This study addresses three questions: How often and how consistently do predictors for emotion regulation choice occur in daily life? What predicts emotion regulation choice in daily life? How do predictors for emotion regulation choice interact in daily life? We examined emotion regulation goals (i.e., prohedonic and social goals), situational factors (i.e., perceived control, expected reoccurrence, and emotional intensity), and emotion regulation strategies (i.e., active coping, distraction, rumination, cognitive reappraisal, and expressive suppression) in negative emotion events. A total of 110 individuals (65% female) participated in an experience sampling study and received beeps, five times a day over the course of 9 days. We used a random intercept model to estimate our results. Emotion regulation goals and situational factors vary strongly in different events within the same person. Emotion regulation strategies, effective in changing the emotional experience, are crucial for prohedonic goals, whereas expressive suppression is important for social goals. Perceived control was positively associated with putatively adaptive strategies. Emotional intensity and expected reoccurrence were negatively associated with putatively adaptive strategies. Emotional intensity was positively associated with putatively maladaptive strategies. Emotion regulation strategies were not associated with the interaction of emotion regulation goals and situational factors. We conclude that emotion regulation goals and situational factors are extremely context-dependent, suggesting that they should be treated as states. Emotion regulation goals appear to have a functional association with strategies for prohedonic and social goals. The associations between situational factors and strategies in daily life appear to be largely different from the results found in the laboratory, emphasizing the importance of experience sampling studies.
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© Copyright © 2020 Wilms, Lanwehr and Kastenmüller.
- emotion regulation
- emotion regulation goals
- experience sampling study
- negative emotions
- situational factors