Distraction and reappraisal efficiency on immediate negative emotional responses: Role of trait anxiety

TitreDistraction and reappraisal efficiency on immediate negative emotional responses: Role of trait anxiety
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuteursEfinger, L, Thuillard, S, Dan-Glauser, ES
JournalAnxiety, Stress, & Coping
Mots-clésautonomic nervous system recordings, distraction, emotion regulation efficiency, Emotional reactivity, reappraisal, trait anxiety, www2

Background and Objectives: Emotion regulation involves attempts to influence emotion unfolding and may target experiential, expressive and physiological responses. Several strategies can be used, such as reappraisal (re-evaluating the emotional situation to reduce its emotional meaning) or distraction (turning the attention toward non-emotional aspects of the situation). Previous research on these regulation strategies produced contrasting results regarding their efficiency and we hypothesize that this could be due to individual differences such as trait anxiety.Design and Methods: Participants (N = 77) were confronted with negative pictures and we examined the differential emotional reactivity according to trait anxiety, followed by a comparison of the efficiency of reappraisal and distraction in reducing emotional responses.Results: Results show that trait anxiety has no impact on reactivity at the experiential and expressive levels, but has an impact at the physiological level, where high anxiety individuals show increased cardiac orienting effect, as well as higher skin conductance and respiratory rate. Regarding regulation, reappraisal and distraction successfully reduce emotional experience and expressivity, but not physiological arousal.Conclusions: Such contrasting results involve that high trait anxiety individuals might benefit from the use of other kinds of strategies than reappraisal and distraction, some that may successfully target physiological responses.