Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 2077–2095 | Cite as

Affect and Affect Regulation Strategies Reciprocally Influence Each Other in Daily Life: The Case of Positive Reappraisal, Problem-Focused Coping, Appreciation and Rumination

  • Jean-Baptiste Pavani
  • Sarah Le Vigouroux
  • Jean-Luc Kop
  • Anne Congard
  • Bruno DauvierEmail author
Research Paper


Feelings of positive or negative affect are not restricted to temporary states. They can also determine future affective experiences, by influencing the building of an individual’s personal resources. The present study was designed to understand the daily fluctuations in positive and negative affect more fully. To this end, we examined the involvement of a variety of affect regulation strategies in these fluctuations. The affect regulation strategies we explored included positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping, appreciation and rumination. We adopted an experience sampling method, consisting of five daily assessments over a 2-week period. As expected, within a few hours of experiencing more positive affect, participants engaged in greater positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping and appreciation. In turn, greater use of each of these three strategies was followed by more intense experiences of positive affect. We observed analogous reciprocal influences between rumination and the experience of negative affect, within the same time interval. Changes in affective experience over several hours were also directly influenced by concurrent use of these strategies. More specifically, greater positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping and appreciation accelerated the rise in positive affect that follows low feelings of positive affect, and slowed the decline in positive affect that follows high feelings. Rumination had an analogous influence on change in negative affect. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.


Affective fluctuation Positive affect Negative affect Affect regulation Affect regulation strategies 


  1. Aldwin, C. M., & Revenson, T. A. (1987). Dose coping help? A reexamination of the relation between coping and mental health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 337–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bagby, R. M., Parker, J. D. A., & Taylor, G. J. (1994). The Twenty-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale: Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 38, 23–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Billings, A. G., & Moos, R. H. (1984). Coping, stress, and social resources among adults with unipolar depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 877–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Braungart, J. M., Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., & Fulker, D. W. (1992). Genetic influence on tester-rated infant temperament as assessed by Bayley’s infant behavior record: Nonadoptive and adoptive siblings and twins. Developmental Psychology, 28, 40–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burns, A. B., Brown, J. S., Sachs-Ericsson, N., Plant, E. A., Curtis, J. T., Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2008). Upward spirals of positive emotion and coping: Replication, extension, and initial exploration of neurochemical substrates. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 360–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cattell, R. B. (1944). “Parallel proportional profiles” and other principles for determining the choice of factors by rotation. Psychometrika, 9, 267–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Congard, A., Dauvier, B., Antoine, P., & Gilles, P. Y. (2011). Integrating personality, daily life events and emotion: Role of anxiety and positive affect in emotion regulation dynamics. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 372–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. D’Zurrilla, T. J., & Nezu, A. M. (1990). Development and preliminary evaluation of the Social Problem-Solving Inventory. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2, 156–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davis, M. A. (2009). Understanding the relationship between mood and creativity: A meta-analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 108, 25–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Rivera, J., Possell, L., Verette, J. A., & Weiner, B. (1989). Distinguishing elation, gladness, and joy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1015–1023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DeNeve, K. M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Erisman, S. M., & Roemer, L. (2010). A preliminary investigation of the effect of experimentally induced mindfulness on emotional responding to film clips. Emotion, 10, 72–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fagley, N. S. (2012). Appreciation uniquely predicts life satisfaction above demographics, the Big 5 personality factors, and gratitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 59–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Finch, J. F., Baranik, L. E., Liu, Y., & West, S. G. (2012). Physical health, positive and negative affect, and personality: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 537–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fitzpatrick, M. R., & Stalikas, A. (2008). Positive emotions as generators of therapeutic change. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 18, 137–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Folkman, S. (1997). Positive psychological states and coping with severe stress. Social Science and Medicine, 45, 1207–1221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. E, Jr. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science, 13, 172–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garnefski, N., Van Den Kommer, T., Kraaij, V., Teerds, J., Legerstee, J., & Onstein, E. (2002). The relationship between cognitive emotion regulation strategies and emotional problems: Comparison between a clinical and a non-clinical sample. European Journal of Personality, 16, 403–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gasper, K., & Clore, G. L. (2002). Attending to the big picture: Mood and global versus local processing of visual information. Psychological Science, 13, 34–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gruber, J., Mauss, I. B., & Tamir, M. (2011). A dark side of happiness? How, when, and why happiness is not always good. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 222–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamilton, L. (1989). Fight, flight or freeze: Implications of the passive fear response for anxiety and depression. Phobia Practice and Research Journal, 2, 17–27.Google Scholar
  25. Headey, B., & Wearing, A. (1989). Personality, life events, and subjective well-being: Toward a dynamic equilibrium model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 731–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hektner, J. M., Schmidt, J. A., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2006). Experience sampling method: Measuring the quality of everyday life. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Jeronimus, B. F., Ormel, J., Aleman, A., Penninx, B. W. P. H., & Riese, H. (2013). Negative and positive life events are associated with small but lasting change in neuroticism. Psychological Medicine, 43, 2403–2415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuppens, P., Oravecz, Z., & Tuerlinckx, F. (2010). Feelings change: Accounting for individual differences in the temporal dynamics of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 1042–1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  30. Liang, K. Y., & Zeger, S. (1986). Longitudinal data analysis using generalized linear models. Biometrika, 73, 13–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Loas, G., Otmani, O., Verrier, A., Fremaux, D., & Marchand, M. P. (1996). Factor analysis of the French version of the 20-Item Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Psychopathology, 29, 139–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P., & Straus, R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, personality, and the perceived quality of social relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 641–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lowe, R., Norman, P., & Bennett, P. (2000). Coping, emotion and perceived health following myocardial infarction: Concurrent and predictive associations. British Journal of Health Psychology, 5, 337–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005a). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 803–855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005b). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9, 111–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lyubomirsky, S., Sousa, L., & Dickerhoof, R. (2006). The costs and benefits of writing, talking and thinking about life’s triumphs and defeats. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 692–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lyubomirsky, S., Tucker, K. W., Caldwell, N. D., & Berg, K. (1999). Why ruminators are poor problem solvers: Clues from the phenomenology of dysphoric rumination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1041–1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Matthews, G., & Wells, A. (2000). Attention, automaticity, and affective disorders. Behavior Modification, 24, 69–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mikolajczak, M., Quoidbach, J., Kotsou, I., & Nelis, D. (2009). Les compétences émotionnelles. Paris: Dunod.Google Scholar
  40. Mikulincer, M. (1994). Human learned helplessness: A coping perspective. New York, NY: Plenom Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nesselroade, J. R., Gerstorf, D., Hardy, S. A., & Ram, N. (2007). Idiographic filters for psychological constructs. Measurement, 5, 217–235.Google Scholar
  42. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2000). The role of rumination in depressive disorders and mixed anxiety/depressive symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109, 504–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Morrow, J. (1993). Effects of rumination and distraction on naturally occurring depressed mood. Cognition and Emotion, 7, 561–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Morrow, J., & Fredrickson, B. L. (1993). Response styles and the duration of episodes of depressed mood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 20–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: The full life versus the empty life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pettersson, E., Boker, S. M., Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (2013). Modeling daily variation in the affective circumplex: A dynamical system approach. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 57–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Quoidbach, J., Berry, E., Hansenne, M., & Mikolajczak, M. (2010). Positive emotion regulation and well-being: Comparing the impact of eight savoring and dampening strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 368–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rood, L., Roelofs, J., Bögels, S. M., & Arntz, A. (2012). The effects of experimentally induced rumination, positive reappraisal, acceptance, and distancing when thinking about a stressful event on affect states in adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 73–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A. C. (2006). Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61, 774–788.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shiota, M. L., & Levenson, R. W. (2012). Turn down the volume or change the channel? Emotional effects of detached versus positive reappraisal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 416–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tsai, P. H., Lin, H. Y., Chen, H. C., & Lin, W. L. (2014). How does emotion influence different creative performances? The mediating role of cognitive flexibility. Cognition and Emotion, 28, 834–844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yik, M., Russell, J. A., & Steiger, J. H. (2011). A 12-point circumplex structure of core affect. Emotion, 11, 705–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Baptiste Pavani
    • 1
  • Sarah Le Vigouroux
    • 1
  • Jean-Luc Kop
    • 2
  • Anne Congard
    • 1
  • Bruno Dauvier
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre PsyCLE (EA 3273)Aix-Marseille UniversitéAix-en-ProvenceFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire InterPsyUniversité de LorraineNancyFrance

Personalised recommendations