Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 237–258 | Cite as

The Undoing Effect of Positive Emotions

  • Barbara L. Fredrickson
  • Roberta A. Mancuso
  • Christine Branigan
  • Michele M. Tugade


Positive emotions are hypothesized to undo the cardiovascular aftereffects of negative emotions. Study 1 tests this undoing effect. Participants (n = 170) experiencing anxiety-induced cardiovascular reactivity viewed a film that elicited (a) contentment, (b) amusement, (c) neutrality, or (d) sadness. Contentment-eliciting and amusing films produced faster cardiovascular recovery than neutral or sad films did. Participants in Study 2 (n = 185) viewed these same films following a neutral state. Results disconfirm the alternative explanation that the undoing effect reflects a simple replacement process. Findings are contextualized by Fredrickson's broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions (B. L. Fredrickson, 1998).


Social Psychology Alternative Explanation Negative Emotion Positive Emotion Neutral State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara L. Fredrickson
    • 1
  • Roberta A. Mancuso
    • 2
  • Christine Branigan
    • 2
  • Michele M. Tugade
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Women's Studies Program, and Research Center for Group DynamicsUniversity of Michigan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Michigan

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