Examining the role of cognitive bias in emotion regulation
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 13:21 by Aleksandra Usyatynsky
Individuals experiencing depressive symptoms interpret ambiguous situations negatively and use helpful emotion regulation strategies less often than those without symptoms. Theory suggests these strategies are used less due to interference from negatively biased interpretations. This study examined whether interpretation bias interferes with emotion regulation by experimentally manipulating interpretations in a positive or negative direction. Method: Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to positive and negative bias training groups. Interpretation bias and emotion regulation questionnaires were completed before and after training. Results: The training succeeded in inducing bias change only for the positive group, and emotion regulation strategy use did not change in either group. Discussion: Interpretation bias was not found to affect emotion regulation. Possible explanations include: bias change in the positive group was not large enough to alter emotion regulation; the task eliciting emotion regulation was ill-suited for this study; and interpretation bias and emotion regulation are unrelated.