Implicit emotion regulation affects outcome evaluation


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Abstract

Efficient implicit emotion regulation processes, which run without awareness, are important for human well-being. In this study, to investigate the influence of implicit emotion regulation on psychological and electrophysiological responses to gains and losses, participants were required to select between two Chinese four-character idioms to match the meaning of the third one before they performed a monetary gambling task. According to whether their meanings were related to emotion regulation, the idioms fell into two categories. Event-related potentials and self-rating emotional experiences to outcome feedback were recorded during the task. Priming emotion regulation reduced subjective emotional experience to both gains and losses and the amplitudes of the feedback-related negativity, while the P3 component was not influenced. According to these results, we suggest that the application of implicit emotion regulation effectively modulated the subjective emotional experience and the motivational salience of current outcomes without the cost of cognitive resources. This study implicates the potential significance of implicit emotion regulation in decision-making processes.

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