Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Valentiner, David P.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Emotions; Emotions and cognition; Emotions--Social aspects; Affect (Psychology)


This thesis validates and extends the distinction between antecedent-focused and response-focused emotion regulation. Fifty-seven participants were shown two disgusteliciting films while their heart rate was monitored. The first film was shown with instructions to simply watch the film. Before the second film participants were told to either (a) think about the film in such a way that they would feel no emotions (reappraisal, a form of antecedent-focused emotion regulation), or (b) behave in such a way that someone watching them would not know that they were feeling any emotions (suppression, a form of response-focused emotion regulation). All participants were then re-shown the first film with instructions to ignore all prior instructions. Compared to reappraisal instructions, suppression instructions decreased heart rate (evidence of an increased fainting reaction) in response to the second film. Suppression instructions also led to decreases in heart rate during the second showing of the first film, as compared to their own reactions to the first presentation. However, reappraisal instructions appear to have had no effect upon reactions to the first film. These results suggest a sensitization effect of suppression instructions to subsequent stimuli after suppression instructions are removed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [59]-62).


vi, 72 pages




Northern Illinois University

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