Believing Is Doing: Emotion Regulation Beliefs Are Associated With Emotion Regulation Behavioral Choices and Subjective Well-Being

Catherine Nicole Marie Ortner, Esther Lydia Briner, Zdravko Marjanovic


Research in emotion regulation has begun to examine various predictors of emotion regulation choices, including individual differences and contextual variables. However, scant attention has been paid to the extent to which people’s beliefs about the specific consequences of emotion regulation strategies for the components of an emotional response and long-term well-being predict their behavioral regulatory choices and, in turn, their subjective well-being. Participants completed measures to assess their beliefs about the consequences of functional and dysfunctional strategies, behavioral choices of emotion regulation strategies in negative scenarios, and subjective well-being. The model that fit the data indicated partial mediation whereby beliefs were associated with approximately 9% of the variance in choices. Emotion regulation choices were related to subjective well-being, with an additional direct effect between beliefs and well-being. This suggests beliefs play a role in people’s regulatory choices. Future research should explore how beliefs interact with individual differences and contextual variables to better understand why people regulate their emotions in different ways and, ultimately, to help individuals make healthy emotion regulation choices.


emotion regulation; subjective well-being; beliefs; affect; emotional intelligence

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