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
Article

Abstract

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).

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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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