Script-based Reappraisal Test introducing a new paradigm to investigate the effect of reappraisal inventiveness on reappraisal effectiveness

Cogn Emot. 2020 Jun;34(4):793-799. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2019.1663153. Epub 2019 Sep 9.


The ability to regulate emotions is essential for psychological well-being. Therefore, it is particularly important to investigate the specific dynamics of emotion regulation. In a new approach, we developed a novel paradigm - the Script-based Reappraisal Test (SRT) - to measure the processes involved in reappraisal, especially reappraisal inventiveness, i.e. the ability to create multiple and differing reappraisals. The aim of this study was twofold: (1) experimentally validate the SRT and (2) investigate whether reappraisal inventiveness increases reappraisal effectiveness. Healthy students (N = 143) completed the SRT. In this task, we presented everyday emotional situations in textual form and instructed participants to either decrease negative emotions by generating different reappraisals (reappraisal-trials) or react naturally (control-trials) to the situations. After each trial, participants indicated their affective state (SAM) and typed in their reappraisal thoughts. Within-subjects analyses showed significantly less negative affect and arousal in reappraisal-trials compared to control-trials, indicating a successful emotion regulation through reappraisal. Contrary to our hypothesis, reappraisal inventiveness and reappraisal effectiveness were not related. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed in the light of a person-by-situation approach.

Keywords: Emotion regulation; cognitive reappraisal; reappraisal effectiveness; reappraisal inventiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Arousal
  • Creativity*
  • Emotional Regulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Young Adult