Comparing the Effects of Three Online Cognitive Reappraisal Trainings on Well-Being

Abstract

This experimental training study examined which of three brief online cognitive reappraisal training protocols best enhances well-being and emotion regulation in response to stressful events. Participants were randomly assigned to learn positive reframing, self-distancing, or temporal distancing, and were asked to practice these techniques in their daily lives as interpersonal stressors arose naturally. The control group was instructed to continue regulating their emotions as they naturally would. Compared to the control, all training groups showed decreased negative emotional reactivity to the visualization of a recent stressful event 2 weeks post-training. They also showed a significant increase in general well-being from baseline to post-training. Participants’ change in reappraisal accounted for the training groups’ increased well-being.

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Acknowledgments

RR and OA designed the research. RR performed the research and EBS contributed study materials. RR analyzed the data under the supervision of EBS and OA while all authors contributed to the interpretation of the findings. RR drafted the manuscript; EBS, and OA provided critical revisions. All authors approved the final version of the paper for submission. This research was partly funded by a grant from the Templeton Foundation awarded to Ozlem Ayduk and Ethan Kross. We thank Ethan Kross for his valuable feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript.

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Ranney, R.M., Bruehlman-Senecal, E. & Ayduk, O. Comparing the Effects of Three Online Cognitive Reappraisal Trainings on Well-Being. J Happiness Stud 18, 1319–1338 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-016-9779-0

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Keywords

  • Emotion regulation
  • Cognitive reappraisal
  • Self-distancing
  • Temporal distancing
  • Positive reframing
  • Well-being