A distanced perspective reduces negative affective responses through rational view in recalling and writing angry experience

Int J Psychol. 2022 Oct;57(5):634-643. doi: 10.1002/ijop.12842. Epub 2022 May 16.

Abstract

Previous research demonstrates that self-distancing helps in regulating negative emotions. Furthermore, adopting a distanced perspective when referring to the self has been shown to be a simple and effective way to regulate emotion. Moreover, previous research has demonstrated several mechanisms whereby the distanced perspective eventually leads to the decrease in negative emotions. Building on this literature, the present research proposed that a rational point of view induced by adopting a distanced perspective would play a critical role in this process. The results from two studies supported the proposition. Specifically, in recalling (Study 1) and writing (Study 2) about anger-provoking events, those who adopted a distanced perspective were more likely to take a rational point of view when reflecting on the event than did those who adopted a self-immersed perspective. Furthermore, such differences in the rational perspective were associated with the corresponding differences in negative affect.

Keywords: Distanced perspective; Rational view; Recalling; Writing.

MeSH terms

  • Anger*
  • Emotions* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall
  • Writing