helping others' Previous research suggests that common polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) predict whether people behave generously and experience increases in positive mood in response to socially focused experiences in daily life. Building on these findings, we conducted an experiment with a large, ethnically homogenous sample (N = 437) to examine whether individual differences in three frequently studied single nucleotide polymorphisms of OXTR (rs53576, rs2268498, rs2254298) also predict differences in the positive mood benefits of financial generosity. Consistent with past research, participants who were randomly assigned to purchase items for others (vs. themselves) reported greater positive affect. Contrary to predictions, using Bayesian statistics, we found conclusive evidence that the benefits of generosity were not moderated by individual differences in OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms. The current work highlights the importance of publishing null results to build cumulative knowledge linking neurobiological factors to positive emotional experiences. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Feeling bad is not always unhealthy: Culture moderates the link between
           negative affect and diurnal cortisol profiles.
    • Abstract: Prior research has demonstrated that the daily experience of negative affect is associated with increased levels of proinflammatory activity as evidenced by higher interleukin-6 among Americans but not among Japanese. This cultural difference may be driven by culturally divergent beliefs about negative affect as a source of threat to self-image versus as natural and integral to life. Here, we examined whether culture may moderate the relationship between negative affect and biological stress responses, with a focus on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. By using culturally matched surveys of Americans (N = 761) and Japanese (N = 328), we found that negative affect was associated with a flattening of the diurnal cortisol slope among Americans after controlling for demographic variables, personality traits, sleep patterns, and health behaviors. In contrast, the association between negative affect and the HPA axis activity was negligible among Japanese. Moreover, we assessed biological health risk with biomarkers of both inflammation (interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels) and cardiovascular function (higher systolic blood pressure and total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio) and found that the relationship between negative affect and increased biological health risk, which was observed only among Americans, was mediated by the flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. These findings suggest that cultural differences in how emotions are construed may make the experience of negative affect more or less stressful and differentially consequential for health. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 22 Apr 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Action opportunities modulate attention allocation under social threat.
    • Abstract: When entering a subway car affording multiple targets for action, how do we decide, very quickly, where to sit, particularly when in the presence of a potential danger' It is unclear, from existing motor and emotion theories, whether our attention would be allocated toward the seat on which we intend to sit on or whether it would be oriented toward an individual that signals the presence of potential danger. To address this question, we explored spontaneous action choices and attention allocation in a realistic context, where a threat-related signal (an angry or fearful individual) and the target for action in that situation could compete for attentional priority. Results showed that participants chose the actions that avoided angry individuals and were more confident when approaching those with a fearful expression. In addition, covert and overt measures of attention showed a stronger avoidance effect for angry, compared to fearful, individuals. Crucially, these effects of anger and fear on attention allocation required the presence of action possibilities in the scene. Taken together, our findings show that in a realistic context offering competing action possibilities, threat-related distractors shape both action selection and attention allocation accordingly to their social function. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 04 Apr 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Creating emotional false recollections: Perceptual recombination and
           conceptual fluency mechanisms.
    • Abstract: We investigated the impact of 2 hypothetical mechanisms of episodic memory reconstruction—perceptual recombination and conceptual fluency—on objectively measured recollection accuracy and false recollections of neutral and emotional stimuli. Participants encoded negative, neutral, and positive pictures depicting objects and scenes (i.e., target pictures), each accompanied with a descriptive verbal label (e.g., “boy crying at funeral,” “wooden basket on floor,” “four chimpanzees laughing together”). Next, they encoded fragmented pictures of some of the scenes they did and did not earlier see (perceptual misinformation), or they received multiple presentations of the corresponding verbal labels (conceptual misinformation). Recollection of target pictures was then tested, using labels as retrieval cues. We had three key findings in each of two experiments. First, as in our prior work, both perceptual and conceptual misinformation significantly increased false recollection judgments of nonstudied pictures, including high-confidence errors. These effects implicate perceptual recombination and conceptual fluency mechanisms. Second, these misinformation effects generalized across all emotional categories, implicating separable roles of these two mechanisms on emotional recollections. Finally, conceptual misinformation was less likely to influence negative than neutral recollection errors, providing new evidence that emotion can improve retrieval monitoring accuracy and reduce false memories based on conceptual fluency (i.e., an emotional distinctiveness heuristic). (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Protestant and Buddhist differences in noninfluence strategies of emotion
           regulation and their links to depressive symptoms.
    • Abstract: The present research proposes that Buddhist teachings involve a noninfluence emotion regulation strategy, an emotion regulation strategy that consists of individuals not influencing their emotions in any way, more so than do Protestant teachings. We examined religious teachings surrounding the strategy, practitioners’ use of the strategy, and its links with depression. Further, the nature of this noninfluence strategy was explored. Across 3 studies that used student, community, and online samples, results showed that in fact Buddhist practitioners were more likely than were Protestant practitioners to report that their religion teaches them to use noninfluence strategies of emotion regulation, and that they use noninfluence strategies of emotion regulation. Moreover, the use of noninfluence emotion regulation strategies was predictive of lower depressive symptoms across both religions (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, it was found that to practitioners, noninfluence strategies of emotion regulation are active, purposeful strategies and, especially to Buddhist practitioners, they involve acceptance of emotions (Study 2). Furthermore, religion was indirectly linked to the behavioral preference for a noninfluence strategy through the self-reported general use of a noninfluence emotion regulation strategy (Study 3). Implications for research on religion, self-regulation, and mental health are briefly discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Bugs are blech, butterflies are beautiful, but both are bad to bite:
           Admired animals are disgusting to eat but are themselves neither
           disgusting nor contaminating.
    • Abstract: It is often assumed that things that are disgusting to eat are, themselves, disgusting, and that things that are disgusting to eat are also contaminating. We present data that counters both of these assumptions. In adult American and Indian samples, Study 1 provides evidence that, in contrast to many other insects, participants have positive attitudes toward butterflies. Participants are relatively unbothered by touching them or eating food that they have contacted but are very disgusted by the thought of eating them. Study 2 extends these findings with an adult American sample, comparing four pairs of animals, one admired and one disgusting: butterflies and cockroaches, canaries and vultures, koalas and rats, and dogs and hyenas. In all 4 cases, the positive animals themselves are rated as very low in disgustingness but rated as very disgusting to consume—almost as disgusting as the negative animals. However, although contact between the negative animals and a favorite food produces a strong disgust response to the favorite food, this contamination effect is much smaller, and sometimes absent, with the positive animals. We present evidence that the perceived immorality of killing admired animals is related to the disgust at consuming them. Disgust at eating an admired animal may have a moral component because it involves, at least indirectly, killing the animal. An admired animal that has contacted a favored food does not reliably make that food disgusting. In this scenario, as opposed to eating, there is no harm to the animal. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • How individuals perceive time in an anxious state: The mediating effect of
           attentional bias.
    • Abstract: Three experiments were conducted to investigate the mediating effect of attentional bias on the relationship between state anxiety and time perception. In Experiment 1, state anxiety (high and low) was manipulated by a standardized induction procedure, attentional bias was tested by a dot-probe task, and time perception of words (negative and neutral) was tested by a time reproduction task in which a standard duration of 2 s was used. In Experiment 2, multiple durations (2, 4, and 8 s) were tested within subjects, and negative and neutral low-arousal pictures were selected for the dot-probe task and the time reproduction task. In Experiment 3, attentional bias was manipulated by an attentional bias modification training to test the causal relationship between attentional bias and time perception. The results suggested that (a) participants in an anxious state showed an attentional bias toward negative stimuli and perceived a 2-s duration as longer when stimuli were negative as opposed to when they were neutral, (b) attentional bias toward negative stimuli mediated the influence of state anxiety on time perception, and (c) attentional bias had a direct impact on time perception. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the role that attention plays in how individuals perceive time in an anxious state and provide novel evidence supporting the attentional gate model. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Maternal comforting behavior, toddlers’ dysregulated fear, and
           toddlers’ emotion regulatory behaviors.
    • Abstract: Developmental theories of emotion regulation suggest that influences from both extrinsic (e.g., from caregivers) and intrinsic (i.e., temperament) sources contribute to children’s displays of emotion regulatory behaviors. Very few studies have examined specific caregiver behaviors in relation to specific regulatory behaviors. Further, few empirical investigations have tested theoretical notions that temperament may be an important context in which to understand the nature of the relation between caregiver behavior and toddlers’ regulatory behaviors. The current study examined the specific maternal behavior of physical comfort in relation to three regulatory strategies exhibited by toddlers (attention-shifting, caregiver-focused behavior, and self-focused behavior) in 117 pairs of mothers and their 24-month-old toddlers. Further, we tested the temperament dimension of dysregulated fear, a more recent derivation of behavioral inhibition, both in relation to regulatory efforts and as a moderator of relations between maternal comforting and toddler regulatory behaviors. Dysregulated fear related directly and positively to attention-shifting, and it moderated the relation between maternal comforting and both caregiver-focused and self-focused behaviors. This study provides new evidence of the importance of both extrinsic and intrinsic correlates of emotion regulation in early childhood. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Coherence between subjective experience and physiology in emotion:
           Individual differences and implications for well-being.
    • Abstract: Emotion theorists have characterized emotions as involving coherent responding across various emotion response systems (e.g., covariation of subjective experience and physiology). Greater response system coherence has been theorized to promote well-being, yet very little research has tested this assumption. The current study examined whether individuals with greater coherence between physiology and subjective experience of emotion report greater well-being. We also examined factors that may predict the magnitude of coherence, such as emotion intensity, cognitive reappraisal, and expressive suppression. Participants (N = 63) completed self-report measures of well-being, expressive suppression, and cognitive reappraisal. They then watched a series of emotionally evocative film clips designed to elicit positive and negative emotion. During the films, participants continuously rated their emotional experience using a rating dial, and their autonomic physiological responses were recorded. Time-lagged cross-correlations were used to calculate within-participant coherence between intensity of emotional experience (ranging from neutral to very negative or very positive) and physiology (composite of cardiac interbeat interval, skin conductance, ear pulse transit time, finger pulse transit time and amplitude, systolic and diastolic blood pressure). Results indicated that individuals with greater coherence reported greater well-being. Coherence was highest during the most emotionally intense film and among individuals who reported lower expressive suppression. However, coherence was not associated with reappraisal. These findings provide support for the idea that greater emotion coherence promotes well-being and also shed light on factors that are associated with the magnitude of coherence. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Why do bilinguals code-switch when emotional' Insights from immigrant
           parent–child interactions.
    • Abstract: Previous research has found that bilingual speakers’ first (L1) and second languages (L2) are differentially associated with their emotional experiences. Moreover, bilinguals appear to code-switch (alternate between two or more languages in a single conversation) during emotional episodes. However, prior evidence has been limited to clinical case studies and self-report studies, leaving open the specificity of the link between code-switching (CS) and emotion and its underlying mechanisms. The present study examined the dynamic associations between CS and facial emotion behavior in a sample of 68 Chinese American parents and children during a dyadic emotion-inducing puzzle box task. Specifically, bilingual parents’ language use (L1 Chinese or L2 English), CS behavior (L1→L2 or L2→L1 switches), and facial emotion behavior (positive and negative valence) were coded at each 5-s interval. Multilevel modeling was used to analyze whether facial emotion behavior predicted later CS and vice versa. We found that negative facial emotion predicted higher subsequent CS in both L1→L2 and L2→L1 directions, with stronger associations for the L2→L1 direction. On the other hand, positive facial emotion was associated with lower contemporaneous L2→L1 CS. CS did not predict later facial emotion behavior, suggesting language switching may not have an immediate effect on emotion. The present findings are consistent with the idea that emotional arousal, especially negative arousal, reduces cognitive control and may trigger spontaneous CS. Together, these findings provide insight into why bilingual speakers switch languages during emotional episodes and hold implications for clinical interventions serving bilingual individuals and families. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Sour sleep, sweet revenge' Aggressive pleasure as a potential
           mechanism underlying poor sleep quality’s link to aggression.
    • Abstract: Sleep quality is a critical component of successful human functioning. Poor sleep quality is associated with aggressive behavior, yet the psychological mechanisms that drive this effect are incompletely understood. We tested the prediction that the association between poor sleep quality and aggression would be explained, in part, by a magnified experience of positive affect during aggression. We conducted 2 cross-sectional studies (Study 1, N = 388; Study 2, N = 317) and a third preregistered study (N = 379), which tested for mediation across 2 waves that were separated by 14–42 days. Across all 3 studies, we replicated the positive association between poor sleep quality and aggression. However, we did not observe compelling or consistent evidence that poor sleep quality is linked to greater positive affect during aggression. Such aggressive pleasure was temporally stable and predicted subsequent increases in aggressive behavior. These findings support a reinforcement model of aggressive affect, in which the pleasure of aggression promotes greater aggression over time—perhaps explaining why some individuals are more dispositionally aggressive than others. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Threat reduces value-driven but not salience-driven attentional capture.
    • Abstract: What we direct our attention to is strongly influenced by both bottom-up and top-down processes. Moreover, the control of attention is biased by prior learning, such that attention is automatically captured by stimuli previously associated with either reward or threat. It is unknown whether value-oriented and threat-oriented mechanisms of selective information processing function independently of one another, or whether they interact with each other in the selection process. Here, we introduced the threat of electric shock into the value-driven attentional capture paradigm to examine whether the experience of threat influences the attention capturing quality of previously reward-associated stimuli. The results showed that value-driven attentional capture was blunted by the experience of threat. This contrasts with previous reports of threat potentiating attentional capture by physically salient stimuli, which we replicate here. Our findings demonstrate that threat selectively interferes with value-based but not salience-based attentional priority, consistent with a competitive relationship between value-based and threat-based information processing. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 GMT
  • Nudging the better angels of our nature: A field experiment on morality
           and well-being.
    • Abstract: A field experiment examines how moral behavior, moral thoughts, and self-benefiting behavior affect daily well-being. Using experience sampling technology, we randomly grouped participants over 10 days to either behave morally, have moral thoughts, or do something positive for themselves. Participants received treatment-specific instructions in the morning of 5 days and no instructions on the other 5 control days. At each day’s end, participants completed measures that examined, among others, subjective well-being, self-perceived morality and empathy, and social isolation and closeness. Full analyses found limited evidence for treatment- versus control-day differences. However, restricting analyses to occasions on which participants complied with instructions revealed treatment- versus control-day main effects on all measures, while showing that self-perceived morality and empathy toward others particularly increased in the moral deeds and moral thoughts group. These findings suggest that moral behavior, moral thoughts, and self-benefiting behavior are all effective means of boosting well-being, but only moral deeds and, perhaps surprisingly, also moral thoughts strengthen the moral self-concept and empathy. Results from an additional study assessing laypeople’s predictions suggest that people do not fully intuit this pattern of results. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Feb 2019 05:00:00 GMT
  • Emotion regulation self-efficacy mediates the relation between happiness
           emotion goals and depressive symptoms: A cross-lagged panel design.
    • Abstract: The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that unrealistically high happiness emotion goals lead to decreased emotion regulation self-efficacy, which in turn, leads to depressive symptoms. A cross-lagged panel design with data collection at three time points was used to allow for causal inferences of directionality among study variables. Participants (N = 181) completed a battery of self-report questionnaires at a baseline assessment session (T1). The same measures were completed again at 6- (T2) and 12-month (T3) follow-up sessions. Results of a cross-lagged path analysis indicated that emotion regulation self-efficacy at T2 mediated the relation between happiness emotion goals at T1 and depressive symptoms at T3, thus confirming the primary study hypothesis. To decrease the likelihood that one will experience depressive symptoms, vulnerable individuals may benefit from preemptive efforts that help recalibrate emotion goals in a realistic manner or shift attention toward end-state goals that are not emotion related. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Feb 2019 05:00:00 GMT
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