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Psychophysiology. 2011 Sep;48(9):1309-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01191.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

The temporal dynamics of two response-focused forms of emotion regulation: experiential, expressive, and autonomic consequences.

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Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-2130, USA.


This study examines the early affective consequences of two close forms of suppression. Participants (N=37) were shown negative, positive, and neutral pictures and cued either to attend to the pictures, or to perform expressive or physiological suppression (i.e., reduce body reactions). Continuous measures of experience, expressivity, and autonomic responses showed that both suppression strategies produced rapid response modulation. Common effects of the two strategies included a transient increase in negative feeling, a durable decrease in positive feeling, and a decrease in expressivity, cardiovascular activity, and oxygenation. The two strategies were significantly different only in response to positive stimuli, with physiological suppression showing a larger decrease in experience intensity and blood pressure. These results suggest a strong overlap between the two suppression strategies in terms of their early impact on emotional responses.

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