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A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • K. Wang
  • PSA - Psych Science Accelerator
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/08/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Human Behaviour
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)1089-1110
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about a situation. Participants from 87 countries and regions (n = 21,644) were randomly assigned to one of two brief reappraisal interventions (reconstrual or repurposing) or one of two control conditions (active or passive). Results revealed that both reappraisal interventions (vesus both control conditions) consistently reduced negative emotions and increased positive emotions across different measures. Reconstrual and repurposing interventions had similar effects. Importantly, planned exploratory analyses indicated that reappraisal interventions did not reduce intentions to practice preventive health behaviours. The findings demonstrate the viability of creating scalable, low-cost interventions for use around the world.