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Specifying Emotional Information: Modulation of Emotional Intensity via Executive Processes

Abstract : The degree of specificity at which emotional information is activated might determine evoked emotional intensity. However, the nature of this effect remains unclear. Four studies tested (a) whether people hold the naı¨ve theory that activating specific details of emotional information arouses acute feelings; (b) whether an emotionally distressed population (social phobics) also holds that theory; and (c) whether voluntarily focusing on specific aspects of a distressing situation reduces its emotional impact. Results indicate that control as well as emotionally distressed people hold a naı¨ve theory that specifying emotion increases its intensity. However, Studies 3 and 4 showed that voluntarily elaborating specific aspects of a distressing situation reduces distress. Results are discussed in terms of voluntary versus automatic processing of emotional information.
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https://hal.univ-lille3.fr/hal-00815519
Contributor : Céline Douilliez <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 7:44:17 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 11:32:43 AM

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Pierre Philippot, Céline Baeyens, Céline Douilliez. Specifying Emotional Information: Modulation of Emotional Intensity via Executive Processes. Emotion, American Psychological Association, 2006, 6, pp.560-571. ⟨10.1037/1528-3542.6.4.560⟩. ⟨hal-00815519⟩

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