Emotion regulation efficiency

In our lab, we question the efficiency of different emotion regulation strategies. Beyond the different use of emotion regulation strategies, which is often solely considered, we design experiments to investigate for whom and in which conditions an emotion regulation strategy successfully decrease manifestations of emotion, and this at the experiential, expressive and physiological level.

Efficiency of situation selection

Efficient emotion regulation permits better adaptation to emotional life and daily situations. Situation selection is a particular emotion regulation strategy that entails choosing an upcoming emotional situation. Two mechanisms may drive the regulatory effect of Situation selection on emotional responses. The first mechanism simply relates to the evaluation of the characteristics of the chosen option, people generally selecting the more positive situation. The second mechanism is linked to the hypothesis that having the choice regarding the upcoming emotional situation (independently of what we choose) would already be regulatory. Our research aims at investigating this latter hypothesis. Our first results show that contrary to other strategies that are efficient for negative situations but usually impair positive reactions (e.g., distraction), Situation selection may be efficient in all contexts. Remarkably, these effects are not driven by the content of the situations, but by the power of the choice itself.

CARLA collaborators:
Elise Dan-Glauser
Simon Thuillard

Emotion reaction to illusory choice

With the project “Efficiency of situation selection”, we have shown that the unique fact of being given the choice regarding upcoming emotional situations can already have a beneficial effect in terms of emotion regulation. However, as already proposed by research on preferences, denial of choice generally makes people upset. However, its direct consequences on emotion responses, particularly when choice is a way to regulate emotion, have never been investigated. With this project, we aim at uncovering how illusory choice impacts emotion unfolding in order to frame the circumstances in which situation selection can be implemented in different settings. If the impact is heavily deleterious, then implementation will need to get rid of any likelihood of illusory choice occurrence. Conversely, if the impact has no significant consequences, implementation could tolerate more illusory choice.

CARLA collaborators:
Elise Dan-Glauser
Simon Thuillard

Differential effect of distraction and reappraisal

Distraction, i.e., redirecting attention away from affective stimuli, and reappraisal, i.e., cognitively reinterpreting the triggering emotional situation, are well-investigated emotion regulation strategies. Both have well-known differential effects on emotion responses, reappraisal being often considered as a more adaptive strategy. Indeed, it generally triggers more reduction in negative emotion responses, particularly in the expressive and physiological domain, which are often left unaffected by distraction. However, reappraisal is supposed to be a cognitively demanding strategy, which needs available resource. In this project, we make the hypothesis that reappraisal and distraction may not have the same effect for population with different trait characteristic, for example regarding trait-anxiety.

CARLA collaborators:
Elise Dan-Glauser
Liliane Efinger
Simon Thuillard

GĂ©opolis - CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 692 35 25