Feel right or feel good? Comparing an induced ´experiential emotion regulation´ to a ´cognitive reappraisal´ in emotional processing

Yulin Wang, Debo Dong, Luis Carlo Bulnes, Ilse Van Diest, Daniele Marinazzo, Marie Vandekerckhove

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

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Adaptive emotion regulation (ER) is conducive to physical and mental health, whereas dysfunctional ER is central to psychopathology. Emotion can be regulated with 'experiential ER', which refers to theaffectively attending, acknowledging and getting awareness of the bodily felt feeling in an accepting and welcoming way. Also, emotion can be regulated with 'cognitive reappraisal' by which reinterpretations of a situation can change one’s emotions about it. To address the effectiveness of these two ER strategies, a series of experiments has been conducted in our lab. Study 1 compared both experiential ER and reappraisal relative to a neutral ER baseline and its impact on sleep physiology in 43 healthy participants. Stress was triggered with an emotional failure induction, afterwhich ER was induced twice. The use of reappraisal resulted in more fragmented and restless sleep when compared to experiential ER or neutral baseline. Study 2 further compared experiential ER and reappraisal based on their repeated usage in 69 healthy female participants using physiological measurements. Compared to watch negative condition, the skin conductance response was decreased by experiential ER in the third time (p=0.017) while the zygomatic activity (p=0.012) and respiration amplitude (p=0.016) were increased by reappraisal in the third time. Our results suggested experiential ER works effectively in decreasing the arousing level of emotions after a repeated usage, might be effective in treating insomnia related hyperarousal while cognitive reappraisal works effectively in creating a positive way of feeling.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Social and Affective Neuroscience Society 2018
Subtitle of host publicationSANS 2018
Place of PublicationBrooklyn, NY
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2018
EventAnnual Meeting of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society - Brooklyn, New York, United States
Duration: 3 May 20185 May 2018


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society
Abbreviated titleSANS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address


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