ABSTRACTWhich emotion regulation strategy one uses in a given context can have profound affective, cognitive, and social consequences. It is therefore important to understand the determinants of emotion regulation choice. Many prior studies have examined person-specific, internal determinants of emotion regulation choice. Recently, it has become clear that external variables that are properties of the stimulus can also influence emotion regulation choice. In the present research, we consider whether reappraisal affordances, defined as the opportunities for re-interpretation of a stimulus that (...) are inherent in that stimulus, can shape individuals’ emotion regulation choices. We show that reappraisal affordances have stability across people and across time, and are confounded with emotional intensity for a standardised set of picture stimuli. Since emotional intensity has been shown to drive emotion regulation choice, we construct a context in which emotional intensity is separable from r... (shrink)
concepts typically are defined in terms of lacking physical or perceptual referents. We argue instead that they are not devoid of perceptual information because knowledge of real-world situations is an important component of learning and using many abstract concepts. Although the relationship between perceptual information and abstract concepts is less straightforward than for concrete concepts, situation-based perceptual knowledge is part of many abstract concepts. In Experiment 1, participants made lexical decisions to abstract words that were preceded by related and unrelated (...) pictures of situations. For example, share was preceded by a picture of two girls sharing a cob of corn. When pictures were presented for 500 ms, latencies did not differ. However, when pictures were presented for 1,000 ms, decision latencies were significantly shorter for abstract words preceded by related versus unrelated pictures. Because the abstract concepts corresponded to the pictured situation as a whole, rather than a single concrete object or entity, the necessary relational processing takes time. In Experiment 2, on each trial, an abstract word was presented for 250 ms, immediately followed by a picture. Participants indicated whether or not the picture showed a normal situation. Decision latencies were significantly shorter for pictures preceded by related versus unrelated abstract words. Our experiments provide evidence that knowledge of events and situations is important for learning and using at least some types of abstract concepts. That is, abstract concepts are grounded in situations, but in a more complex manner than for concrete concepts. Although people's understanding of abstract concepts certainly includes knowledge gained from language describing situations and events for which those concepts are relevant, sensory and motor information experienced during real-life events is important as well. (shrink)
ABSTRACTPrevious studies have identified two powerful ways to regulate emotional responses to a stressor: experiencing incidental positive emotions and using cognitive reappraisal to reframe the stressor. Several cognitive and motivational theories of positive emotion support the formulation that incidental positive emotions may facilitate cognitive reappraisal. To test the separate and interacting effects of positive emotions and cognitive reappraisal, we first adapted an established picture-based reappraisal paradigm by interspersing blocks of positive emotion inducing and neutral pictures. Across two pre-registered studies, reappraisal (...) effectively decreased self-reported negative emotions and increased self-reported positive emotions; however, experiencing incidental positive emotions did not facilitate reappraisal success. In another preregistered study, we employed a more powerful positive emotion induction via virtual reality, used a social stress anticipation task, and... (shrink)
Most current theories of category-specific semantic deficits appeal to the role of sensory and functional knowledge types in explaining patients' impairments. We discuss why this binary classification is inadequate, point to a more detailed knowledge type taxonomy, and suggest how it may provide insight into the relationships between category-specific semantic deficits and impairments of specific aspects of knowledge.