The temporal dynamics of emotion regulation: The role of emotion sensitivity and anticipation

01 January 2014 → 31 December 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Psychophysiology
    • Psychopathology
    • Motivation and emotion
emotion sensitivity anticipation emotion regulation
Project description

This project will focus on emotion regulation (ER), which is the ability to influence the experience and expression of emotions. Studies on ER typically focus on emotions during the presentation of an emotion eliciting event, but the knowledge that a negative event is approaching can already trigger initial negative feelings. Possibly, in some individuals, these initial negative emotions might facilitate dwelling on negative self-referential ruminative thoughts that may hinder adaptive ER when confronted with the event. The first goal of this project is to investigate the regulation of emotions during the anticipation of social evaluations. Second, we will investigate whether the intensity of individuals’ primary emotional response to social evaluations, their emotion sensitivity, influences the efficacy of ER during the anticipation as well as during the confrontation with social rejection. Moreover, we will investigate whether emotion sensitivity is related to self-referential ruminative thoughts during the anticipation of social rejection. Third, we will test a procedure to train participants to adaptively regulate emotions triggered by stimulus anticipation, in order to enhance their ability to reinterpret their initial emotional appraisal. With this project, we aim to discover mechanisms of ER that individuals can use to adaptively anticipate emotion eliciting events, and how this can help them to handle stressful situations better.