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Although mood regulation often occurs through automatic processes, there are likely individual differences in whether people believe that their mood can be regulated without effortful control. Believing in automatic mood regulation is hypothesized to be adaptive as it could lead one to conserve cognitive resources, making emotions less disruptive and threatening. A self-report scale measuring beliefs about automatic mood regulation was piloted among undergraduates, and further validated in another undergraduate and community sample. The final measure showed strong internal consistency, test–retest reliability, discriminant validity, and construct validity. After controlling for overlapping variance with confidence in effortful mood regulation, belief in automatic mood regulation was associated with lower depression and less action-oriented coping and emotional awareness. Thus, the scale appears to capture a non-effortful approach to emotion regulation that is associated with lower depression symptoms.
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- Measuring Beliefs About Automatic Mood Regulation: Development of a Self-Report Scale
Jesse A. Hutchison
Kathleen C. Gunthert
- Springer US