Effects of Emotion Regulation on Risk Aversion

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This paper is on “Emotion Regulation and Decision Making Under Risk and Uncertainty” by Mircea Miclea, Andrei C. Miu, Renata M. Heilman, Liviu G. Crisan from Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and Daniel Houser from George Mason University in Virginia, USA. The study was published in the American Psychological Association, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 2. It deals with emotion regulation (ER) tactics such as cognitive reappraisal and expression suppression and their effects on risk aversion and decision making. Reappraisal involves reformulating the meaning of the situation. Suppression involves inhibiting the responses and behaviours associated with emotions, such as facial expressions, vocal tonality or body language. The researchers hypothesized that participants using reappraisal would portray lower risk aversion (increased risk taking) than subjects using suppression. They induced negative emotions of fear and disgust on their participants through short movie clips and then rated how they did on tests that measure risk-taking based on the ER tactic that they were previously instructed to use. (Heilman, Crisan, Houser, Miclea & Miu, 2010, p. 258). Our textbook defines an experiment as a scientific method of research in which several factors called independent variables are modified to determine their effects on the dependant variable. This enables researchers to find cause and effect between different variables because they will observe if changes in one variable causes changes in the other (Baron, Byrne, Branscombe, & Fritzley, 2010, p. 19). For the purposes of this paper, focus will be on study 1 which looked at the effects of negative emotions such as fear or disgust. The sample was of sixty participants (56 women; mean age 21.45 years) from the Babes-Bolyai University campus. They were randomly distributed in 6 groups based on the emotion experienced (either fear or disgust) and the ER strategy employed (cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression,...
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