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28-02-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2017

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2017

Emotional Intensity and Emotion Regulation in Response to Autobiographical Memories During Dysphoria

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2017
Auteurs:
Adriana del Palacio-Gonzalez, Dorthe Berntsen, Lynn A. Watson

Abstract

Retrieving personal memories may provoke different emotions and a need for emotion regulation. Emotional responses have been studied scarcely in relation to autobiographical memory retrieval. We examined the emotional response to everyday involuntary (spontaneously arising) and voluntary (strategically retrieved) memories, and how this response may be different during dysphoria. Participants (20 dysphoric and 23 non-depressed) completed a structured diary where the intensity of basic emotions and regulation strategies employed upon retrieval of memories were rated. Brooding, memory suppression, and emotional suppression were higher for all individuals’ involuntary memories than voluntary memories. Negative emotions and regulation strategies were greater for dysphoric individuals for both involuntary and voluntary memories after controlling for the valence of the remembered events. The results provide new insights into the understudied topic of emotional responses to everyday memories and suggest a novel interpretation of the intrusive nature of memories in psychological disorders, such as depression.

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