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17-10-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2021 Open Access

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2021

Emotion-Regulation in Psychosis: Patients with Psychotic Disorders Apply Reappraisal Successfully

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2021
Sandra M. Opoka, Johanna Sundag, Marcel Riehle, Tania M. Lincoln
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Emotion-regulation is assumed to be impaired in psychosis: patients with psychotic disorders (PD) self-report to use reappraisal less frequently than healthy controls (HC), but it is uncertain whether they are also less successful in applying reappraisal. Moreover, it has not been investigated whether the habitual use of reappraisal is associated with the ability to use reappraisal successfully.


To address these questions, PD (n = 60), a clinical control group of patients with anxiety disorders (AD; n = 40) and HC (n = 40) completed questionnaires on habitual emotion-regulation and alexithymia, performed tests on neurocognitive functioning and jumping-to-conclusion bias, and were subjected to an emotion-regulation paradigm, in which they were asked to down-regulate induced anxiety and sadness.


No differences were found between PD and HC regarding the habitual use of reappraisal, but PD reported to use reappraisal more frequently than AD. All groups were able to down-regulate anxiety and sadness via reappraisal following instructions. The habitual use of reappraisal and the reduction of anxiety and sadness after instruction were uncorrelated.


These findings question the common assumption that PD use reappraisal less often or less successfully. At least under laboratory condition, PD do not appear to be impaired in reducing negative affect via reappraisal successfully.

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