Role of Appraisals in Individual Differences in Emotion Generation and Regulation

Variation in appraisals characterizes healthy emotional responding as well as the transition to unhealthy emotional responding. It is thus crucial to understand how individual differences in appraisal tendencies and biases influence emotion generation and emotion regulation. Our research particularly focuses on studying how differences in goal and value systems influence emotional responses and how differences in positive affect influence recovery from negative emotions.

Do distorted goal and value systems contribute to impaired goal engagement and disengagement in dysphoria? The capacity to flexibly disengage from unsuccessfully pursued goals and engage with successfully pursued ones is crucial for adaptive self-regulation. Is it possible that appraisals are biased in dysphoria? We are currently testing this hypothesis by experimentally manipulating appraisals in evaluative performance situations and measuring cardiovascular reactivity in participants with dysphoria and healthy control participants. We are excited to soon share our findings.

Are positive appraisal tendencies related to faster recovery from negative events? Resilient individuals bounce back quickly from negative life events. The time taken to recover might be controlled by a relatively automatic regulatory mechanism that functions more or less well between individuals. One line of ongoing research investigates whether individuals with certain emotional response characteristics, such as high trait positive affect, are faster in recovering from negative emotions. To study this, we assess individual differences using psychological questionnaires and examine the time course of recovery from experimentally induced negative emotions using high-resolution psychophysiological measures.

Last modified Friday, 11-Oct-2013 22:04:46 PDT