Downregulation of anger by mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII)

Inge Schweiger Gallo, Maik Bieleke, Miguel A. Alonso, Peter Gollwitzer, Gabriele Oettingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As anger can lead to aggressive behavior aiming at intentionally hurting somebody, the prevention of its destructive consequences with effective emotion regulation strategies is crucial. Two studies tested the idea that mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) interventions would be effective in down-regulating anger. In Study 1, participants who adopted the self-regulation strategy of MCII showed significantly less anger-related negative affect after the anger induction than participants in a control condition, with positive affect staying unaffected. Results from a second study with a control condition plus three self-regulation conditions - a reappraisal, a MCII, and a reappraisal + MCII condition - suggest that participants using MCII were effective in down-regulating anger, irrespective of whether it was supplemented by reappraisal or not. The present research contributes to emotion regulation research by introducing MCII as an effective strategy that can be tailored to satisfy individual emotion regulation demands, such as dealing with experienced anger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1838
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
Issue numberOCT
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2018

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Anger
Down-Regulation
Emotions
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Keywords

  • Anger
  • Emotion regulation
  • Mental contrasting with implementation intentions
  • Reappraisal
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Downregulation of anger by mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII). / Gallo, Inge Schweiger; Bieleke, Maik; Alonso, Miguel A.; Gollwitzer, Peter; Oettingen, Gabriele.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 9, No. OCT, 1838, 04.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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