Dissociable effects of conscious emotion regulation strategies on explicit and implicit memory

Emotion. 2007 May;7(2):354-65. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.7.2.354.


The authors manipulated emotion regulation strategies at encoding and administered explicit and implicit memory tests. In Experiment 1, participants used reappraisal to enhance and decrease the personal relevance of unpleasant and neutral pictures. In Experiment 2, decrease cues were replaced with suppress cues that directed participants to inhibit emotion-expressive behavior. Across experiments, using reappraisal to enhance the personal relevance of pictures improved free recall. By contrast, attempting to suppress emotional displays tended to impair recall, especially compared to the enhance condition. Using reappraisal to decrease the personal relevance of pictures had different effects depending on picture type. Paired with unpleasant pictures, the decrease cue tended to improve recall. Paired with neutral stimuli, the decrease cue tended to impair recall. Emotion regulation did not affect perceptual priming. Results highlight dissociable effects of emotion regulation on explicit and implicit memory, as well as dissociations between regulation strategies with respect to explicit memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Consciousness*
  • Cues
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual