The effects of emotion on self-regulation
Low, Yi Hua
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Different types of emotions have been found to differentially influence our cognition, thoughts and behaviors. However, despite the rich literature, emotions are largely studied as outcomes of self-regulation, and the possibility of emotions inducing self- regulatory focus orientations remains largely unexplored. In this study, we hypothesized that experiencing positive emotions can cause individuals to adopt a promotion focus and experiencing negative emotions can cause an individual to adopt a prevention focus. We examine this prediction in an individual via two ways—an individual’s chronic self-regulation, and also temporarily induced self-regulation. In examining chronic self-regulation, we explored the mediating effect of type of emotion chronically experienced, between personality traits and self-regulation. In examining temporary self-regulation, we explored whether a momentary experience of positive or negative emotion can foster a promotion or prevention focus respectively. In this study we found that positive emotion indeed fosters a temporary promotion focus and negative emotion can foster a temporary prevention focus. However, our mediation hypothesis on chronic self-regulation was not supported. While emotions are often studied as an outcome of self-regulation, our results suggest that emotions could instead be a precursor to self-regulatory orientations, and future studies could expand the investigation of chronic self-regulatory foci by considering the influence of emotions.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University