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The regulatory benefits of high levels of affect perception accuracy: A process analysis of reactions to stressors in daily life

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  • Michael D. Robinson
  • Sara K. Moeller
  • Maria M. Buchholz
  • Ryan L. Boyd
  • Wendy Troop-Gordon
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Emotion
Issue number4
Volume12
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)785-795
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Individuals attuned to affective signals from the environment may possess an advantage in the emotion-regulation realm. In two studies (total n = 151), individual differences in affective perception accuracy were assessed in an objective, performance-based manner. Subsequently, the same individuals completed daily diary protocols in which daily stressor levels were reported as well as problematic states shown to be stress-reactive in previous studies. In both studies, individual differences in affect perception accuracy interacted with daily stressor levels to predict the problematic outcomes. Daily stressors precipitated problematic reactions-whether depressive feelings (Study 1) or somatic symptoms (Study 2)-at low levels of affect perception accuracy, but did not do so at high levels of affect perception accuracy. The findings support a regulatory view of such perceptual abilities. Implications for understanding emotion regulation processes, emotional intelligence, and individual differences in reactivity are discussed.