The scientific study of emotion regulation is flourishing, providing fundamental insights to our understanding of human functioning. While clearly important, in this chapter I zoom in on two major challenges in current theorizing and in existing empirical evidence. The “good & bad” problem refers to the categorization of regulatory strategies as being either adaptive or maladaptive. The “here & now” problem refers to concentration on a single regulatory stage that involves the actual execution or implementation of regulatory strategies. To transcend the “good & bad” problem, I provide a conceptual account, highlighting the underlying mechanisms of implemented regulatory options that yield a clear differential cost-benefit strategy profile. To transcend the “here & now” problem, I present a broad conceptual framework that views emotion regulation as a multistage phenomenon that includes important stages that precede and follow regulatory implementation. A central focus is given to a preimplementation regulatory selection stage, which involves choosing between available regulatory options in a manner that is sensitive to differing situational demands. Specifically, I review affective-cognitive-motivational determinants, underlying mechanisms, neural correlates, individual-social-cultural moderators, and developmental and clinical implications, of regulatory selection. I end by highlighting the importance of transcending the regulatory selection stage, by describing a postimplementation regulatory monitoring stage that involves deciding if and how to adapt actively implemented regulatory strategies, by describing a preimplementation regulatory identification stage that involves deciding whether to regulate one's emotions in the first place, and by linking regulatory stages together.
- Decision making
- Emotion regulation
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology