THE EFFECT OF ENGAGEMENT IN COGNITIVE REAPPRAISAL IN RESPONSE TO PREVIOUSLY CONDITIONED STIMULI ON ONLINE AND LONG-TERM EXPECTANCY RATINGS AND EMOTION INDICES
AuthorRay, Colleen Andrea
cardiac vagal control
Committee ChairKaszniak, Alfred W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPrevious research has shown that cognitive reappraisal, an emotion regulation strategy, has beneficial effects on emotion experience during strategy engagement. The present study extends this work by investigating whether cognitive reappraisal impacts the anticipation of an aversive event during, and five days following, strategy engagement. Emotion profiles, including psychophysiological and self-report indices, were also examined to assess whether reappraisal inhibits affective responses. Participants underwent habituation and simple discriminatory fear conditioning. Stimuli were pictures of a snake and a spider. Two days later participants returned to the laboratory and were either i) cued to engage in cognitive reappraisal while imagining the stimuli ii) exposed to the stimuli with no reappraisal instructions iii) exposed to the stimuli while engaging in cognitive reappraisal or iv) had an experience unrelated to the stimuli (control condition). Participants returned to the lab five days later and were exposed to both pictures paralleling initial habituation and conditioning protocols. It was found that cognitive reappraisal during exposure reduced expectancy of the UCS faster than exposure alone and resulted in lower mean skin conductance response (SCR) for those low, but not high, in fear of snakes. Five days later participants in the intervention conditions, compared to the control condition, demonstrated less anticipation of the UCS and smaller emotion-modulated startle magnitudes to the UCS. These findings suggest that cognitive reappraisal may be an effective tool for reducing anticipation of an aversive event and can result in enduring fear inhibition. This may have important implications for the treatment of individuals with anxiety disorders. The present study also examined the relationship between cardiac vagal control, indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and subsequent sympathetic arousal during fear conditioning, indexed by SCR. Results demonstrate that participants with low, compared to high, resting RSA had larger SCRs during habituation and conditioning trials. In addition, participants with lower RSA showed greater SCR reactivity following UCS presentation to both conditioned stimuli, suggesting that those with the lower RSA initially differentiated less between the UCS paired and unpaired images. These findings are consistent with theories that associate faster recovery from emotionally demanding situations with greater cardiac vagal control.