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Fight, Flight, or Rethink: Using Cognitive Reappraisal in Response to Anger and Anxiety
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Emotion regulation strategies are used as a way of managing one’s emotions in response to adverse events. Cognitive Reappraisal is one strategy that has been shown to be a healthy way of controlling emotions, while others have been shown to have negative effects depending on the emotion. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of cognitive reappraisal on the induction of two high arousal emotions: anger and anxiety. Cognitive reappraisal was used in a within-subject experimental design to test how effective it is at mitigating anger and anxiety. We found that cognitive reappraisal led to the participants feeling happier and calmer during the anxiety-induction task. The angerinduction task, when reappraising, led to participants having higher ratings of anger, anxiety, frustration, and nervousness and low ratings of happiness and calmness.