Antecedent- and response-focused emotion regulation: divergent consequences for experience, expression, and physiology

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Jan;74(1):224-37. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.74.1.224.


Using a process model of emotion, a distinction between antecedent-focused and response-focused emotion regulation is proposed. To test this distinction, 120 participants were shown a disgusting film while their experiential, behavioral, and physiological responses were recorded. Participants were told to either (a) think about the film in such a way that they would feel nothing (reappraisal, a form of antecedent-focused emotion regulation), (b) behave in such a way that someone watching them would not know they were feeling anything (suppression, a form of response-focused emotion regulation), or (c) watch the film (a control condition). Compared with the control condition, both reappraisal and suppression were effective in reducing emotion-expressive behavior. However, reappraisal decreased disgust experience, whereas suppression increased sympathetic activation. These results suggest that these 2 emotion regulatory processes may have different adaptive consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Mental Health