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Strategic automation of emotion regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)11-31
<mark>Original language</mark>English


As implementation intentions are a powerful self-regulation tool for thought and action (meta-analysis by P. M. Gollwitzer & P. Sheeran, 2006), the present studies were conducted to address their effectiveness in regulating emotional reactivity. Disgust-(Study 1) and fear-(Study 2) eliciting stimuli were viewed under 3 different self-regulation instructions: the goal intention to not get disgusted or frightened, respectively, this goal intention furnished with an implementation intention (i.e., an if-then plan), and a no-self-regulation control group. Only implementation-intention participants succeeded in reducing their disgust and fear reactions as compared to goal-intention and control participants. In Study 3, electro-cortical correlates (using dense-array electroencephalography) revealed differential early visual activity in response to spider slides in ignore implementation-intention participants, as reflected in a smaller Pl. Theoretical and applied implications of the present findings for emotion regulation via implementation intentions are discussed.