The Relation Between Event Processing and the Duration of Emotional Experience

Philippe Verduyn*, Iven Van Mechelen, Francis Tuerlinckx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

An emotional experience can last for only a couple of seconds up to several hours or even longer. In the present study, we examine to which extent covert intrapersonal actions (cognitions both related and unrelated to the emotion-eliciting stimulus) as well as overt interpersonal actions (social sharing) account for this variability in emotion duration. Participants were asked to report the duration of their anger, sadness, joy, and gratitude episodes on a daily basis during five days. Furthermore, information was collected with regard to their cognitions during the episodes and their social sharing behavior. Discrete-time survival analyses revealed that for three of the four emotions under study, stimulus-related cognitions with the same valence as the emotion lead to a prolongation of the episode; in contrast, both stimulus-related and stimulus-unrelated cognitions with a valence opposite to the emotion lead to a shortening. Finally, for the four emotions under study, social sharing was associated with a prolongation. The findings are discussed in terms of a possible process basis underlying the time dynamics of negative as well as positive emotions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalEmotion
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emotion duration
  • cognitive processing
  • valence
  • social sharing
  • DAILY-LIFE
  • COGNITIVE APPRAISAL
  • POSITIVE EVENTS
  • RUMINATION
  • ANGER
  • DISTRACTION
  • INTENSITY
  • DEPRESSION
  • RESPONSES
  • RECOVERY

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