The Relationship Between Self-Distancing and the Duration of Negative and Positive Emotional Experiences in Daily Life

Philippe Verduyn*, Iven Van Mechelen, Ethan Kross, Carmen Chezzi, Femke Van Bever

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Extant research suggests that self-distancing facilitates adaptive self-reflection of negative emotional experiences. However, this work operationalizes adaptive self-reflection in terms of a reduction in the intensity of negative emotion, ignoring other important aspects of emotional experience such as emotion duration. Moreover, prior research has predominantly focused on how self-distancing influences emotional reactivity in response to reflecting on negative experiences, leaving open questions concerning how this process operates in the context of positive experiences. We addressed these issues by examining the relationship between self-distancing and the duration of daily negative and positive emotions using a daily diary methodology. Discrete-time survival analyses revealed that reflecting on both daily negative (Studies 1 and 2) and positive events (Study 2) from a self-distanced perspective was associated with shorter emotions compared with reflecting on such events from a self-immersed perspective. The basic science and clinical implications of these findings are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1263
Number of pages16
JournalEmotion
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emotion duration
  • self-distancing
  • emotion regulation
  • positive emotions
  • negative emotions
  • DISTINGUISHING RUMINATION
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • VISUAL PERSPECTIVE
  • FOCUSED ATTENTION
  • REFLECTION
  • INTENSITY
  • PERSONALITY
  • REACTIVITY
  • RECOVERY
  • EPISODES

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